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 offering the following REALITY journeys in 2020: Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Revolve, Socrates, Sports, Storytellers, Taste, Tech and Women. A full list of descriptions and dates can be found here.
For Revolve, Socrates and Women, the application and selection process is unique to that journey and different than the other journeys. If you are interested in one of these three journeys, please refer to the individual journey page for information regarding the recruitment process and logistical information.
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, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies 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 Schusterman Family Philanthropies' local work in Israel.
Who Should Apply for REALITY*
*Please note: Applications are now closed for Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Sports, Storytellers, Taste and Tech. If you are interested in Revolve, Socrates or Women, please refer to those individual journey pages.
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 someone apply for REALITY if they've participated in other Schusterman programs (e.g. ROI Community and Schusterman Fellows)?
REALITY is an entry point into Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies 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.
Can someone apply if they've 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.
Can someone apply if their spouse, partner or sibling participated on REALITY?
We are aiming to reach a wide network of people from all backgrounds and communities. Therefore, we do not encourage spouses, partners or siblings to apply but they will still be considered if they meet the above criteria.
How to Apply for REALITY
What’s the application process timeline?
Applications are now closed for Creatives, Impact, Music, Pride, Sports, Storytellers, Taste and Tech. If you are interested in Revolve, Socrates or Women, please refer to those individual journey pages.
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.
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].
I referred someone for a REALITY journey. How will I know if they've been accepted?
Selections will be made on a rolling basis and all applicants will hear from us by March 2020. REALITY alumni will be able to check the status of their applicants starting in February. More information to come.
What to Know About Your REALITY Journey
I have been accepted on a journey. What are the next steps?
Congratulations on your acceptance! Please make sure to complete the registration and travel forms by the assigned deadlined, as well as 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.
What is included with the registration fee?
The highly subsidized registration fee of $1,180 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.
If I have to withdraw from a journey, can the registration fee be refunded?
Unfortunately, the registration fee is non-refundable and cannot be transferred to a different REALITY participant or used another year.
If I have to withdraw from a journey, can I defer my acceptance to next year?
We cannot automatically defer acceptance to a future journey but you can reapply.
Is there a way that I can connect with other participants before the journey starts?
Of course! About a month before the journey you will receive an email with an invitation to join your REALITY journey-specific WhatsApp group and we highly encourage you to connect with other members of your cohort.
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.
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 Do Flights and Insurance Work?
How does the flight process work?
REALITY partners with a travel agent to book participants’ flights to and from Israel. 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.
Am I responsible for any flight costs?
Ideally, no. If you complete your travel form by the deadline and are flying on a group flight coach class ticket, you will not incur any flight costs. Additional fees may be incurred if your travel form submission is late or if you plan to arrive early/depart late from Israel, change your flight at the last minute, or do not fly on the group flight. The travel agent will communicate these costs with you prior to booking.
I want to extend my time in Israel (before/after) REALITY. What should I do?
After completing your registration you will receive a travel form that allows you to make a request to extend your stay in Israel. The travel agent will communicate any additional costs with you prior to booking. Please note that you will be responsible for your own accommodations as well as any transportation in Israel prior to the start of the journey and after the journey ends.
I need to return to a different destination from where I departed for REALITY. How can I make those arrangements?
If you are traveling during the time of REALITY or you need to return to a different destination for any reason, you need to communicate these plans to the travel agent via the travel form you fill out. The travel agent will then communicate any additional costs with you prior to booking.
I want to make a last-minute change to my flight. Is it possible?
We strongly encourage participants to finalize flight arrangements with the travel agent as soon as possible. Additional fees may be incurred by the changes, which you will be responsible for.
Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?
US citizens do not need a visa. If you are traveling from outside the US, please check visa requirements at your local Israel consulate as soon as you have been accepted on a REALITY journey to ensure you are able to obtain any documents necessary to travel to Israel. REALITY is able to provide you with proof of the invitation and other relevant documents you may need to obtain the visa, however, we are not able to go on your behalf to a government office in Israel.
My passport expires in less than 6 months from the start of the experience. Do I need to renew?
You must renew your passport if it expires less than 6 months from the start of the experience, even if it’s by a single day.
Does REALITY cover travel health insurance?
Participants are responsible for providing their own medical insurance coverage while on the REALITY journey. Prior to traveling, please confirm with your health insurance provider that you are adequately covered for the duration of the journey, including travel days. You are also responsible for ensuring you have received all immunizations recommended by your health care provider for this journey.