Tips for Your Arrival

  • Meeting and Contact information
    Meeting and Contact information

    Meeting and Contact information

    Volunteers who arrive on scheduled start dates will be picked up at the airport and taken to a base. Make sure you have provided complete arrival information to your representative who must forward this information to us. The meeting place at the airport is in the Arrivals Hall as you face Exit 2, next to the Swarovski jewelry counter.

    Pamela Lazarus
    052-821-9945
    pamela@sar-el.org

    Sar-El Office:

    Sar-El
    PO Box  953
    Kiron
    5510802
    Israel

    Phone: (+972) 03-682-9740
                (+972) 03-681-4769
    Fax:     (+972) 03-682-9743

    Beit Oded :
    5 Jerusalem Blvd., Jaffa
    03-569-2848

    Website Address: www.sar-el.org

    Ben Gurion Airport – +972-3-972-3344 (automated answering and information). 

  • Cash Needs and Currency Exchange Issues
    Cash Needs and Currency Exchange Issues

    Cash Needs and Currency Exchange Issues

    a. The local currency is New Israeli Shekels (NIS). You must exchange dollars for shekels. There are money exchange locations in each city and at the airport. (The airport charges a commission; money exchange offices do not, but the exchange rate may be different).

    b. Payment of Registration Fee – $100 (or $55, if repeating Sar-El program within 1 year, or if the participant is under 25 years of age) in cash only, to be paid to the Sar-El representative upon your arrival in *Israel (*Only if you have not already paid the fee to your local representative.)

    c. ATM machines are located at the airport and all over Israel. All foreign ATM’s work only with a checking account … you cannot draw on a savings account. Check with your bank at home to make sure your bank card is accepted in Israel.

    d. Always have extra money for an emergency or extenuating circumstance. Remember, you are traveling halfway around the world and all travelers need “mad money.” You should also make sure that you have several financial options: credit cards, cash and ATM cards. Do NOT rely on one card, as you will be without funds if it does not work for any reason.

    e. Credit cards usually give you the best exchange rate. Use them for weekend hotels, shopping, restaurants, etc. BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME, PLEASE TELL YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY THAT YOU WILL BE IN ISRAEL AND GIVE THEM THE CORRECT DATES.

    f. Your weekend activities and any admissions to museums are your responsibility. Accommodation at Sar-El’s hostel in Tel Aviv/Yafo on the weekends is free, subject to availability.

  • Required Identification and Documentation
    Required Identification and Documentation

    Required Identification and Documentation

    Required Identification and Documentation

    Bring three (3) copies of your Application documents including: Medical form, Waiver form, passport, and travel health insurance card or policy.

  • Telephones, Mail, and E-mail
    Telephones, Mail, and E-mail

    Telephones, Mail, and E-mail

    Telephones, Mail, and E-mail

    a. THERE IS A PHONE COUNTER AT THE AIRPORT FOR RENTALS AND PURCHASES OF PHONES AND SIM CARDS. THIS IS OPERATED BY ISRAEL PHONES, FEATURED BELOW.

    Phone companies that will deliver a phone to you before you leave your home include:

    Amigo cell phones: www.amigo-us.com/sar-el

    (US) 1-888-264-4687

    (Israel) 057-277-2001

    Talk-n-Save cell phones: www.talknsave.net/groups/sel-100.asp

    Israel Phones: (In the US) 1-800-721-111

    info@israelphones.com

    www.israelphones.com

    b. Telephone cards, local and international long distance, may be purchased at the Israel airport, post offices and various business locations.

    c. Stamps can be purchased at the airport and post offices.

    d. To call the U.S. using Israeli telephone cards: dial 012 or 013 or 014 to get international service, then 1, area code, and number. This is cheaper than using a long distance telephone card, but of course you can always use your Sprint or AT&T, etc.

    e. Internet cafes are located in most cities. You cannot use the internet while on the bases (no laptops, iphones, etc.)

  • Health, Safety, and Security
    Health, Safety, and Security

    Health, Safety, and Security

    a. Heed the advice of your madrichim (soldier guides), i.e. the right taxis to take, areas not to visit, etc.

    b. ALWAYS carry and drink plenty of water.

    c. When writing or speaking to friends, NEVER mention name of base. You can say “We are near Ashkelon” or “in the Galilee.”

    d. Trip Insurance options in the U.S.:

    · International Medical Group 1-800-628-4664

    · Trip Protection 1-800-284-8300

    · Travel Guard 1-800-826-1300

  • Weekend Activities and Transportation
    Weekend Activities and Transportation

    Weekend Activities and Transportation

    Your weekend activities and any admissions to museums are your responsibility. Make sure you always ask for Sar-El discounts; show your Sar-El ID card (you’ll get this at your base). Many museums, hotels, & tourists sites give discounts (e.g. Masada is ½ price).

    b. Taxis – Hire only cabs clearly marked with yellow license plates registered in Israel. Ask for the meter or negotiate a rate upon entering.

    c. “Sheruts” are vans similar to taxis. They follow the same routes as buses in the cities & have the same numbers as the buses. They are the same prices as buses (sometimes less), but do not have as many stops. They also travel between cities and often are more comfortable.

    d. Pick up a weekly guide from a hotel for information on what’s going on in Israel while you’re here. It includes info on museums and sites. You can also get maps from the hotels.

    e. Your madrichot have information regarding hotels and rates.

    f. Keep your bus and train tickets until the end of your ride – you need your train ticket to exit the station.

    g. Travel to certain areas is not permitted while on the Sar-El Program. You must have permission from Sar-El for weekend travel. Egypt (including Sinai) and Jordan (including Petra) are off limits during the program.

  • Weekend Tours
    Weekend Tours

    Weekend Tours

    Sar-El can provide you with information about tours on the weekends provided at a substantial discount to Sar-El volunteers. Please contact the program coordinator, Pamela Lazarus for complete details.

  • Feedback
    Feedback

    Feedback

    Have a great trip. When you return home, speak at your synagogues, organizations, community events about your “tour of duty” – spread the word about Sar-El. If you want to be a Sar-El Associate, let me know.

    Please send us your comments and suggestions about your Sar-El experience – positive and negative.

    Please feel free to contact me while you’re in Israel:
    Pamela Lazarus, Program Coordinator

    052-821-9945

    e-mail: pamela@sar-el.org

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