COVID-19 Protocols & FAQs
AMHSI-JNF's Safety Precautions for Fall 2021 Session
AMHSI-JNF abides by all Israel Ministry of Health safety regulations. These regulations are subject to change based on the health climate in Israel. As such, the following information is relevant as of the start of the 2021 Fall Semester and may be subject to revision as dictated by the Ministry of Health.
Do students need to quarantine upon arrival?
Students entering Israel are currently subject to seven days of mandatory quarantine on campus. Students will have a post-flight PCR test at Ben Gurion International airport, and a second test on day seven on campus. Serological testing for the presence of COVID-19 anti-bodies will also occur after arrival on campus. During quarantine, students will remain in isolated capsules (or pods) of up to six students, spread out throughout our dorm buildings.
What will quarantine be like?
Each capsule or pair of capsules of students will be assigned a madrich/counselor. They will have shared bedroom, bathroom, and living room spaces, as well as a kitchenette. Meals and snacks will be delivered to each capsule, and students will have a significant amount of outdoor time scheduled daily.
Both General Studies and Israel Studies learning will occur during this initial quarantine. While General Studies classes will be virtual, Israel Studies learning will be in person with several capsules coming together with appropriate physical distancing. The initial Israel Studies curriculum will focus on bringing Israel to life in the dorms through food, art, music and television. Throughout the week, there will be icebreakers, educational opportunities, movie nights, games, and other supervised activities organized by the madrichim. AMHSI-JNF administrators, following strict protocols, will visit the capsules daily.
What happens after the initial quarantine?
At the end of the seven-day quarantine, proof of vaccination, and positive serological test results, the entire group becomes an “epidemiological family,” meaning that they can all be together inside and outside without masks. The entire group of students and their madrichim will be able to live together, share meals together, learn together, hike together, and enjoy every aspect of the program together. Additionally, we expect that all students will be provided with government issued “green passports” (digital certificates of vaccination) that will allow our students entry into indoor spaces and venues countrywide.
When will students be required to wear masks?
Based on current regulations, students will wear masks when they are indoors among individuals who are not members of their “epidemiological family” or in any outdoor spaces where masking is required by law or regulation. For instance, that means that when they are on trips, students will wear masks while riding on buses because the bus drivers are not members of our “epidemiological family.”
Are students permitted to visit with family & friends?
Given the state of pandemic, visitation with friends and family in Israel will be limited to the area outside of campus. Students may not ride in cars, attend functions, or spend the night with anyone outside of their epidemiological family. Friends and family are not allowed on the AMHSI-JNF campus, but may visit the Hod HaSharon area, which is within walking distance, to enjoy outdoor cafes, restaurants, nearby parks, etc. during student sign-out time. At this time, there will be no free weekends for students. This policy may be revised during the course of the semester if there is improvement in the overall health climate in Israel.
What happens if a student gets COVID-19?
To ensure the safety of our students, AMHSI-JNF employs a full-time nurse and a part-time pediatrician who is on campus three times a week. Madrichim have access to the nurse at all times. Fully stocked isolation rooms have been set aside for students who have symptoms of illness.
A student with symptoms of illness will be quarantined and assessed by a doctor who will order COVID-19 testing, if appropriate. Students in quarantine will be visited in person by the nurse daily, and AMHSI-JNF faculty and madrichim will provide emotional support on an ongoing basis. Students in quarantine will join classes and other activities virtually, when possible.
In the event of a positive case of COVID-19, there will be immediate testing and quarantining of roommates, followed by other strict protocols. AMHSI-JNF will communicate swiftly to all parents if there is a positive case.
Does our health insurance cover COVID-19?
The health insurance included in the program tuition provides full coverage for COVID-19, provided the illness is first diagnosed in Israel during the term of coverage. An overview of the coverage is included in our orientation packet. Coverage is limited to incidents and illnesses occurring in Israel (pre-existing conditions are excluded).
Will students receive a third booster shot?
While we cannot guarantee if/when the booster shot will be available to non-Israeli citizens/teenagers, we will monitor the possibility closely, communicate with parents if the shot becomes available, and provide the shot to our students through our medical provider.
Will there be changes to the program while the students are in Israel?
Where necessary, we will adjust our programming to provide the same high level of education, as well as a meaningful, immersive, and empowering experience for all our students while following all safety protocols. We are in constant contact with the Ministry of Health, our health insurance agency, and the HMO that oversees our medical care, alongside other government offices tasked with ensuring safe travel and implementation of our program. While we do not anticipate significant changes to our program or itinerary at this time, we will be ready and prepared to make adjustments as necessary along the way.
Will we be receiving updates during the program regarding changes in guidelines?
Yes, we will be in regular communication with parents while the students are in Israel. We will also be regularly updating our guidelines and protocols based on recommendations from the government and ensure that all staff and students are trained and aware of all protocols and guidelines.