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.

About REALITY
What to Know About Your REALITY Journey
How Do Flights and Insurance Work
COVID-19 FAQs
Checklist

About REALITY

What is REALITY?

REALITY brings inspiring changemakers on a formative journey to Israel to strengthen their leadership, to ignite their passion for repairing the world, and to deepen their understanding of and connection to a unique and complex country, Israel. 

REALITY’s week-long journeys are curated for leaders who work in a range of industries at the forefront of societal innovation—from media to technology, food to wellness, design to social impact. Through an intensive, thoughtfully tailored itinerary, participants engage with Israel’s storied history, diverse society, and rich culture, while deepening their leadership skills and developing partnerships with peers from across the globe.

REALITY participants go beyond headlines and soundbites to explore firsthand Israel’s many interwoven stories, successes, and challenges that offer a lens for engaging with the most pressing questions our world faces. Every REALITY journey presents multiple—and often competing—narratives and perspectives on the historical, social, and political realities on the ground, as participants hear from many of the people and communities that comprise Israel’s diverse society—Jewish, Arab, Palestinian, Ethiopian, LGBTQ+ and more. 

Following their REALITY journey, all participants become a part of the REALITY community, a network of more than 2,200 global changemakers who have participated in a REALITY Israel journey and are applying lessons learned and lasting connections from Israel to make a deeper impact through their work. 

REALITY is an initiative of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, which strives for a future in which the United States and Israel live up to their highest ideals and achieve more just and inclusive societies.

Read more on our About REALITY page

Why does REALITY take place in Israel?

For more than 30 years, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies has invested in building deeper knowledge of and support for Israel, as well as in strengthening Israel as a secure homeland for the Jewish people, a thriving democracy and an inclusive civil society. Through programs such as REALITY, Schusterman offers transformative opportunities for leaders in an array of fields to deepen their leadership skills and their understanding of Israel and the surrounding region while immersing themselves in its vibrant culture, complex history and diverse society.

REALITY participants go beyond headlines and soundbites to explore Israel’s many interwoven stories, successes and challenges that offer a lens for engaging with the most pressing questions our world faces. Every REALITY journey presents multiple—and often competing—narratives and perspectives on the historical, social and political realities on the ground, as participants hear from many of the people and communities that comprise Israel’s diverse society, including Jewish, Arab, Palestinians, Ethiopian, LGBTQ+, multiple faiths and more.

REALITY journeys reflect Schusterman’s belief that by grappling with difficult questions firsthand and engaging substantively with a wide range of stories, histories and perspectives, we can strengthen our abilities to foster dialogue across differences, seek shared solutions to complex issues and be part of shaping a better reality.

We hope that the influential leaders we bring to Israel through REALITY are inspired by their REALITY experience to reflect on the values that guide their leadership and spark positive change in the world. 

What work does Schusterman do connected to Israel?

Schusterman Family Philanthropies invests in Israel as a secure homeland for the Jewish people, a thriving democracy and an inclusive civil society that cares for its most vulnerable. In the U.S., we support efforts to build deeper understanding of Israel through education and first-hand experience. You can read more about our Israel Grantmaking work and our Israel Education and Engagement focus area

What REALITY journeys are you offering this year?

We are offering the following REALITY journeys in 2022: 

  • REALITY Creatives 
  • REALITY Impact 
  • REALITY Music 
  • REALITY Pride 
  • REALITY Sports 
  • REALITY Storytellers 
  • REALITY Taste 
  • REALITY Tech 
  • REALITY Women  

View a full list of descriptions and dates 

If I was accepted to a REALITY journey that was canceled due to COVID-19, do I need to reapply for a 2022 journey?

All accepted participants for our postponed 2020 journeys have priority for our 2022 journeys and do not need to reapply. To reserve your spot:

  1. Complete the interest survey. All accepted 2020 participants received an email in early November with the dates for our 2022 REALITY Journeys and a survey to share participation availability.
  2. Complete your registration. Once you complete the interest survey by January 5, 2022, our team will send a registration form. Completion of the registration form and payment of the highly subsidized registration fee of $1,180 confirms your spot on your REALITY Israel journey.
  3. Complete your travel form. You will receive a travel form once we receive your registration form and registration fee.

Please email [email protected] if you are a 2020 accepted participant and did not receive the interest survey or have any questions about how to reserve your spot.


What to Know About Your REALITY Journey

What is included with the registration fee?  

The highly subsidized registration fee of $1,180 includes a round-trip, coach-class plane ticket (within the parameters outlined on the travel form you will receive), single room hotel accommodations, three 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 to mitigate unavoidable carbon emissions caused by travel and reduce the journey’s carbon footprint. 

If I have to withdraw from a journey, can the registration fee be refunded?

No. Unfortunately, the registration fee is non-refundable and cannot be transferred to a different REALITY participant or used another year. 

However, should cancellation be due to the following COVID-19 cases, registration will be refunded in full:*

  • You contract COVID-19 less than a month prior to departure  
  • You test positive on the PCR or antigen test required to board your flight  
  • REALITY is unable to run your trip due to new Covid travel restrictions 

*Any other COVID-19 related cancellations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  

If I have to withdraw from a journey, can I defer my acceptance to next year?

No. 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?

Yes! We highly encourage you to connect with other members of your cohort. About a month before the journey, you will receive an email with an invitation to join a WhatsApp group for your journey’s participants.  

How physically rigorous is the journey?

The REALITY experience 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 and include some hiking and long bus rides.

While the REALITY experience is physically rigorous, REALITY strives to accommodate individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. Please be in touch with us via [email protected] if you have any questions specific to your needs.

I have severe allergies. Are you able to accommodate?

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 accommodation.  

While REALITY journeys often visit locations not under our direct supervision, we do inform all food vendors and restaurants at each location throughout the experience of any allergies and/or food restrictions and ask that they abide by them. However, since we do not prepare the meals ourselves, we are unable to guarantee that allergy-related requests are fully implemented. 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. 

To help, we can provide an allergy card written in English and Hebrew to share when necessary (please ask for this if interested). If you have food-related allergies, we also recommend that you:  

  • Do your own double-checking with both REALITY and restaurant staff.
  • Obtain comprehensive medical insurance. 
  • Speak with your doctor about what to bring.  
I can't find the answer to my question(s). Who can I contact?  

If you have questions about our journey application process or any other general inquiries and you cannot find the answer in our FAQ section, please send an email to [email protected] 


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 U.S.-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?

No. Participants must join the journey for its entirety and cannot arrive late or leave early. We do not make exceptions because each aspect of the program is crucial to your REALITY 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 you submit your travel form after the deadline, plan to extend your time in 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. 

Please note: For REALITY Women and REALITY Pride there is no group flight but the procedure to book your flight and conditions will be the same as described above.

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 or 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 need to return to a different destination for any reason, communicate these plans to the travel agent via the travel form. The travel agent will then communicate any additional costs with you before booking. 

Can I make a last-minute change to my flight?

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?

U.S. citizens do not need a visa. If you are traveling from outside the U.S., please check visa requirements with your local Israel consulate as soon as you have been accepted on a REALITY journey to ensure you can obtain any documents necessary to travel to Israel. We can provide you with proof of the REALITY invitation and other relevant documents you may need to obtain the visa. We cannot, however, go on your behalf to a government office in Israel or otherwise. 

My passport expires in less than six months from the start of the experience. Do I need to renew?

Yes. You must renew your passport if it expires less than six months from the start of your REALITY Israel journey. 

Is travel insurance required?

While standard travel insurance is not required, it is mandatory by Israeli law that all travelers arriving in Israel must obtain an insurance policy with coverage for medical treatment of COVID-19. Although you will not be asked to show proof of travel medical insurance, we strongly encourage participants to secure travel medical insurance to protect themselves from the unexpected costs associated with receiving medical care in a foreign country or having to alter your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Participants are responsible for the cost of their own travel and medical insurance coverage while on a REALITY journey.  

Please ensure that your travel medical insurance covers medical treatment of COVID-19, particularly we suggest the following: 

  • Hospitalization due to COVID-19 
  • Emergency evacuation in case you are infected with COVID-19 and cannot be admitted to an appropriate hospital in Israel due to overcrowded hospitals  
  • Repatriation in case of death / funeral expenses in the case of death due to COVID-19 
  • Flight rearrangement after a Hospitalized COVID-19 infection  
  • Accommodation payment in the case of a COVID-19 diagnosis and need to isolate 

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. Your insurance must also include coverage for medical treatment of COVID-19. 

If you do not have an insurance company that you work with, below are a few examples of companies you can contact: 


COVID-19 FAQs

The information below reflects the current COVID-19 related travel restrictions disseminated by the Israeli ministry of tourism and health (updated on June 23, 2022). These are highly dynamic and continually subject to change, and we will update these if changes to the restrictions are made.  

Before Departure:

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Israel? 

Yes. All participants attending a REALITY Israel journey must attest to being vaccinated to book their travel and provide proof of their vaccination upon request. Participants must have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (two doses for J&J) or have completed two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (one dose for J&J) within six months before arrival in Israel.  

For recovered individuals, the requirement to attend a journey is a recovery certificate and proof of two FDA or EMA approved vaccines.  

Please note: Although the Israeli government does not require tourists to be vaccinated to enter Israel, there is a need to be vaccinated to receive an Israeli “Green Pass” and therefore we at REALITY require all our participants to be vaccinated. 

Do I need to get a PCR or rapid antigen test to travel to Israel?

No. As of May 20th, Israel no longer requires a negative COVID test for entry.  However, to help keep our community healthy and safe, REALITY requires all participants to take an at-home COVID test within 24 hours before departing for Israel and to test negative. Please inform us if you test positive. Additionally, if you have recovered from COVID per CDC guidelines (i.e., no longer experiencing symptoms and at least 7 days have passed since you first tested positive) but you are still testing positive, you are cleared to join the REALITY journey providing that you inform us. 

In addition to proof of vaccination and confirming with REALITY that I understand and am committed to taking an at-home antigen test and reporting back if I test positive, do I need anything else? 

Yes. Within 48 hours before departure to Israel, participants must complete a mandatory entry statement form on the Ministry of Health website (it’s short and sweet!). Confirmation of completion of the entry statement is also a pre-condition for boarding the flight to Israel. In addition, you will also be asked to present confirmation attesting to the completion of the declaration for travelers at border control in Israel. REALITY will provide clear step-by-step instructions on how to complete this form.   

Do I need additional health insurance that covers COVID-19? 

While standard travel insurance is not required, it is mandatory by Israeli law that all travelers arriving in Israel must obtain an insurance policy with coverage for medical treatment of COVID-19. As such, we require participants to secure travel medical insurance to protect themselves from the unexpected costs associated with receiving medical care in a foreign country or having to alter your travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Participants are responsible for the cost of their own travel and medical insurance coverage while on a REALITY journey.  

Please ensure that your travel medical insurance covers medical treatment of COVID-19, particularly we suggest the following: 

  • Hospitalization due to COVID-19 
  • Emergency evacuation in case you are infected with COVID-19 and cannot be admitted to an appropriate hospital in Israel due to overcrowded hospitals  
  • Repatriation in case of death / funeral expenses in the case of death due to COVID-19 
  • Flight rearrangement after a Hospitalized COVID-19 infection  
  • Accommodation payment in the case of a COVID-19 diagnosis and need to isolate 

Prior to traveling, please confirm with your existing 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. Your insurance must also include coverage for medical treatment of COVID-19. 

If you do not have an existing health insurance provider that you work with, Geo Blue may be an option for you. 

Upon Arrival in Israel:

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 at any point during my trip to Israel?   

Non-Israeli citizens who receive a positive COVID test result need to isolate in a non-public place, for example an Airbnb apartment (it is not possible to isolate at a hotel). Those who do not have a suitable place for isolation will be transported by ambulance to a managed isolation facility for recovery, and the costs of ambulance transport, stay in the managed isolation facility and medical care will be at their own expense. Isolation duration and release from quarantine works as follows:  

  • You are required to stay in isolation for at least 5 days (the day of the test is the 1st day of isolation). 

  • A rapid home test must be taken on the 4th evening of isolation. 

  • A rapid home test must be taken on the 5th evening of isolation. 

  • If the results of both home tests are negative, and no symptoms have appeared for 48 hours - you can leave the isolation site in the end of day 5, after receipt of of a certificate of recovery from a physician or an HMO. 

  • If the result of either tests is positive - you are required to stay in isolation until the end of day 7, but are not required to take another test. You can leave the isolation site after receipt of of a certificate of recovery from your physician or HMO. 

  • If the result of one of the tests is positive, isolation is required until the end of the seventh day and the HMO must be notified but there is no need for an additional test. Isolation can be discontinued at the end of the seventh day provided no symptoms have appeared for 48 hours prior and a HMO recovery certificate has been issued. 

Will REALITY implement COVID-19 related regulations during the journey?  

REALITY will comply with the Israeli government’s COVID-19 regulations as we strive to ensure a safe environment for participants and the communities we visit throughout the journey. Our team will provide disinfectant, ensure that our bus and meeting spaces are sterilized and provide single occupancy rooms. There is no longer a mandatory mask mandate in Israel (except in hospitals, on flights, and on one’s way to quarantine) but participants are of course free to wear a mask whenever they please. 

Please Note: 

  • Non-Israeli citizens who will present a fake document or who will be confirmed as COVID-19 cases but will refuse to be transported to a managed isolation facility or who violate the requirements of isolation will be denied entry to Israel for 5 years. 
  • Non-Israeli citizens who are not confirmed COVID-19 case but violate the requirements of isolation will be denied entry to Israel for 3 years. 

Checklist 

We recognize this is a lot of information, to make it easier, please see the comprehensive checklist below for travel to Israel. 

Before boarding your flight: 

✓ Purchase comprehensive medical & travel insurance, including COVID-19 coverage. 

✓ Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to Israel. Otherwise, please renew it ASAP. 

✓ Confirm REALITY’s email (that you will receive one week prior to trip start) that you understand and are committed to REALITY’s COVID protocol.

✓ Take an at-home rapid antigen test within 24 hours prior to the flight and contact [email protected] ASAP if you test positive*. 

* If you are considered recovered from COVID per CDC guidelines (i.e. no longer experiencing symptoms and at least 7 days have passed since you first tested positive) but are still testing positive you are cleared to join the REALITY journey without performing an at-home test.  

✓ Fill out the entry statement form within the 48 hours prior to departure to Israel, the earlier the better.

  • You are required to fill in your personal details and the details of those traveling with you, a declaration of health, information about your vaccination or recovery status and details of your isolation. 
  • Receive a Green Pass: if you are considered vaccinated or recovered according to the Israeli Ministry of Health - upload documentation of vaccination or recovery in the Israeli entry statement, and you can received a Green Pass that will exempt you from entering isolation if exposed to confirmed COVID case in Israel: 

    • Those who have a certificate of vaccination or recovery that can be digitally verified through the Ministry of Health's systems, will upload their certificate to the form and receive a Green Pass to their email when the form is complete.

    • Vaccinated individuals who do not have a certificate that can be digitally verified through the Ministry of Health's systems, will declare their vaccination status in the form and attach the relevant documents to the form - and receive a Green Pass to their email when the form is complete.

    • Recovered individuals who do not have a certificate that can be digitally verified through the Ministry of Health's systems, will not automatically receive a Green Pass after filling the form. If they are required to enter isolation following exposure to a COVID patient, they will be able to present to the Ministry of Health epidemiological researcher relevant documents. 

✓ Prepare the following documents to show to airline representatives to board your flight: 

  • A confirmation attesting to the completion of the arrival statement form. You can present a digital copy of this confirmation. You are not required to print it. Keep this confirmation on your person until after you pass through border control in Israel. 

  • As well as one of the following documents: 
    • Certificate of vaccination, attesting to your vaccination in accordance with the required protocol in Israel. 
    • Certificate of recovery that can be digitally verified in the Ministry of Health's systems. (Currently not relevant for US citizens) 
Before you leave Israel: 

✓ Assuming you are departing on the group flight from Israel, in the 24 hours prior to departing, REALITY will arrange rapid (antigen) test administered by professional staff. You must show a negative test result to board your flight. This is mandatory by American law to re-enter the US so make sure you keep proof of your test results. If you are not returning on the group flight, you are responsible for arranging your own recognized rapid antigen test.

✓ If you are flying back to a country that is not the US, please make sure you are aware of any entry requirements and flag these for REALITY so we can help coordinate any additional tests you may need (everyone will have the opportunity to perform a recognized, rapid antigen test 24 hours prior to the group flight’s departure).