For many years, Ramah Israel has been successful in running Israel experiences that are safe, secure, educationally viable, and a lot of fun.
The overwhelming feedback from parents and participants about these programs was that they felt safe in Israel under Ramah’s care and that the security restrictions did not take away from the high quality of the program. We hope that the information provided below will help you to understand Ramah’s ongoing security policies as well as special precautions that have been implemented in the last several years. (These are subject to change depending on circumstances.)
What is Ramah’s approach to security and safety?
Ramah Israel has earned the reputation of maintaining the highest level of safety and security. We take no chances regarding these issues, and when decisions have to be made, our policy is to err on the side of caution. We react swiftly and responsibly to any changes in circumstances in the field. We operate with total commitment to participants’ well-being and with sensitivity to parents’ peace of mind.
The following are some of Ramah Israel’s standard operating procedures:
- Ramah strictly adheres to the security policies established by Israel’s Ministry of Education governing all field trips and activities for public school children.
- All field trips are approved in advance, and again just prior to each day’s program, with the appropriate authorities (including Israeli police and army). They know our whereabouts at all times, and when they deem it necessary or advisable, armed guards and trained first-aid personnel, equipped with first aid kits, accompany our groups. These guards are supplied by a reputable company.
- A security guard – hired from a professional service company – is provided for every group and is present whenever deemed necessary by the Ministry of Education guidelines or at the discretion of the Ramah Israel staff. Moreover, the guard serves as a first-aid provider whenever the group is on a hike or otherwise out in the field.
- Transportation to all programmed activities is handled by chartered buses, which are equipped with GPS and cellular phones for immediate communication.
- Ramah does not travel over the “Green Line” (i.e. into the area referred to as the “West Bank”) except in very specific areas determined safe by Israel’s security services, and even then only in consultation with the authorities. This applies to the Old City of Jerusalem as well.
- All program participants are given a complete security/safety briefing immediately upon arrival, and reviewed periodically, so that each person knows how to behave responsibly throughout his or her stay. In addition, every participant is provided with a convenient card, listing the telephone numbers of all lodgings, the Ramah office, and cell phone numbers of Ramah personnel who can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Parents are provided with the same numbers.)
Please feel free to be in touch with us with any questions or concerns. You may write directly to Betsalel Steinhart, Director of the Ramah Israel Institute, or Meir Hoyzman, Director of Ramah Israel in Jerusalem.