BBYO's March of the Living
The National Teen Delegation
2016 DATES: May 2 -16, 2016
LENGTH: 15 Days
GRADES: Current 9th-12th
EXPLORE: Poland & Israel
Join Us for a Journey of Remembrance & Renewal
The March of the Living is a two-week international experience where teens from around the world come together annually to bear witness in Poland and celebrate the Jewish Homeland in Israel. The program commemorates Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, marching from Auschwitz to Birkenau and Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, dancing in the streets of Jerusalem.
Review the sample Program Itinerary for a more detailed preview of the experience.
- Week #1: Poland
Travel to Poland to honor the Jewish community of the past in cities like Krakow, Lublin, and Warsaw – and emotionally retrace the history and horrors of the Holocaust. To mark Yom HaShoah, teens from over 60 countries take part in a moving two-mile “March of the Living” from Auschwitz to Birkenau – concluding with the singing of Hatikvah which reaffirms “Am Yisrael Chai – The Jewish People Live.”
- Week #2: Israel
Fly from Poland to Israel to join millions of Israelis in celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaut - Israel's 66th Independence Day festivities. Travel to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Dead Sea. Walk in the footsteps of 3000 years of Jewish history and experience the modern day miracle of Israel's creation with a deep sense of appreciation and joy.
BBYO's National Teen Delegation is led by Sherrie Stalarow, a beloved Jewish educator, now in her 18th year of staffing the March. Each bus group is accompanied by a team of 2-3 North American staff, an Israeli guide and a security escort. A medical professional accompanies us at all times.
Finally, we are fortunate to welcome a Holocaust Survivor as part of the group experience. Learn, cry, and laugh with all the wisdom that only a Survivor can offer.
Review the sample Program Itinerary for a more detailed preview of the experience.
Confronting the Destruction in Poland
We begin our journey in Poland learning about the rich history of the Jewish People in Europe prior to the Holocaust. Explore the old Jewish Quarter of Krakow, and the restored Nozyck Synagogue in Warsaw.
With this deeper appreciation of our proud past, we confront the destruction of the Holocaust – bearing witness at the concentration camps and the death camps of Treblinka, Majdanek, and ultimately, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Along the way, we will stop at the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising memorial and Oscar Schindler's factory. The BBYO delegation is accompanied by a survivor in Poland, which creates a link between generations and fosters a personal connection to our history.
The March of the Living experience in Poland culminates with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), with a three kilometer march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest extermination camp complex built by the Nazis during World War II. Retrace the steps of the “March of Death,” the actual route which countless numbers of our People walked on their way to the gas chambers at Birkenau. However, our march will be a “March of the Living” concluding with the singing of Hatikvah which reaffirms “Am Yisrael Chai – The Jewish People Live.”
Our emotional journey in Poland concludes in Warsaw where our focus shifts to the resurgence of Jewish life in Warsaw today -- with newly re-dedicated synagogues, schools, organizations and youth groups. Stand hand-in-hand with the modern day Jewish community which continues to keep the flame of our People alive in Poland.
Celebrating Renewal in Israel
Departing Poland, we fly overnight to Israel where we land in the vibrant, sun-soaked Jewish State. Our travels in Israel begin with the unforgettable experience of hiking up to Masada at sunrise followed by floating on the waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
From the Judaen Desert, we travel to Tel Aviv where we will retrace the founding of modern Israel in 1948 and experience the contemporary heart of Israeli culture.
Our Jerusalem journey starts in the Jewish Quarter at the Western Wall – our most cherished link to the past. Relive the glory of ancient Jerusalem history; recount its 2000 year-old destruction; celebrate the reunification in 1967; and imagine a Jerusalem of the future.
On Yom Hazikaron (Israel's Memorial Day), we join together with all of Israel to mourn fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The following day is Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel's Independence Day), and all of the March of the Living delegations from around the world reunite in Jerusalem for a second march followed by an international celebration event that evening. Having witnessed the darkness of the Holocaust firsthand, these life-affirming experiences in Israel are especially moving and meaningful.
Although our time in Israel is short, it will certainly lay a significant foundation that will encourage you to seek further Jewish experiences for the rest of your life.
The goal of the "March of the Living" is to educate Jewish teens about the richness of our past, to keep that past alive and to perpetuate our Jewish future. Past participants have maintained their level of Jewish commitment by returning to Israel, seeking a Jewish lifestyle in college, acting to protect human rights, and developing a sense of leadership and responsibility for the Jewish World around us.
- Round-trip flights from NYC
- Accommodations (hotels and guest houses)
- All meals (kosher)
- Activities & entrance fees
- Deluxe motorcoach
- Dynamic staff team
- Security escort & monitoring
- Medical insurance (excludes pre-existing conditions)
- Gratuity for program staff
High school-age teens wishing to join BBYO's National Teen Delegation to the March of the Living can register now. We encourage you to also review the registration details for complete terms.
- November 19, 2015 | Scholarship applications due
- December 1, 2015 | Full payment due, cancellation refund deadline and travel insurance deadline
NOTE: There are a limited number of spaces available, and we recommend signing up early to guarantee your participation.
Program Cost: $5,495
Tuition covers roundtrip flights from New York City, accommodations, programming, all meals (kosher), staff gratuities and medical insurance for non pre-existing conditions. Participants are responsible for their own travel to JFK Airport.
NOTE: Early registration and membership discounts do not apply for March of the Living. However, alumni of any prior BBYO Passport summer program are entitled to a $250 credit.
In keeping with BBYO Passport's mission to share the experience of Israel with as many Jewish teens as possible, BBYO has established a need-based, national scholarship fund for March of the Living. After registering risk-free, you will find a link to apply for a scholarship in your registration account. Funds are available with an average of $750/teen and according to need. The deadline for consideration is November 19, 2015.
NOTE: Additional regional and local scholarships may be available.
Eligibility & Preparation
This program is appropriate for Jewish high school students from North America who exhibit maturity, leadership potential, and the ability to communicate their experiences with others. Each participant must obtain permission to miss two weeks of school. BBYO will provide assistance and documentation as needed (see below).
Questions about the March?
- Program-related questions:
Sherrie Stalarow (Program Director)
- Registration-related questions:
BBYO Passport 202.537.8091
Obtaining School Permission
Worried about getting time off from school to attend the March? We will help!
Please submit the following to your school:
Need additional assistance?
Please contact the Program Director, Sherrie Stalarow.
Not Able to Travel During the School Year?
BBYO Passport is offering a similar four-week experience in Poland and Israel this coming summer. The program is based on ten days of travel in Poland, Prague & Budapest followed by a three week journey in Israel.
Complete details are available at Central Europe Discovery + Israel Journey
Summer Travel Program Discount
Did you know that March of the Living alumni automatically qualify for a $250 registration discount towards a summer program with BBYO Passport? A world of travel opportunities await you in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Israel.
March of the Living is a remarkable experience and numerous scholarship opportunities are available to help you be a part of the journey.
In order to start applying for scholarships, you need to register for March of the Living and make the initial $250 deposit. The deposit and any money you put down for the program is refundable until December 1, 2015.
BBYO National Scholarship
- In keeping with BBYO Passport's mission to share the experience of Israel with as many Jewish teens as possible, BBYO has established a need-based, national scholarship fund for March of the Living. Funds are available with an average of $750/teen and according to need. After you register and make the $250 deposit, you will find the scholarship application in your account under "Forms" called Israel Scholarship Applicaiton.
Who's Eligible? All teens (BBYO members & non-members)
Application Deadline: November 19, 2015
Local BBYO Scholarships
- Contact your local BBYO Region or Council to see if they have any funding available for March of the Living. In previous years, local BBYO chapters have created fundraisers to send members on March of the Living. For example, local chapters have hosted bake sales, yard sales, selling candy at sporting events, selling t-shirts at region/council events, and other fundraising activities.
Who's Eligible? BBYO members
Application Deadline: Contact your local BBYO office
Jewish Federation Scholarships & Grants
- Contact your local Jewish Federation to see if they have any scholarships, grants, or funding for Israel travel. Each Federation has their own specifications for funding.
You can also visit our Scholarship Page for Jewish Federation information with each state.
Who's Eligible? Everyone
Application Deadline: Contact your local Jewish Federation office
Rabbi's Discretionary Fund
- Most congregations have a Rabbi's Discretionary Fund. It is a fund under the control of the Rabbi, but is supported by the synagogue for various purposes. If you are active in your local synagogue or temple congregation, contact the office in regards to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund. Congregations often have funding for Israel travel, including March of the Living.
Who's Eligible? Congregation Members
Application Deadline: Contact your synagogue or temple
Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I start applying for scholarships?
After you register and submit a $250 deposit, you can start applying for scholarships. You must be a registered applicant in order to apply and receive scholarship funding.
- When will I be notified if I receive funding from the National Scholarship fund?
You will be notified around late-November, before the payment deadline of December 1, 2015.
- What happens if I don't receive scholarship money by program payment due date?
Please have the organization that will be sending fundng send us a letter or email of how much scholarship money you'll be receiving and the date of when we should expect to receive it.
- Where should I send scholarship checks?
All checks should be made paybale to BBYO Passport.
In the memo section, please have the participant's name.
Please send checks to:
5185 MacArthur Blvd.#640
Washington, DC 20016
- What happens if I don't receive enough funding and need to cancel?
Your program deposit and any money you put down for March of the Living is completely refundable until December 1, 2015. All cancellations must be made by writing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Who do I contact if I have additional scholarship questions?
Aaron Robbin 202-537-8091 (Director of Operations)
BBYO's National Teen Delegation is open to Jewish teens from across the United States. Additionally, BBYO Passport partners with local organizations to provide the following community delegation:
- Ohio Communities Delegation
Join fellow Jewish teens from Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, and other Ohio communities on the March of the Living. This experience is open to Jewish high school teens of all backgrounds. Learn More: Ohio Delegation
- Alaska Delegation
Join fellow Jewish teens from Alaska on the second delegation to the March of the Living. This experience is open to Jewish high school teens of all backgrounds. Learn More: Alaska Delegation
If your school, synagogue, federation or other local Jewish agency is interested in taking part in the March of the Living as a community delegation, contact us about partnering opportunities.
BBYO invites its Honor Society supporters to join AZA and BBG teen leaders for the March of the Living - one of the most powerful program experiences offered to Jews around the world. Travel alongside BBYO's teen delegation as you explore the history of the Holocaust firsthand, an experience which culminates with the 10,000 person March between Auschwitz and Birkenau and an optional extension trip to Israel to celebrate Israeli Independence Day. Space is limited and will be available on a first come first serve basis to BBYO Honor Society members (those giving a minimum of $1,800 annually). Learn More