Click here for our response to COVID-19 and our frequently asked questions for the 2020-21 year program

Statement on COVID-19 and Frequently Asked Questions

Updated June 18, 2020

We are excited to be starting our 40th year of the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel in just a few short months!

We look forward to the arrival of a new group of students.  While we do not currently foresee any disruptions to the start of our 2020-21 Year Program, the situation in Israel and around the world is still evolving. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will modify the program as necessary in the best interest of our participants’ health and safety.

The Nativ staff in Israel is working diligently to begin the program, as planned, on September 2, 2020. As we recognize that these are time of much uncertainty, we are still accepting applications for the program starting in the fall of 2020. 

We are pleased that Israel has been ranked among the safest countries to be in during the time of the Corona pandemic.  At this time in Israel, many venues have reopened (schools, malls, restaurants etc) and adjustments to the different restrictions, that have been placed or lifted over the past few months, are reexamined on a regular basis as the numbers of people who are infected changes.   Likewise the Nativ program will facial masks, and social distancing protocols that will be mandated for every participant pursuant to government mandates.

As of May 24, the Israeli Government announced it will be permitting individuals with a student visa to enter Israel.  Through MASA, a streamlined visa application process has been set up which will allow us to start the year as planned.

Prior to Nativ’s arrival to Israel, we will be requiring all participants to conduct a health self-assessment. This assessment will include reporting the participant’s temperature and answering a brief questionnaire to screen for any possible COVID-19 symptoms or recent exposure. Please note that self-assessment will take place as required by the Ministry of Health. If any participant is exhibiting symptoms of the virus, or was recently exposed prior to leaving home, they will be required to postpone their arrival to the program until a home quarantine period has been completed.

Upon arrival in Israel the entire group will be placed in quarantine. This will take place on the Nativ campus at the Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center. The length of the quarantine, as well as the guidelines for how it will be conducted, will be determined by the Israeli Ministry of Health. An update about these guidelines will be shared with participants prior to their departure to Israel.

Although we do not envision any drastic changes to the program, we are prepared to modify the program if necessary. We look forward to meeting you soon!

We will continue to update this statement and the FAQs below as needed based on the continued developments of COVID-19 in Israel. Please also feel free to reach out to us at nativ@uscj.org or 646-519-9246 with any questions or concerns you might have.

Q and A:

How seriously has the coronavirus impacted Israel?

From the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 in Israel on February 21, 2020, the government quickly implemented strategies to proactively and aggressively prevent the spread of the virus. The timing, variety and aggressiveness of measures which were taken ultimately proved to be highly effective in ensuring the public’s safety. As a result, Israel has been a leader in the management of the pandemic and has demonstrated a high rate of testing, and low rate of infection, death, and serious cases. The government of Israel issued strict orders throughout the crisis which were implemented nationwide to ensure a coordinated approach to the containment. These restrictions were constantly reevaluated with adjustments being made on a frequent basis to balance health objectives with the true needs of society. As Israelis, we are experienced in facing challenges head on and we used those skills to successfully overcome these circumstances as well.  The country was prepared and had the resources, due to our constant state of readiness, to care for the safety and welfare of all of us.

By early May, after the infection rate fell dramatically, a gradual return to regular daily life was implemented.  (Click here to view Israel’s corona statistics.) Facial masks, physical distancing of two meters between individuals, and high levels of hygiene and cleanliness remain mandatory.  Since the reopening of venues we have seen a new spike in cases in certain localized areas around the country. The government continues to monitor the outbreak and will reinstate restrictions if necessary.

If it is necessary to hold some activities online and engage in modified programming, what types of things can we expect?

During the first two weeks of the program when the group will be in quarantine, classes will take place online. Once the mandated quarantine ends we plan to resume in-person classes.  At this point, we do not anticipate the need for the program to be conducted largely online, but we are prepared to make modifications to the program or for specific individuals if it becomes necessary over the course of the year.

What would happen if a student needed to be quarantined or got sick? What if the whole group needs to be quarantined upon arrival?

A student getting sick and having a fever doesn’t necessarily mean that they have contracted the corona virus.  All illnesses are monitored by medical professionals, if it is determined by medical professionals in Israel that an individual participant needs to be quarantined or is sick, we have provisions for separating them from the group and providing them with the care they would need. Clear protocols are in place by the Ministry of Health for each of these scenarios and we are prepared to deal with this type of situation. Rooms have been set aside at the Guest House for quarantine purposes if needed throughout the year. Students will also be briefed upon arrival so that they understand clearly what to do if they do not feel well or believe that they may have been exposed.

Does the health insurance included in the program tuition provide full coverage for COVID-19?

Yes, provided the illness is first diagnosed in Israel during the term of coverage. Coverage is provided by an Israeli company called Harel. No co-pay is required for doctor’s visits, prescription medication, lab tests, or hospitalizations. Coverage is limited to incidents and illnesses occurring in Israel (mental health support is excluded as well as other items as mentioned in the Nativ policy manual).

What would happen if we cannot travel to Israel on September 2nd due to border restrictions?

We do not anticipate this being a problem at the beginning of September and have confirmed seats for the entire group to Israel. We will reassess the situation 30 days prior to the start of the program and if it is deemed necessary, we may postpone the start of the program.

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