Are you allowed to bring a computer?
Yes, you are allowed to bring laptops. There is a fast internet connection in all the apartments. We encourage its use for emails, contacting family and friends, and research for classes. We expect that the students will take upon themselves the responsibility to use this privilege properly.
Are there additional costs for the social worker?
No, the social worker is available to all participants at no additional cost.
Will the madrichim be living in the same apartment complex? floor?
Madrichim may live in the same building (not the same apartment), or live in an apartment nearby.
Where do the students go for holidays?
Students who have friends/family in Israel are welcome to visit those people; those who do not have people to visit can be set up with host families.
How much money do the students get for food (per week)?
Each apartment is given a stipend card that has enough money for the people in the apartment to make all meals and, usually, to have extra $ so that they can go out for dinner with friends, buy special things for their apartments, etc.
During free shabatot and vacation do the kids have to leave the Shalem apartment? Can they stay in on a free Shabbat?
Students can absolutely stay in their apartments during Shabbatot and many take advantage of that opportunity to host meals, etc.
Regarding tzniut, can you please elaborate on the dress code (for young ladies)?
All participants are expected to dress modestly; young ladies are allowed to wear pants, but nothing that is tight-fitted or short. Similarly, students are allowed to wear short-sleeves, but not tank-tops, etc.
What can you tell me about the Poland trip?
Kuma is an optional program offered in late Feb/early March for students who want to spend approx. 1 week in Poland, learning about the Holocaust. There is an additional cost for Kuma and registration information will be sent out once the program begins.
How long is the program (when does it start/end)?
Shalem lasts for a period of nine months. It starts usually in the first week of September and ends in late May/early June. Those students who sign up for Olami will start one week earlier so as to accommodate their first international (outside of Israel) trip.
What is included in the cost of Shalem?
Accommodations, meals, medical care, academic courses, and field trips. The additional cost for Olami includes round trip airfare between Tel Aviv and each of the Olami track destinations, accommodations and meals in each country, preparatory weekend seminars prior to each trip.
Are scholarships available? How do I apply?
Yes, many scholarship opportunities (such as MASA amd Hadassah, etc.) are available. Please visit the scholarship tab for more information. We encourage you to contact your local Jewish Federation, synagogue, and any other local organizations (including non-Jewish ones) which might have money to give.
I can’t afford to pay by the deadlines. Can I pay in installments?
Yes, we do make arrangements for payment plans when absolutely necessary. You may contact the Shalem Registrar at Shalem@youngjudaea.org to discuss options.
Can my daughter earn college credit while on Shalem?
Yes. Most Shalem students have the opportunity to earn up to a year’s worth of college credits. The academic program is supervised by American Jewish University (AJU), located in Los Angeles, CA, and accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Shalem applicants wishing to earn credits while on Shalem must submit an official high school transcript as part of their Shalem application. The minimum GPA required for eligibility to earn credits on Shalem is 2.0. Acceptance to Shalem is not based on acceptance to AJU in Israel. One can participate in Shalem without earning credits.
Are the credits transferable to a college here in the US?
This depends on the college the student goes on to attend after Shalem. Many Shalem participants have been able to transfer some or all of the credit they received while on Shalem to their universities. Applicants should check with each university to which they are applying and ask what their policy is, since each school is different. Applicants can show the universities the academic course descriptions located on the Shalem website.
Is Marva really the Army?
No. Marva is not considered actual army service. Marva is a program sponsored by the Israeli Army and the Jewish Agency for Israel which consists of two months of advanced gadna (a simulated basic-training program run by the education branch of the IDF). Some components of Marva include: hikes and marches, navigation, weapons training, simulated combat conditions, and studying the history of the IDF.
What is the housing like throughout the year?
Living with roommates in an apartment will be a new experience for many Shalem students and will help each student to develop life skills that will serve him/her well in Israel and in life after Shalem! While on Kibbutz Yavneh, they live among the community there. In Jerusalem, participants live in apartment-like suites where participants receive a stipend for their food, keep a kosher kitchen, and share responsibility for cooking meals with their roommates. All apartments are single-sex and boys and girls live in separate buildings.
My daughter has Attention Deficit Disorder and is on medication. Will she be able to get it in Israel?
Whenever possible, participants should bring a year’s supply of medication with them. In this specific case, it is not possible to fill a year’s supply in advance. Therefore, she will need to bring a prescription from her doctor, including the generic name of the drug. She may need to see a doctor in Israel to get a prescription that will be honored by Israeli pharmacies. It is important to note that the cost will not be covered by the Shalem insurance, so she will need to be prepared to pay. Alternatively, if friends or family are planning on visiting during the year, they can bring refills of the prescription with them. Participants or parents should check with their physician and insurance company in regard to specific drugs being available in Israel.
What happens during free time? Is staff available just in case?
During free weekends and vacations, there is always a staff member on call. Also, at the beginning of the year, all participants receive materials with the emergency contact information for staff members and are told how to reach a staff person in an emergency. All participants must have a cell phone.
I am an Israeli citizen. Can my son go on the program without getting drafted by the Israeli Army?
Yes, previous participants in this situation have done so by contacting the local Israel consulate and requesting a year-long deferral from the army. (Find your local consulate by visiting www.mfa.gov.il)
It is our understanding that Israeli law states that children born to Israeli citizens are automatically Israeli citizens, even if only one parent is Israeli and even if those children are not born in Israel. If a Shalem participant has Israeli citizenship, it is essential that s/he obtain the year-long deferment from military service as well as a valid Israeli passport prior to departure. Israeli citizens should be aware that they cannot stay in the country for more than 12 months without endangering their future immigrant rights if they should choose to move to Israel.
Compliance with applicable laws is the responsibility of the participant, and while the information above is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, participants should consult with their own advisors, as Shalem cannot accept responsibility for the sufficiency of this information or for its applicability in any particular situation.