We hope that all students will be healthy during the entire trip. We note, however, that an Israel trip can be physically demanding, even for the most fit. The staff will strongly encourage students to get a good night’s sleep, to wear a hat whenever exposed to the sun, to use sunscreen, and to drink plenty of water. Nevertheless, experience shows that there may be an occasional sore throat or skinned knee. On all hikes, and at most times during the trip, the armed guard who accompanies the group will carry a first aid kit and administer first aid when necessary
A medical form, usually included with the trip application form, should be filled out and submitted at least two months in advance of the trip. Ramah will honor a copy of a similar medical form that a doctor already filled out within the last twelve months prior to the trip, as long as the form is signed by the physician, that it covers all the requested information, and that the student’s medical record is unremarkable.
However, if a student has ongoing medical issues (e.g., asthma, severe allergies, eating disorders), we require that the form be signed by a physician within three months prior to the trip.
After submitting the forms to the school, they are forwarded to Israel and reviewed by Ramah’s medical adviser committee prior to the trip. We rely on these forms during the trip in case the participant has a medical need. It is crucial that parents report all physical and psychological issues that may affect the student’s participation in the trip (forms are held in strict confidence). Ramah Israel reserves the right not to accept a student whose medical form is incomplete or whom our medical advisory committee deems to be unfit to participate in the trip.
No special immunization or vaccination requirements are in effect for travel to Israel. However, we do recommend that all students receive a tetanus shot and that all usual immunizations be up-to-date.
All of the students and accompanying school chaperons are covered by a major Israeli medical insurance company. This includes doctors’ visits and treatments as well as hospitalization. Note that the insurance company does NOT cover treatment for pre-existing conditions, dental/orthodontia, eye or psychological care, which would have to be paid for by the participant’s family. Similarly, there is no coverage for medical complications resulting from piercings or other body modifications carried out in Israel (something which is forbidden on all Ramah Israel programs).
If a student does not feel well, a staff member will take the student to the doctor designated by the insurance company. In an emergency, or in the middle of the night, a staff member will take the student to Terem (Emergency Clinic) or the hospital. Every effort will be made to reach the parents before treatment, should a decision need to be made.
The doctor or trip staff can decide if a student is too sick to join in the day’s activities.
A student will never stay alone at a base (hostel or hotel) if he/she is sick. A staff member will always stay back with a sick student or stay with him/her at the clinic/hospital on a 24/7 basis.
If the attending doctor prescribes medication, the insurance company discounts prescriptions and the Ramah staff will have the prescriptions filled at cooperating pharmacies.
If medication that was brought from home is forgotten or lost, the child’s home doctor must fax a copy of the prescription and our doctor will re-prescribe it for the pharmacies here (local pharmacies will not honor a prescription written overseas). If a child needs supervision in taking medication, the school chaperons can be of assistance.