GA 2013 FAQ

What is The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly?

The General Assembly (GA) is the premier annual North American Jewish communal event, attracting Federation volunteer leaders and professionals, the leadership of our partner organizations and a range of national Jewish organizations.

The GA inspires and engages current and emerging Jewish leaders, tackles the most critical issues of the day, and showcases the best of the Federation movement. This year, the event will be held in Jerusalem, Israel.

To show our dedication and commitment to Israel, the GA is held in Israel every fifth year. This year, we hope you will join us as we bring together Jewish communities from across North America, and Israelis from all walks of life, to learn from each other and shape an even brighter future for Israel and the Jewish people.

What are the dates of this year’s GA?

GA Israel 2013 runs from Sunday, November 10 through Tuesday, November 12 in Jerusalem.

There are associated programs occurring immediately before and after the GA. Please click on the Program tab at the top of this page to view the most up-to-date schedule, including pre- and post-GA events.

What is the venue for this year’s GA?

The GA program is being held at the International Convention Center (ICC), also known as Binyanei Ha’Uma, located at 1 Shazar Blvd. View an online interior map of the GA layout, or download it as a printable pdf.

How can I find out about programming scheduled for the GA?

Click here to see the most up-to-date program details for the GA.

Will there be opportunities to explore Jerusalem during the GA?

On Tuesday, November 12, the GA will leave the convention center and spend the day exploring Israel, with a focus on Jerusalem.

We will travel to some of Israel’s most esteemed institutes of Jewish learning and thought to get inspired and engage in discussions with the country’s most prominent spiritual thought leaders. Then disperse throughout the Jerusalem area to explore pioneering programs led by our partners. The day culminates as we join Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Minister of the Economy, Religious Services, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs MK Naftali Bennett  to celebrate the bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, and then walk in unity from Jerusalem’s City Hall to the Old City, allowing time for personal reflection at the Kotel. Learn more about the itinerary and visits on this Jerusalem Experience.

While I’m in Jerusalem for the GA, are there special events for GA attendees?

Arriving early?

• Join the thought provoking Jewish Agency Assembly from November 7–10.  Click here for more information or here to RSVP!
• Take a tour of the beautiful Yvel Jewelry Design Center on Friday afternoon, November 8. See (and shop!) their stunning collections and learn about their work with Ethiopian-Israeli immigrants. RSVP here.
• Hear a keynote address from Former US Deputy Secretary of State, Paul Wolfowitz on Saturday November 9th at 8:30PM, presented by Tel-Hai College.  Come for a drink and great stories of the Galillee! RSVP here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

• Book a tour of the Herzl Museum on Mount Herzl for Sunday morning November 10th or Monday evening November 11th. Just 15 NIS.  Reserve your tour here.
• Late night fun on Sunday with OurCrowd, a leading equity  crowdfunding platform for the Start-Up Nation.  Enjoy scotch, wine and comedy at this great event!

Monday, November  11, 2013

Magen David Adom will be holding a blood drive from 9–5.  One hour of your time can save three lives in Israel.  Just follow the signs in the convention center.
• Young professionals! Come share laughs, experience Jerusalem nightlife and network at Israel Improv Night, sponsored by Nefesh B’Nefesh.

Extending your trip?

• Have breakfast with  founders and CEOs from Israel’s most exciting startups at this exclusive event.
• Visit Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People, in Tel Aviv. Research your family name and heritage at the Genealogy Center and enjoy the inspiring temporary exhibitions!

Can my spouse/partner/friend join me for parts of the GA, such as the Tuesday events in Jerusalem?

Sorry, only registered GA attendees are permitted to participate in GA events.

What are the registration fees for the GA?

Online registration is now closed. On-site registration is $749. Special discounts are available for specific constituencies including JFNA National Young Leadership Cabinet, Federation professional staff and Israeli residents. 

Among the discounted fees listed below are rates for GA mission participants, and for those attending Jewish Agency conferences in addition to the GA. Please note, for both the mission rate and for the Jewish Agency conference rate, you must use the special links on our registration page for those events rather than the general GA registration link.

Registration for pre and post-GA functions and meetings is available during the registration process.

Please carefully read the cancellation policies for your registration type.

Registration Types (Conference only; hotel registration is separate and at an additional cost)

GA Registration (Outside of Israel)
$699

JFNA National Young Leadership Cabinet
$299

Federation Employee/Jewish Communal Professional
$575

Student (Student ID must be presented at check-in for student rate to apply)
$199

Rabbi
$199

Israeli resident
$180

NextGen (under age 45)
$299

NextGen Workshop only
No cost (workshop info)

GA Rate for Mission participant
$399

GA Rate for GA + Jewish Agency Assembly package
$575 (total combined fee is $755)

GA Rate for GA + Jewish Agency Assembly & BOG package
$575 (total combined fee is $845)

GA Rate for GA + Jewish Agency BOG package
$575 (total combined fee is $675)

How do I register?

You can register or modify an existing registration onsite at the GA in Jerusalem. The registration desk opens at noon on November 10.

What’s the registration deadline?

Online registration for the GA closed on Oct. 31. You can still register onsite in Jerusalem beginning at noon on Sunday, Nov. 10, at the Convention Center. For all on-site registrations, there will be an additional $50 fee.

The GA in Jerusalem sounds like the event of a lifetime. But can I afford to go?

You can’t afford NOT to go. At select GA hotels, shared room rates start at $84 and single rooms at $143. Registration is just $575 for Jewish communal professionals or for GA attendees who also attend the conveniently scheduled JAFI Assembly or Board of Governors meeting, and only $399 for attendees who also take part in a pre- or post-GA mission. Registration includes several breakfasts and lunches, a gala celebration on the last day, as well as travel in and around Jerusalem for the events of the final day. Airfare varies widely, depending on where the flight originates and whether you fly direct. To keep travel costs down, considering flying out of a nearby city and/or changing planes in Europe.

How can I modify my registration to change my arrival or departure details or other information?

You can modify your registration at the registration desk at the GA. That desk opens at noon on Sunday, November 10 at the convention center in Jerusalem. If you need assistance, please contact ga2013@thinkcontent.co.il or call 866-377-4617.

What is the GA cancellation policy?

A $50 fee will be charged for all GA cancellations received by June 1, 2013. 

Between June 1 and Sept. 15, the cancellation fee is $500 for registrations of $699, and $450 for registrations of $575.  After Sept. 15, there are NO refunds.

After June 1, there are NO refunds for all registration fees less than $575 (this includes GA attendees participating on missions or the Jewish Agency Assembly).

Please note that all registrations are non-transferrable. Day passes for residents of Israel may be exchanged for a different day for a $50 fee until Sept. 15. After Sept. 15, there are NO refunds or exchanges.

All cancellations must be made in writing to GA2013@thinkcontent.co.il.

Do I register for the GA and hotel first, or reserve flights first?

You can register for the GA and reserve a hotel room before you have flights. Once you book your flights, please make sure that they are consistent with your hotel check-in and check-out dates. Please modify your registration to add your flight details as soon as you have made those arrangements.

How do I find out if others from my community are attending?

There are many opportunities for groups traveling from communities to the GA.  Click here to see a list of communities organizing community missions.  If your community is not listed here, please contact your local Federation to find out if there is a contingent traveling from your community.

For information regarding the National GA Mission, please click here.

Why do I need to supply passport information on the registration form?

This is needed for security purposes. Additionally, by Israeli law, hotels must have your passport information in order to reserve a room.

How do I register for a hotel?

GA blocks with special rates are no longer available at this point. If you plan to contact a hotel directly, the following hotels have GA registrants staying there.

Dan Boutique        Leonardo
King David             Crowne Plaza
David Citadel        Mount Zion
Mamilla                  Prima Royale

What if I’m sharing a room?  Do we both need to make a hotel reservation?

If you are sharing a room, each roommate must register separately for the GA, and reserve hotel rooms separately.  On your hotel reservation, you must indicate your roommate’s name.  Each roommate will be charged a sharing rate listed on the hotel information page.  Should your indicated roommate not register or cancel, you will be charged the full single rate for your reservation.  If you would like to change your roommate request, you may do so at any time by modifying your existing registration.

What are the hotel cancellation fees?

If you cancel before June 10, there will be no cancellation fee.  Between June 10 and Aug. 11, you will be charged one night’s stay.  After August 11, there will be no refunds. All cancellations must be made in writing to GA2013@thinkcontent.co.il.

How do I become an exhibitor or sponsor at the GA?

For all sponsorship and exhibitor information, please contact gasponsorship@jewishfederations.org.

I have additional questions about the GA. Who should I contact?

Please read carefully through the FAQs first; you will probably find the answer to your question. However, if you cannot find the information you are looking for, please send your questions to the appropriate contact listed below:

For inquiries about conference registration and housing: ga2013@thinkcontent.co.il or call 866-377-4617

For program inquiries: GAInfo@jewishfederations.org

For press inquiries: joe.berkofsky@jewishfederations.org or dani.wassner@jewishfederations.org

For all other inquiries: GAInfo@JewishFederations.org or call 212-284-6990.

What is the schedule of religious services?

Daily religious services will be held; exact times and locations will be included in the GA's online program.

Will the food provided at the GA be Kosher?

All meals provided at the GA in Israel will be under kosher supervision of the Jerusalem Rabbinate. 

Are there any security measures I should be aware of?

For security reasons, GA badges must be worn at all GA events. Badges will be provided upon check-in at GA registration. You MUST bring your passport or an Israeli ID for admission to this plenary due to security requirements. Metal detectors and other security measures may also be in place for some sessions. Non-registered persons will not be allowed access to any GA events. The Jewish Federations of North America reserves the right to withdraw the credentials of any delegate to the GA. Unauthorized print materials may not be distributed, and no solicitation is permitted.

How should I dress for the GA?

The weather in Jerusalem during the month of November is mild. Temperatures range from 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit.  A jacket and/or raincoat is recommended.  Dress is informal for all GA activities (unless otherwise noted).

What provisions are made for those with disabilities?

Please indicate the disability and special needs in the box provided on the registration form.

How do I book my flight?

You may book your flight through your preferred airline or travel agent. 

Do I need a special visa? Are there any special passport regulations?

A valid passport is required for all U.S. participants. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after your departure date. There is no visa requirement for U.S. citizens traveling to Israel. Citizens of other countries should contact the appropriate consulate to find out about their regulations. No inoculations are required at present for travel to Israel, but please check with local public health authorities for up-to-date information.

Can I bring my mobile phone, or should I rent one in Israel?

Typically, US carriers charge high rates for data and phone usage abroad. If you'd like to rent a phone or buy a SIM card, you can get a special GA attendee rate from our sponsor partners at Israel Phones. They offer a variety of voice, texting and data plans you can choose from. Click here for the special GA page at Israel Phones.

Can I use U.S. dollars during my trip, or will I need to get Israeli currency?

We suggest that you use your credit cards for purchases or when going out to dinner, and use Israeli currency for taxis, etc. There are ATMs throughout Israel, where you can withdraw Israeli Shekels from your account at a favorable exchange rate.  Please check with your bank or credit card company to learn about any fees associated with foreign transactions.  In addition, please make sure your bank/credit card company knows you will be traveling overseas so you do not have trouble using your cards.

How will I get to and from Ben Gurion Airport?

You may purchase airport transfers and/or VIP travel services through the GA registration site.  Additionally, you can hire your own taxi, car service, or shared ride service (sherut) once you arrive at the airport.

Are there cancellation fees for transportation services?

Cancellations prior to Oct. 26 will receive a full refund.  There will be no refunds for cancellations from Oct. 26 onwards.

How will I get from the hotel to the GA venues?

Shuttle service between all GA hotels and GA venues will be provided to conference registrants. The principal GA venue is the International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha'Uma).