Have questions about REALITY? We have the answers! Below you'll find responses to frequently asked questions regarding our journeys, referral and application process and more.
What is REALITY?
REALITY is a week-long leadership journey in Israel that gathers highly influential thinkers and trailblazers. Participants engage in an intensive, thoughtfully curated itinerary designed to elevate their leadership and ignite their ambition to change the world. They develop deep friendships and partnerships with peers from across the globe, while exploring Israeli culture, history and society as a platform for understanding complexities in their own communities and industries.
What REALITY journeys are you offering this year?
We are currently recruiting for the following REALITY journeys: Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Sports, Storytellers, Taste, and Tech. A full list of descriptions and dates can be found here.
Recruitment for REALITY Socrates and REALITY Women will be launched separately as they are by invitation only. Recruitment for REALITY Revolve will be announced at a later date. If someone is interested in applying for Revolve, they can click here to be notified when applications open.
What is the REALITY community?
The REALITY community is made up of highly influential and award-winning thinkers, doers and leaders who have participated in a REALITY journey. The community of over 2,200 includes representation from the world’s most pioneering industries and organizations, including the arts, tech, social good, sports and beyond.
Why does REALITY take place in Israel?
For over 30 years, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation has been committed to building deeper knowledge, appreciation of and connection to Israel and to strengthening the social fabric of this diverse and entrepreneurial nation.
Despite the many challenges it faces, Israel continues to be a source of inspiration and learning for those who know its history and the principles and values upon which it was founded, including democracy, freedom of expression and progress through innovation.
Through programs like REALITY, we help to build understanding of and ties to Israel by offering transformative opportunities for leaders in an array of innovative fields to visit the country and discover its vibrant culture, history, land and people. REALITY explores Israel as a prism of complexity, one whose many interwoven stories, successes and challenges provide an ideal environment for engaging with the most pressing questions our world faces today.
The REALITY experience presents multiple, often competing narratives and perspectives on the historical, social and political realities on the ground. It is our hope that the influential leaders we bring to Israel through REALITY feel motivated by their experiences and the connections they make on their journeys to reflect on the values that guide their leadership and to spark positive change in the world.
Learn more about the Schusterman Foundation's local work in Israel.
Who Should Apply for REALITY
What are the selection criteria for being accepted on a REALITY journey?
REALITY participants are acclaimed leaders in their field with demonstrated ability to transform their industries, while using their talents to create change in their communities.
The ideal REALITY candidate is:
- A leader in their field who has demonstrated remarkable accomplishments in their industry:
- Inspirational executives, groundbreaking entrepreneurs, social movement leaders, or artists or creators with global acclaim.
- Professionals who have been recognized for their work via industry awards, prestigious fellowships, highly visible media features, etc.
- People who serve as mentors and supervisors and are admired in their industries.
- Driven to spark positive change.
- Between the ages of 25 and 45.
- Representative of a wide range of cultural backgrounds and life experiences.
- Interested, but does not yet have a strong personal and/or professional connection to Israel, and has a desire to learn more about or build a connection with Judaism and the Jewish people.
- Embracing of our Core Values and Code of Conduct.
- Fluent in English, as all programming will be conducted in English.
Building geographic density enables our community to self-organize and collaborate. There is a primary focus on growing our hubs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, London, Mexico City, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, DC and sustaining our hubs in New York City and Los Angeles.
Can I apply for REALITY if I’ve participated in other Schusterman programs (e.g. ROI Community and Schusterman Fellows)?
REALITY is an entry point into the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation network. In the interest of bringing in fresh and new voices, past or present participants of other Schusterman programs (e.g. ROI Community and Schusterman Fellows) are ineligible to apply.
REALITY is looking for people who have "demonstrated remarkable accomplishment." What does that mean?
We're looking for thinkers, doers and leaders. Wow us with the organizations you’ve started, causes you’ve advocated for and initiatives you have elevated.
I was waitlisted last year. Can I apply this year?
If you have previously applied or been referred but not accepted, you are still eligible to apply.
Please note applicants who do reapply should be able to exemplify professional growth and additional accomplishments in this year’s application.
I was accepted for a 2019 journey but withdrew. Can I apply this year?
Yes. Please check the dates and journey descriptions and then send an email as soon as possible to [email protected] (deadline of December 2) with the journey in which you want to reapply. Please note that reapplying after withdrawing last year does not guarantee acceptance.
Can I apply if I have been to Israel before?
We are looking for leaders in their industries who don't yet have a strong connection to Israel and priority will be given to those who have not been to Israel before, or have not spent extensive time in Israel.
How to Apply for REALITY
How do I apply?
You can apply for REALITY through a unique application link from a REALITY community member or staff referral.
Please note the application process for REALITY journeys is highly competitive. As interest grows each year, we anticipate a large volume of applications, including for the 2020 journey season. Once received, applications are thoughtfully reviewed, but with limited spots, an application does not guarantee you will be accepted to participate in a journey.
I received an application for REALITY. What do I do now?
Please make sure to complete the application using the link you received. The deadline to apply is Monday, December 2, at 11:59pm EST but we HIGHLY encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as this is a highly competitive process and we’ll be accepting applications on a rolling basis.
If I received an application link for REALITY, does that mean I will be automatically accepted?
Being referred for REALITY does not mean you will be automatically accepted. The link gives you access to the application. Acceptance to a REALITY journey is highly competitive and based on the strength of your application and meeting the criteria listed above.
I received application links from more than one person. What do I do?
Please complete the application using only one of the application links you received. We recommend notifying both of the people who referred you so they know which link you are using.
I can’t decide which journey to apply for. What should I do?
If you feel that you are eligible for more than one REALITY journey, please select the journey that you believe best fits your skills and professional experiences. Candidates are paired with journeys based on their industry expertise rather than their interests. If we feel you are a better fit for a different journey than that which you applied, we will email you. More specific information on REALITY journeys can be found here.
I am having technical difficulties with the application. Who can I email?
Please email [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
What’s the application process timeline?
Applications are now open until Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11:59pm EST, however, we encourage applicants to submit their materials as soon as possible, as acceptances are on a rolling basis.
What is the timeline for hearing back once I apply?
The application review process is extensive and holistic, with a great deal of time invested in thoughtfully reading each application. It can take up to a few months for the selection committee to review the applications and notify applicants of their selection status. All applicants will be notified by March 2020.
If I am accepted for a 2020 journey, what are the next steps?
Once accepted for a 2020 journey, you will be responsible for completing registration and travel forms by the assigned deadlines, as well as paying the highly subsidized registration fee. Please note that in order to ensure participants get the full transformative REALITY experience, you must join the journey from the beginning to end and cannot arrive late or leave early.
I can't find the answer to my question(s). Who can I contact?
If you have questions about our journeys application process or any other general inquiries and you cannot find the answer in our FAQ section, please send an email to [email protected].
If I’m accepted on a journey, is there a registration fee and what’s included?
There is a highly subsidized registration fee of $1,180 for the journey, which includes a round trip plane ticket (within the parameters outlined on the travel form you will receive), hotel accommodations with one roommate, 3 meals per day, coach transport, activities and more. Your registration fee for the REALITY experience includes a sum dedicated to offsetting the environmental impact of your international travel and journey while in Israel. REALITY invests that sum in carbon reduction projects, in order to mitigate unavoidable carbon emissions caused by travel and reduce our carbon footprint.
How physically rigorous is the journey?
REALITY includes an intensive, thoughtfully developed itinerary of speakers, activities and experiences with little downtime. The group is on the move from morning until night. Many of the activities are outside with fairly high temperatures, as well as some hiking and long bus rides. Please note that in order to ensure participants get the full transformative REALITY experience, you must join the journey from the beginning to end and cannot arrive late or leave early.
How does the flight process work?
REALITY partners with a travel agent to book participants’ flights to and from Israel and participants should not book their own flights. Every journey has an international group flight that departs from JFK or Newark airport and US-based participants are expected to fly on the group flight. Detailed travel information will be sent upon acceptance and completing registration for the journey.
Can I arrive after the program begins or depart before it officially ends?
Due to the nature of the experience, you will not be able to arrive after the group flight lands in Israel or leave before the group flight departs Israel. Each aspect of the program is crucial to the experience, which is why we do not make exceptions, as it would significantly impact your journey experience.
I have severe allergies. Are you able to accommodate?
In an effort to be inclusive and sensitive to our participants’ needs, we do our best to accommodate allergies throughout the journey experience. When an allergy is shared with our team, we gather as much information as possible from the participant(s) so we can notify and prepare our travel partner and vendors in advance of the group’s arrival. If accepted, it is important that you share this information with us as early as possible so we can do our best to make reasonable accommodations. As you can imagine, REALITY journeys are a dynamic environment, and we often visit locations that are not under our direct supervision.
As it relates to food allergies in particular, REALITY and restaurant staff double-check ingredients with food vendors and restaurants at each location throughout the experience and help participants identify the foods they are allowed to eat or any meals that were specially prepared.
However, since we do not prepare the meals ourselves, we are unable to guarantee that allergy-related requests are fully implemented and that the meals provided haven’t come into contact with the allergy-causing food(s) or ingredient(s). Restaurants and food vendors in Israel are often less knowledgeable than their North American counterparts about accommodations for severe food allergies, especially as it relates to cross-contamination. Therefore, it is important for participants to also do their own double-checking with both REALITY and restaurant staff. To help with this, we can provide an allergy card written in English and Hebrew to share when necessary.
In addition, we highly recommend participants with allergies obtain comprehensive medical insurance and speak with your doctor about what to bring and any relevant information you should know (e.g., to bring a minimum of four EpiPens).
How to Refer For REALITY
How do I refer someone to apply for REALITY?
If you are part of the REALITY community (i.e. a past REALITY participant), you can log into your member page on the Schusterman Foundation website to access a unique application link (found under the My Tasks tab on your profile), which up to three people can use to apply for a journey. Please make sure to review the REALITY criteria as you consider your referrals. Once someone you have referred submits an application, you will receive a notification and will be asked to complete a short form about your referral.
Please note: we are expecting a high volume of applications for the 2020 journey season. There is no guarantee that your referrals will be selected for a REALITY journey.
Can I refer my spouse/partner/sibling?
To help us reach a wide network of people from all backgrounds and communities, we do not encourage past REALITY participants to refer spouses, partners or siblings. If, however, these referrals meet the above criteria, we will consider their applications. There is no guarantee that your referrals will be selected for a REALITY journey.
How many people can I refer?
Your application link can be redeemed by up to three applicants. You can refer candidates for the following 2020 REALITY journeys - Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Sports, Storytellers, Taste and Tech - based on their skills and professional accomplishments; just make sure to limit yourself to three referrals maximum. We encourage you to consider candidates for different journeys. Please make sure to send them your unique application link which can be accessed through your member login on the Schusterman website.
Can I refer someone I don’t know personally but think would make a fantastic addition to the REALITY community?
Yes, please do! If you don’t have any connection to that person, please email us at [email protected] and we will work together on getting in touch with them.
Can I only refer someone for the REALITY vertical in which I participated?
You can refer candidates for any of the following 2020 REALITY journeys: Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Sports, Storytellers, Taste, and Tech. Your referral will be able to select which journey they are applying for on the application.
If one of my referrals isn’t available for a 2020 journey, can I send the link to someone else?
Yes, you can have up to three candidates redeem your referral code and apply for a journey in 2020.
I don’t know my referral code. What is it?
No worries! This year, we are not using referral codes to apply, rather, you have received a unique application link to send to up to three applicants, which can be accessed using your member login on the Schusterman Foundation website. Click here to log in and get started.
How should I invite my referrals to apply?
We recommend first reaching out via email or phone to your referral to gauge their interest in REALITY (and explain to them why they should want to apply). Once they indicate an interest you can send them the application link found via the Schusterman login. Sample language can be found under My Tasks on your member profile. Please make sure to follow up with them until they apply. You will be notified via email when someone has completed an application with your referral link.
Can I just send my referral code to someone who is interested?
Each REALITY journey is carefully curated for a dynamic group of highly influential industry leaders. The application process is highly competitive and only a select few applicants are accepted for each journey. Your application link can only be redeemed three times and therefore we recommend you only send it to candidates who meet the criteria listed above and who will be a strong fit for REALITY.
I am having trouble logging into my member page on the Schusterman Foundation website.
Make sure you enter the email address to which you receive REALITY updates. If you do not have a password, or are unsure of your password, click “Request new password.” You should then receive an email with instructions for updating your password. If you do not see a message from us (and you've checked your spam folder), please contact [email protected] for assistance.
What happens if my referral was waitlisted or rejected in the past?
Any candidate who has previously applied or been referred but not accepted is still eligible to be included as one of your three referrals. If someone has not been accepted in the past, please note that they should be able to demonstrate growth and additional accomplishments in this year’s application.
What is the deadline for my referrals applying for REALITY?
All applications must be submitted by Monday, December 2, 2019. The application review process is extensive and holistic, with a great deal of time invested in thoughtfully reading each application. Though it is a rolling application process, we highly encourage applicants to submit their application as soon as possible. It can take up to a few months for the selection committee to review the applications and notify applicants of their selection status. All applicants will be notified by March 2020.
What happens if my referral was accepted last year but had to withdraw?
Please ask them to check the dates and journey descriptions for 2020 and then send an email to [email protected] as early as possible with the journey for which they want to reapply; the application deadline is Monday, December 2, 2019. If they choose to reapply, their application will not count towards one of your 3 referrals. Please note that there is not a guaranteed acceptance if they withdrew last year.
How will I know if my referral was selected to apply?
You will be able to check the status of your referrals by logging into the Schusterman website. Selections will be made on a rolling basis and all applicants will hear from us by March 2020.