Classic or IBEX? Frequently Asked Questions

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This is all a bit confusing. I just wanted to go on FZY Tour like my sister last year.

Great. Choose the Classic programme. We’re not getting rid of the incredible programmes that we have been offering until now; we’re just offering an extra for those who might be looking for something different.

Why two programmes?

In Summer 2017, across all the UK Youth Movements, there were around 140 fewer people on Israel Tour than in 2016. One of the reasons might be that Israel Tours are expensive programmes. The other reason might be that a lot of would-be participants have already received a similar experience aged fourteen, at school or with synagogues. Last year, around 90% of participants on FZY Tour programmes had been to Israel before.

Without tinkering with our popular programme – the Classic Tour – we have introduced a new programme for those who are seeking it. IBEX is a slightly less expensive programme with a different schedule. You’ll find out more about the content below, under ‘What’s the difference between the two programmes?’

We’re not re-inventing the wheel, but we are seeking actively to offer the right programmes for the British Jewish community of 2017. We’re also committed to providing the right level of educational content for our participants who are seeking to be stretched, to have new experiences, and to get to grips with an incredible country.

What’s the difference between the two programmes?

FZY Classic Tour is your classic Israel Tour experience. It’s sightseeing and hiking around Israel’s four corners. Fundamentally, it is the programme we have been offering over the last decade – the best in the market – which has taken thousands of people to Israel to see, hear, touch, taste, smell, walk upon, swim through, and meet people from the Jewish State. Classic buses include two Israelis from the Tzofim (the Israeli Scouts) or from the UJIA’s partnership region in the Galil.

FZY IBEX Tour – The Israel and Beyond Experience – is perfect for people who are looking for that little bit extra. If you want to take that extra step – to spend more time with real Israelis from all different backgrounds and to discover parts of the country that tourists usually cannot see – then IBEX is the programme for you. IBEX buses will have eight Israeli participants from the Tzofim (Israeli Scouts), and participants will have a chance to visit their homes and communities. The IBEX Tours will include an extended (overnight) hike as well as an army experience. IBEX buses will get to know all of Israel: the centre and the periphery; the Jewish and the non-Jewish; the rich and the poor.

FZY used to offer different “Tracks” like Sports, Army or Extreme. Where are they now?

Every year, we ask participants for their feedback about our programmes. A lot of participants in 2016 and 2017 commented that the Sports or Extreme Tracks weren’t as sporty or as extreme as they had expected. The bulk of the programmes have always been the Classic programme, and the Tracks used to add a couple of extra activities here and there. Now, people who are particularly motivated to spend time on a military base or on an overnight hike will have the opportunity to do so on the IBEX Tour programme.

Why is the IBEX programme slightly less expensive?

FZY is committed to providing all our programmes at the most affordable cost to our members and participants. Because the IBEX Tour programme has a slightly lower running cost, we have taken the decision to pass this windfall on to our paying participants.

(Financial assistance is available through UJIA and FZY for applicants unable to meet the full cost of the programmes. Through bursary funding, UJIA aims to offer young people the opportunity to take part in a Youth Movement summer programme in Israel. If you are in a financial situation whereby you are unable to afford the full cost of our programmes, please tick the appropriate box on the Initial Application Form and you will receive a Financial Assistance Form. The UJIA Bursary Fund will assist individuals to the best of its ability based on a means-tested process. The UJIA Bursary Fund Committee guarantees complete confidentiality throughout the process and that the identities of the recipients of the financial assistance remain anonymous.)

How many Classic Tour buses will there be? How many IBEX Tour buses will there be?

Our aim this year is to continue to offer our popular programming, and to introduce another option for those who are seeking it. We do not have a minimum number of Tour buses to meet for either programme. If everybody signs up for Classic Tour, we will only run Classic Tour. If everybody signs up for IBEX Tour, we will only run IBEX Tour. As long as there are enough applicants for each programme, we’ll be running it!

In real terms, we’re expecting the majority of our participants to sign up for Classic Tour, with maybe one or two IBEX groups. But we’re looking forward to see what happens.

I’m not at a Jewish school. Which programme shall I go on if I want to meet new people from Jewish schools?

Either. We imagine that both Classic Tour and IBEX Tour will have some participants from Jewish schools and some participants from mainstream schools. When you sign up for either programme, you will have the opportunity to indicate which friends you wish to be placed with. FZY guarantees that – where possible – you are placed on the same group as at least one of the friends that you have requested. Apart from this restriction, we try to make sure that our groups represent the broad and varied spectrum of our applicants and their backgrounds.

I go to a Jewish school. Which programme shall I go on if I want to make new friends from mainstream schools?

See above!

When can I sign up?

As a community policy, we are unable to open applications, send brochures or release prices until 20 November. If you have a question about one of these details, please feel free to get in touch with us after that date by emailing israeltour@fzy.org.uk