Frequently Asked Questions
What is CAARI?
CAARI stands for Canadian American Active Retirees in Israel. For the past 29 yrs, over 3000 active retirees, from Canada and the USA, have participated in this unique program in cooperation with the Jewish National Fund.
What are CAARI’s goals?
CAARI is designed for active people, aged 50 or over. The Program offers active seniors with an opportunity to contribute to Israeli society and to develop an appreciation and knowledge of the country, its people, history and the work of JNF. Participants work in the community and JNF forests, tour the Country, visit historical sites, meet Israelis socially and learn about Israel’s issues and challenges. In addition, participants will witness JNF’s contributions to the development of Israel and to improving the quality of life of its people.
What is the CAARI Program?
The CAARI Program is a unique work, study and touring program in Israel. Participants can choose between 2 – 7 week program options.
Key elements of the CAARI Program include community service, touring, speakers’ forum, JNF forest work and special events. A brief discussion of these activities is presented below.
Community Service: assignments are offered 14 mornings and include: tutoring English in elementary schools and working with patients in major rehab hospitals. The group also performs community service with a food bank to ‘glean’ fields.
Touring Program: visits to archeological sites, museums, and historical sites with Israeli licensed tour guides and educators. CAARI participants travel throughout Israel from its northern border to the Negev, including the Galilee, Negev, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Tours to JNF sites include meeting with local foresters, landscape architects, and people who benefit from the JNF.
Speakers’ Forum: is designed to discuss issues and concerns facing Israel today with academics, local media, artists, prominent business and political leaders.
Forest Work: one day each week in Tel Aviv, CAARI works with KKL foresters in the maintenance of KKL-JNF forests - rebuilding ancient terraces, pruning, and planting trees, as well as clearing brush and foliage. They learn about KKL’s forestry technology and history of the land.
Special Events: CAARI participants are invited to share in Friday night Oneg Shabbat celebrations, Israeli folk dancing and singing, special events and Tu’Bshvat Celebrations.
When do I select my community service assignment?
Participants will select their community service project upon arrival in Israel. At that time, the specifics of each assignment will be explained. The volunteer opportunities do not require knowledge of Hebrew. CAARI works in cooperation with the Tel Aviv Municipality in selecting community service projects.
What is the daily routine for community service work?
The community service portion of the program is approximately 3 hours a day, 3-4 days a week for the four weeks in Tel Aviv. After breakfast, taxis take you to your community service assignment in the school or rehab center. The tutoring in schools consists of working with 2-4 children, assisting them with their homework and work assignments. You are under the supervision of the English teacher. In the rehab centers, you are under the supervision of the unit’s head nurse. After the morning session the taxi will bring you back to the hotel.
At which hotels will we be staying?
CAARI participants receive breakfast daily and at least one other meal a day, i.e. either lunch or dinner. In Tel Aviv, many of the days include 3 meals a day. Shabbat dinner and Shabbat lunch are served every week. All meals are Kosher. The cuisine is international and includes Western, Middle Eastern and local Israeli dishes, served buffet style. Those with special needs must selectively choose from available menus, since the hotels do not cater to individual diets.
What type of climate does Israel have at this time of year?
Most days will be clear and sunny with temperatures between 50 and 65 degrees during the day and 40 to 50 degrees at night. The temperatures in the Negev will be slightly warmer during the day, but cooler at night. A few rainy days with cooler temperatures are likely this time of year.
How much money should a participant bring?
This depends. You may want to attend concerts, shows or purchase gifts. You can bring cash or major credit cards. Traveler’s checks are not advised as most merchants do not accept them and there is a $25 fee for cashing each check. Cash can be exchanged for shekels (approximately 3.7 shekels to the $1.00 USA, at time of printing) with a small commission. Credit cards can be used to obtain cash from Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). Don’t forget your PIN code.
What are the physical requirements for the program?
The program is designed for healthy, active people and requires a certain level of physical fitness. Participants must be able to walk up to a half-mile, and climb approximately 50 steps and must be able to get on and off a bus unaided.
Is medical insurance offered?
Medical insurance is included in the price of the program. It does not cover pre-existing conditions. Please complete the Medical Application - medical approval from a licensed physician is the insurance company’s requirement. The insurance agent is Harel, Israel’s largest insurance company
Is trip cancellation insurance offered?
Insurance for trip cancellation and interruption is not included in the price of the program but may be purchased separately at an additional cost through the travel agent.
What is included in the cost of the program?
The Program cost includes: hotels, (double occupancy) meals, gratuities, medical insurance, guiding, touring, coach transportation and entrance fees to sites. On the Haifa portion of the program ONLY the GROUP transfer to the hotel is included. We will be happy to arrange other transfer requests at additional cost.
Is there a cancellation fee if the participant cancels?
Yes. Up to 90 days prior to your departure you are entitled to a full refund of paid fees less a $100.00 per person processing fee + any other cancellation fees levied by our land suppliers.
From 89-61 days you are entitled to a full refund less $250.00 per person processing fee + any other cancellation fees levied by our land suppliers. From 60-31 days, $500.00 per person will be assessed plus any other cancellation fees levied by our land suppliers. Cancellations received less than 30 days prior to departure are non-refundable. There will be no refunds for unused services.
*All airline tickets purchased by the participant are subject to the individual airline company’s cancellation policy and not the responsibility of the Israel Tour Operator.
Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended and available for an additional cost.
All cancellations must be received in writing and sent to:
Who manages the program in Israel?
What do people say about CAARI?
CAARI is a great way to spend the winter and we don't mind helping Israel!
By Bernie Hulkower: ‘Why We Love CAARI’:
“The program was excellent. I thought the focus on the land & the people were terrific. It was more than expected.”
“The speakers’ forum gives us an excellent perspective of what is going on in Israel. We are always impressed with the caliber of speakers, some of which we see in the news. It is a wonderful addition to CAARI.”
Neil is described as “very knowledgeable, well prepared, informative and supportive. It is great to have him as a guide, adds lot to the program.”
“Susan did an excellent job programming; she put together a program with a wide variety of activities, lectures and sites. It is a pleasure to have Susan as our coordinator. She is very helpful, patient, and understanding.”
For additional information on CAARI please call the CAARI office.