Simon Family Passport to Israel – Funds available for teen Israel trips

The Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel Fund, which provides grants for trips for teens to Israel, is now accepting applications for the program until March 15, 2021.

The program provides funds to enable and encourage Jewish students to participate in an Israel trip experience. Trips that are funded include educational and peer group experiences of young people traveling, and/or studying together.  

“Without this generous scholarship from Tidewater Jewish Foundation’s Simon Family Passport to Israel Program, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see the ruach (spirit) that fills everyday life in a place where Judaism is found in every aspect of everyday society,” said past Simon Family Passport Grant recipient Sophie Waldman.

The fund was established by Marvin Simon, who believed that it was important for young people to experience Israel first hand.

"He felt students had to get involved beyond the books and beyond the weekly synagogue visits and experience Israel and worldwide Jewry first hand,” said Kim Simon Fink, daughter of Marvin Simon. “He wanted to afford an opportunity for everyone to get that personal experience.”

Trips should be organized by a non-profit organization, educational, or religious institution, and should be staffed by qualified personnel with a structured itinerary. All Jewish students between the ages of 13 and 18 may apply, and those students over 18 may apply as long as they indicate why a Birthright Israel trip will not meet their current needs. Trips will be funded up to 30% of the eligible expenses, with a maximum of $6,000 per student.

To apply or for more information, visit or contact Ann Swindell at or 757-965-6106. Applications are due March 15, 2021. 

Photo Caption:
Past Simon Family Passport recipient Jordan Parker-Ashe traveled to Israel to participate in the BBYO Passport Trek Israel program, which took Jordan from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee.