Simon Family Passport to Israel: 8 recipients head to Israel this summer

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel will send 8 recipients to Israel after a year-long program pause due to the pandemic.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world last year, we simply couldn't have students travel in the summer of 2020,” said Naomi Limor Sedek, President and CEO of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. “Now, with the world slowing re-opening, we’re happy to see a renewed interest in the Simon Family Passport to Israel program and see Jewish students participate in an Israel experience.”

The Simon Family Passport to Israel program was established by Marvin Simon, who believed it was important for young people to experience Israel themselves. The program provides funds to enable and encourage Jewish students to participate in a trip to Israel. Trips that are funded include educational and peer group experiences.

Previous recipients of the program have traveled to the Sea of Galilee, participated in a BBYO leadership seminar, studied at the elite learning institution Yeshivas Toras Moshe, and even rode a camel.

“We’re so excited to help Jew students travel to Israel this year,” said Kaitlyn Oelsner, Director of Philanthropy at the Tidewater Jewish Foundation. “Be on the lookout for their stories and experiences over the coming months.”

Qualifying trips are organized by a non-profit organization, educational, or religious institution, are staffed by appropriate personnel, and have a structured itinerary. Jewish students between the ages of 13 and 18 may apply, and those students over 18 may apply as long as they indicate why a Birthright Israel trip will not meet their current needs. Trips will be funded up to 30% of the eligible expenses, with a maximum of $6,000 per student.

Applications for Simon Family Passport to Israel will re-open on October 1st of 2021. For more information, visit or contact Ann Swindell at or 757-965-6106.