In over 50 years of sponsoring immersive summer programs, we have maintained the safety and security of our participants as our primary concern, and Mitzvah Corps has a well deserved reputation for care and caution in designing and implementing these programs. While operating immersive programs in real cities around the world carries some inherent risk, we work hard to ensure our safety standards and practices are the best they can be.
Union for Reform Judaism
Our support team includes the entirety of the Union for Reform Judaism, which engages thousands of children and teens in immersive programming, travel, and camping each summer. This network provides invaluable expertise, knowledge, and training in longstanding safety and security protocols that all Mitzvah Corps programs adhere to.
Staff Preparation and Training
All Mitzvah Corps staff members are over the age of 21+ and have completed a rigorous interview process, with reference and background checks. They are experienced in immersive programming, group travel, and working with teens. Each staff member attends a mandatory staff orientation prior to the summer, and will have training in CPR, First Aid, and safety and security protocols. Our staff/participant ratio is never more than 1 to 10, and staff are “on” 24/7 throughout the duration of the program, ready and able to assist in any potential situation.
Location Boundaries and Guidelines
The staff are familiar with the program locations, and will clearly communicate designated boundaries for participants to stay in as a group, and when given free time on their own to explore. When traveling to work sites and activities outside the immediate housing area, each location is pre-approved by our staff and adheres to our high safety standards.
Relationships With Safety Officials
In each program location, we connect with local safety and health officials to ensure we receive the utmost in care and support from their services. We work closely with campus and local police and first responders to provide as many safeguards for our participants as possible, and all housing accommodations are in secure buildings. Additionally, we are in touch with the government tourism offices in our international program locations to confirm our routes and destinations are secure.
Potential Illness or Injury
The health and safety of our participants is our primary concern during the summer, and we work hard to ensure they are getting adequate sleep and hydration, and are taking proper safety precautions during all activities. However, living in close proximity to a group of peers, increased exposure to new elements in new places, and experiencing a variety of physical activity is unavoidable, and on occasion, participants do become ill or injured.
In the event that a participant is unable to fully participate, we assess their ability to modify involvement with the group, or the need to remain behind for the day, and provide adequate staff supervision as necessary. Furthermore, we have relationships with local doctors, and are always within a close proximity to urgent and emergent care facilities, should the need for either arise.
We assess any potential illness or injury on a case-by-case basis, and in any situation where the health of a participant is in question, the parents or guardians will be contacted.