1) Who is eligible?
Applicants for an Israel Program Scholarship are:
In eighth grade or older, with a permanent address in the five-county Greater Philadelphia area. These counties include Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia. In addition, students who attend Jewish Day School in Greater Philadelphia but live outside of the five-county area may apply for aid for their day school sponsored Israel trip.
Those who identify as Jewish.
Those who plan to participate in an approved Israel program for a minimum of 10 days. A list of programs in which previous award recipients have participated is at the end of these FAQs. If your program is not listed, let us know and we will determine if the program will qualify.
2) How much assistance might I receive?
Those who are full-time college students or younger at the time of the program and not self-supporting (i.e. they can be claimed as a dependent on a parent/guardian tax return), are eligible for a maximum scholarship of $3000 for a long-term program (3 weeks or more) or $1500 for a short-term program (up to 3 weeks). Those over 23, or who have graduated from college, are eligible for a maximum scholarship of $1000 for a short-term program or $2000 for a long-term program.
A maximum award will not exceed 50% of the cost of program (exclusive of travel and other costs).
Eligible expenses include the tuition or cost of an organized program. Housing and transportation are not considered program costs for this purpose. Eligible programs include formal Israel experiences through an approved provider or an approved program of study. IPSAF is not used for expenses associated with independent travel or Aliyah.
3) Is there an application deadline?
Applications are considered as we receive them and while funds remain. Prospective applicants, therefore, are encouraged to apply early in the year. (Our fiscal year is September through August.)
4) What documentation do I need?
At the time of application, we ask for your most recent federal tax return and a W-2 for each Parent/Guardian. When you are approved for a scholarship, we will request a copy of the Israel program provider’s invoice.
5) If approved, when and how do I receive the scholarship?
Financial awards are sent directly to the program provider. We advise award recipients to expect that payment may take up to 90 days to be received. This is because of multiple transactions associated with international payments and the multiple financial controls we have in place. While this takes time, it also ensures that funds are utilized and allocated as intended. We do notify the provider that payment is being sent.
6) Why do you need personal and financial information?
IPSAF is made possible by the generosity of donors to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and funding is limited. We make every effort to be fair and equitable with the limited dollars available for this purpose. Consequently, we take financial need into account in order to assist those with greater need. We are careful to see that the Fund is used as it was designed, that is to allow as many people as we can who might otherwise not have the chance to participate in organized programs designed to strengthen Jewish identity and knowledge.
7) Why do you ask about parent/guardian country of origin? Why do you ask about parent/guardian Jewish identification? Is this information used to determine eligibility?
Many local families have members who were born outside of the United States: in Israel, in the Former Soviet Union, in South Africa and elsewhere. Many of our program applications ask for this in order for us to combine the information and determine whether we are reaching all segments of our community, or if some of our services more than others are of interest to parts of our community. This is also true of interfaith households.
This information helps Jewish Federation plan and assess our services. It is not used to determine eligibility for scholarship aid.
8) How many Jewish Federation Israel scholarships may one person receive?
An individual may receive up to two Israel program scholarships for two different Israel experiences in non-consecutive years. The Jewish Federation reserves the right to determine whether a specific program qualifies a participant for assistance.