Statement Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

 

May 11, 2021

Dear Parent, 

 

The Jewish Agency in Israel (which coordinates entry for educational groups) has notified us that in order to be eligible to enter as an educational* group, we must spend a minimum of three weeks there. Accordingly, we are confirming that we will be going with

"Plan B" and won't be able to visit Poland for this summer.   

 

We recognize that this is not the outcome that so many of you were hoping for. However, this plan will provide us with the assurances we need to be able to enter Israel regardless of any evolving policy changes on incoming tourism. Each participant will still be required to be fully vaccinated and there are additional requirements to obtain a negative Covid PCR test within 72 hours of departure and a serological test (to confirm the presence of antibodies) upon arrival in Israel. We will need to initially quarantine until we receive the results of the serological test which can take anywhere between 5-48 hours. 

The Jewish Agency also notified us that based on current regulations, all members of the group must enter and leave Israel together with an adult staff member. Accordingly, there won't be the option this year to fly independently or stay longer in Israel unless the participant is an Israeli citizen. Please log in to the portal, if your Covid status is cleared for travel you should be able to see the updated group flight assignments. (If you chose to book your own flights during registration, we added the group flight from JFK to your account and updated your balance)     

 

In light of the cancellation of the Poland part of the trip, we've scheduled a special virtual program called "Jewish Resistance – Ghetto Life and the Jewish Response" on May 23rd at 8:00 PM EST with Zak Jeffay of JRoots. Zak has guided our CTeen groups (and an enormous amount of other groups) through many sites in Poland and will be able to provide a great interactive program for those participants who can join. An updated Israel itinerary is being finalized and will be shared with you at least one month before departure.

 

As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions.  

Rabbi Nachman Rivkin

Director, CTeen Summer Programs


*entry as a general tour group is still limited. The ministry of tourism has a pilot program beginning May 23rd but groups are being chosen by lottery and it will take three weeks to assess the results of the pilot before committing to opening to more tour groups. Our deadline of June 11, 2021 to issue our group tickets will likely come before the results of the pilot. Accordingly, we must enter as an educational group which will have a minimum requirement of spending three weeks in Israel.

April 13, 2021

 

Dear Parent, 

We are excited to inform you that the Israeli ministries of Tourism and Health issued a joint press release today stating that tour groups who are vaccinated can begin entering the country as of May 23rd! This is a clear green light for the 2021 Heritage Quest trip to proceed! 

 

While the current requirement to be vaccinated reduces the amount of eligible teens, we are optimistic that this is only the start. The rules may be further expanded (to those who have recovered or are ineligible for the vaccine for example) from now until the summer without any prior notice. For this reason, we have included additional questions on the survey including regarding recovery from Covid to learn more about your teen's specific situation even if they won't be able to get the vaccine. 

 

If you have not already done so, please log in to the participant portal to access and complete the "Covid-19 Status" form by the end of day, tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14th, 2021. 

 

Thank you in advance. 

April 12, 2021

Dear Parent, 

 

Last week Israel began allowing foreigners (who have first-degree relatives in Israel) to apply for permits to enter the country providing they have recovered from or have been vaccinated against Covid-19. This marks a crucial milestone for foreigners to begin entering the country again. 

We hope that the infection numbers in Israel will continue to decline and the government will soon expand the rules and begin allowing even those foreigners who do not have relatives in Israel. The entry requirement to either be recovered from or vaccinated against Covid-19 may remain in place for the coming months. We simply do not know and cannot predict what the rules will be.

We are preparing to apply to the Israeli government for a permit in order to be able to enter the country in July as an educational group. We are going to need information regarding each participant's status with regard to Covid-19. Accordingly, a survey form has been added to your account. Please log in to the participant portal to access and complete the "Covid-19 Status" form by the end of day, Wednesday, April 14th, 2021. 

 

With regard to Poland, as communicated previously, we have devised a "Plan A" (6 days in Poland, 16 days in Israel) and a "Plan B" (Full 22-days in Israel). A decision will be made between the two plans no later than May 11th, 2021.

 

As a reminder, our cancellation policy remains the same; you can cancel without penalty up until 30 days before departure (June 11, 2021). Families who do not wish to travel overseas this summer are invited to join our America Out West trip. We do have limited spots on that program so please contact us if you wish to transfer trips.    

All the best, 

Rabbi Nachman Rivkin

Director, CTeen Summer Programs

March 26, 2021

Dear Parent, 

We are writing to give you a pre-Passover update with regard to the status of the Heritage Quest trip. 

Despite the unprecedented uncertainty with regard to our ability to travel this coming summer, we remain committed to providing the program if we can do so in a sufficiently safe manner.   

As of the date of this email, the chances of us being able to visit Poland this summer seem increasingly unlikely. Poland remains closed to visitors from the US and does not seem on track to reopen to foreigners soon. Accordingly, we have devised a "Plan B" of traveling straight from NYC to Israel for the full 22-day trip. 

Next month, we intend to make a decision if we will be pursuing the original "Plan A" (6 days in Poland, 16 days in Israel) or "Plan B" (Full 22-days in Israel), of course if we travel straight to Israel we will modify our itinerary to include Holocaust education in Israel. 

All approved teens have been assigned two sets of flights in accordance with Plan A and Plan B above. Please log in to the participant portal to review your flight assignments. If you do not see your flight assignments, it means there are some remaining items that need to be completed (i.e. Recommendation forms or intake interview) please take care of those so that we can get your teen assigned to flights.

It is still too early to know details of what Covid-19 Precautionary requirements Israel will be putting in place for foreign visitors. Once we have clarity on that, we will definitely let you know.

Best wishes for a happy Passover to you and your family!

February 18, 2021

Dear Parent, 

 

In response to questions regarding our ability to travel this summer to Poland and Israel, please be advised that there is no guidance yet from the Polish or Israeli government regarding what the requirements will be for tourists to enter their country in July. As soon as we have information we will update all families. It is possible that we won't have clear guidance until after Passover.  

 

Thank you for your patience & understanding.

August 31st, 2020

Dear Parent, 

We hope you and your family are well. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there are doubts if we will be able to operate our summer 2021 trips. At the same time, we do sincerely hope that when that time comes around, this pandemic will be contained and we will be able to offer all CTeen summer experiences in a sufficiently safe manner. As such, we will be proceeding with all the necessary preparations, and registration for summer 2021 is currently open. Given the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have activated risk-free registration which enables you to reserve a spot on a program with a $1 deposit, as well as the option to cancel at any point without any penalties up until 30 days before departure.  

Please G-d, may we be able to report only good news very soon. Best wishes for a healthy, safe, and happy sweet new year!

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Nachman Rivkin

Director, CTeen Summer Programs

May 21st, 2020

Dear Parent, 

We hope you are well. We regret to inform you that due to the current pandemic, we will not be able to operate the trips in a sufficiently safe manner for this year and therefore need to cancel all programs. Here in the US, the CDC continues to recommend avoiding non-essential travel as it poses higher risks for contracting and/or spreading Covid-19. In Poland and Israel, they have banned most foreigners from entering their countries and it remains unclear when those restrictions will be lifted.   
 

While this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we are sure you understand the necessity of our decision. The safety and well being of our summer trip participants are always our top priorities. Your registration for the 2020 summer trip will automatically be transferred to summer 2021 and remain active. The dates for summer 2021 will be published in August. Your participant portal account will remain active.

We encourage you to check out the CTeen Facebook or Instagram page. There are virtual CTeen programs your teen can join.   

 

We are deeply saddened that we cannot provide your teens with the summer experience they were looking forward to. Please G-d, we hope to be able to do so next summer. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. 

 

Best wishes for a healthy and safe summer,  

 

Rabbi Nachman Rivkin

Director, CTeen Summer Programs

March 23rd, 2020

 

Dear Parent, 

We acknowledge concerns with regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy in these difficult times. 

We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that the safety and well being of our summer trip participants are always our top priorities. As such, we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and make sure to follow any guidance or recommendations provided by the relevant government agencies and health departments. 

As of the date of this letter, there are numerous restrictions and advisories to avoid travel. There are also recommendations to implement social distancing. However, such restrictions are only in place for the next several weeks. It is not clear if they will remain in place after that. We do acknowledge that we may need to cancel our 2020 summer trips should the above restrictions extend into the summer. However, as our participants cherish their experiences each summer, we wouldn't want to make any decision now with regard to trips that are scheduled for July. 

At this point in time, we are proceeding with the approach that all 2020 CTeen summer trips will G-d willing be able to take place as scheduled. A final decision will be made no later than 30 days before departure.   

For families who would be interested in joining but are hesitating due to uncertainty with regard to the Coronavirus situation's outcome, we've implemented a risk-free registration system that will allow you to register with a $1 deposit and also provide the ability to cancel without penalty up until 30 days before departure. 

For families who are registered, you can continue to access your account by logging in to the participant portal. We ask that you please refrain from completing the health form until June. In the event that it becomes necessary to cancel the trips, families will have the option of either receiving a refund or keeping their registration for summer 2021. The latter option will have the perk of maintaining the 2020 price and rate for summer 2021 regardless of any possible increases for new registrants.   

If you have any specific questions or wish to discuss your teen's participation please don't hesitate to reach out.

Please G-d, may we be able to report only good news very soon! 

Sincerely yours,

Rabbi Nachman Rivkin

Director, CTeen Summer Programs