BJE March of the Living 2024 Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the BJE March of the Living Program and who participates in this experience?
BJE March of the Living is part of the single largest Jewish educational program for teens in the world. The March brings thousands of Jewish teens from all over the world to Poland for the week surrounding Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and then to Israel for the week surrounding Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day).
Q: What is the program fee and what kind of financial aid and grants are available?
The fee for this unique program, including round-trip travel from Los Angeles, room and board, tuition, ground transportation and varied social and cultural programs, is $8650. This also includes a $750 application fee.
The BJE March of the Living experience is available to all Jewish teens, regardless of their family’s financial status. There are individual subsidies, scholarships and grants available, as well as need-based assistance. Please mark the appropriate box indicated in the on-line application if you would like to receive more information. For payment plans please contact Chen Bain at the BJE at (323) 761-8619.
Q: What are the dates of the trip?
BJE March of the Living 2024 will take place from Wednesday, May 1, 2024 – Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
Q: For whom (at what grade levels) is BJE March of the Living appropriate?
BJE March of the Living is open to students currently in grade 12. Be aware that this program requires emotional maturity due to the subject matter.
Q: Does BJE March of the Living conflict with the 2022 AP exams?
AP exams are scheduled to start on Monday, May 6, 2024. The International March of the Living can provide an official letter from the College Board granting extensions to any student participating on the program. Please email Lily Khalili at [email protected] if you need a copy of this letter. Please note if you attend Milken Community High School or deToledo High School, the administration is well aware of this extension and will be making the necessary arrangements. Participants are not required to do anything to set this in motion.
Q: How do I apply for BJE March of the Living?
There are several steps to the application/acceptance process:
1. Teens go to www.bjela.org/MOTL and click the link to the application. This first step (Part 1) entails answering several short questions and is to be completed by the teen.
Revised 9/12/23 **Subject to slight modifications.
2. Once Part 1 is complete, a parent or guardian will be emailed instructions to complete Part 2, about the teen and family. Note: Even if the family already has a CampMinder log-in from a previous program, their teen still needs to fill out a registration form. An application fee will be charged within 3 business days of the completion of Part 2, as parent/guardian will be required to enter in a bank account number for ACH payments.
3. Additionally, a personal interview and a letter of recommendation and are required prior to acceptance.
4. Finally, participants are required to attend all pre-trip programming.
Acceptance to BJE March of the Living, upon completion of these requirements, is at the discretion of the Program Leaders.
Each delegation’s forms and procedures are specific – please do not register or apply through any other delegation’s website or through the March of the Living International office website, otherwise participants risk their applications being lost or misplaced.
Q: How do I get excused from my public school classes to participate?
Contact Lily Khalili at [email protected] for a letter that can be given to your school counselor that details the BJE MOTL experience. If there are further questions, a school official can contact her at (323) 761-8621.
Q: Is security a program concern?
Throughout the March, security and safety are our top priority. MOTL delegations travel with at least one armed security guard per bus, and all site visits are checked and ‘cleared’ by security in the mornings and before groups arrive. March of the Living International works with the highest levels of law enforcement and government in both Poland and Israel to ensure that the security of participants is top priority.
Q: What Covid 19 protocols have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of BJE March of the Living participants?
BJE mandates that all participants and staff be fully vaccinated against Covid 19. In addition to vaccination and booster requirements, BJE may implement safety rules and precautions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 such as mask wearing, hand washing, hand sanitizing, vaccination, testing, and social distancing.
Q: What religious practices or expectations are there; is the food kosher?
The program is set up to accommodate the religious needs of all its participants. All food in Poland and Israel is certified kosher.
Q: Is a passport required to participate?
Yes, a valid passport is required for international travel. A passport is considered valid when it expires no earlier than 6 months after the scheduled return date. For the 2024 BJE March of the Living, passports need to be valid until November 15, 2024.
A copy of the picture page of the teen’s valid passport must be received in the BJE office no later than January 15, 2024 in order to secure airline seats and participation in the program.
Revised 9/12/23 **Subject to slight modifications.
Q: What kind of staffing is provided?
The staff accompanying the students includes a doctor, nurses, a social worker, educators, counselors, historians, and a song leader. All staff must pass a background check and California mandated reporter training to be a part of the program. There is approximately a 1 to 10 staff ratio.
Q: What is the itinerary for the program?
The itinerary varies, but typically includes a week in Poland visiting Warsaw, Krakow, Auschwitz and Birkenau, Majdanek and Lodz.. The week in Israel, commemorating Yom Hazikaron (Israel Memorial Day) and celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day), includes visits to places of historical and contemporary significance.
Q: Is this a really depressing trip?
We have found that visiting the sites in Poland, while filled with emotion, is also quite uplifting and affecting in very positive ways, because there are thousands of Jewish teens from all over the world experiencing it together. A mental health professional accompanies the group. The Israel portion of the trip is powerful and inspiring, and students come away from BJE March of the Living knowing that they have experienced a life-changing event.
Q: Will I still be eligible for Birthright Israel if I participate in BJE March of the Living?
Currently, Birthright Israel participation is open to MOTL alumni between the ages of 18–26 years.
Q: If I have additional questions or concerns, whom should I contact?
You can contact Chen Bain at [email protected], (323)761-8619 or Abby Cutler [email protected],
(323)761-8609 at the BJE March of the Living office. They will be able to help you or put you in touch with someone who can.