Travel | Center for Jewish Life
Center for Jewish Life - Princeton Hillel


COVID UPDATE: Due to university guidelines all travel is on hold at the moment.

Life at Princeton is so busy that sometimes it’s worthwhile to go off campus to delve deeply into a topic, take risks, and get to know new people. On a Muslim Jewish Dialogue trip, for example, you spend time with other students eating together, building together, and seeing amazing sights together, and you form bonds with people you might not have known while on campus. So it’s not just about the global experience but also about developing new relationships, insights and perspectives.

When we travel to Greece or Argentina, students are learning about Jewish heritage and meeting Jews in a country where the Jewish connection isn't fully understood, realizing that there is a connection, a shared responsibility, and a dialogue with Jews from all over the world.

Our various trips to Israel offer opportunities to see the country through different lenses such as geopolitical or hi-tech start-up. 

Students help develop educational trips with CJL staff to address specific issues of importance to students around the issues of global Jewish peoplehood, interfaith understanding, service and community engagement and Israel.


Previous CJL Trips


October 27 – November 1, 2019

Jewish and Muslim students hiked, camped, cooked, and bonded in beautiful Arches National Park! 

Presented by CJL, MLP, ORL and OA.


A Co-Create Project of CJL

October 27-31, 2019

Organized by nature-loving students, this trip included day-hikes throughout the White Mountains in New Hampshire--- just in time for the fall foliage! In the evenings, students returned to their cabin to cook vegetarian dinners and practice low-structure mindfulness activities such as stargazing and yoga. 

Presented by CJL and Co-Create.


December 15-26, 2019

This Birthright Israel trip was designed for Princeton students, alumni and their friends to journey through both Jewish history and the contemporary Jewish state, accompanied by Israeli peers ("the Mifgash") who join the trips as colleagues and friends. 



With Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer
January 25-February 2, 2020  

A unique opportunity for Princeton students to travel to Israel with Ambassador Kurtzer, Princeton professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at Woodrow Wilson School to explore the geopolitical issues of the Israel and Palestinian Authority. Students met and engaged in conversation with high-level politicians, policy decision-makers, army officials and social change leaders from various NGOs. 


Jan. 25 – Feb. 2, 2020

Israel TigerTrek introduced Princeton students to Israel's high-tech industry. Participants enjoyed exclusive sessions with the Start-Up Nation's most exciting founders, investors, and executives, as well as learned about and engage with the history, culture, and institutions that make Israel a tech powerhouse." Israel has the highest number of startups and the third-highest number of companies listed on NASDAQ (after the US and China)! Pretty insane for a country of 8 million people.


Exploring Jewish Greece: 300 BCE - Today

Over Spring Break 2018, 25 students traveled to Greece to discover the past and the present of the Greek Jewish community. The trip included visits to Thessaloniki, Ionina, and Athens.

Hartman iEngage Institute

Eight Princeton students spent Winter Break 2017 at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem participating in iEngage. iEngage creates a new narrative regarding the significance of Israel for Jewish life. This narrative serves as a foundation for a new covenant between Israel and world Jewry, elevating the existing discourse from a crisis-based focus to one rooted in Jewish values and ideas. Led by a team of internationally renowned scholars in the fields of Jewish studies, Middle East politics, and history, iEngage is committed to addressing core questions pertaining to the necessity and significance of the State of Israel.

Jewish Heritage of Morocco

In December 2017, a group of 14 students, including two co-leaders, traveled to Morocco to explore Moroccan Jewish history and to engage with Morocco's remaining Jewish population. During the first week of the trip, the group toured around Morocco's southern region, visiting Muslim, Berber, and Jewish villages - highlights included visits to an 800-year-old synagogue, palaces featuring Moorish designs, and dromedary camel riding in the Sahara Desert. The following week, students visited the bustling cities of Marrakesh (where they stayed for Shabbat), Rabat, Casablanca and Fes, learning about the ways that Moroccan Jews have preserved tradition and community amidst a declining Jewish population.

Habitat for Humanity trip to York, Pennsylvania

Over Fall Break 2017, students went to York, PA to help build homes in the community and learn more about the struggles of people in York.

Jewish Heritage Trip to Poland

Over Spring Break 2017, 14 students traveled to Poland to explore Jewish life in Poland today and over the last 1,000 years. The trip included visits to JCCs in Warsaw and Cracow, showing the current Jewish renaissanse in Poland, as well as a visit to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The trip also included visits to the Warsaw Ghetto site, the Warsaw Jewish cemetery, and Auschwitz, making an emotional and fulfilling week discovering the old and the new in Poland.


picture from india trip

Student leaders and the CJL staff focused on creating a service trip that explored our collective religious heritage and Jewish peoplehood as reflected in discussions and visits with Mumbai’s Jewish community. Additionally, students volunteered with the American Joint Distribution Committee's local NGO partner, Gabriel Project Mumbai, to help break the cycle of poverty and hunger in the slums of Mumbai through educational programs. Read the blog from the trip.

INSIDE ISRAEL with Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt

Ambassador Kurtzer led an in-depth exploration of Israeli sovereignty and society, in which students enjoyed traditional aspects of the Israel experience as well as unique access to high-level Israeli and Palestinian officials. Ambassador Kurtzer is currently Lecturer and S. Daniel Abraham Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.

Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Trip to Spain

picture from the spain trip

As part of a year-long Muslim-Jewish Dialogue (MJD) Fellowship, 19 Jewish and Muslim students took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Spain designed to facilitate interfaith dialogue in complement with the touring of Jewish and Muslim historical sites in Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. Rabbi Julie Roth and Imam Sohaib Sultan led the trip, joined by historian, Professor Michael Barry of the Near Eastern Studies Department.

Princeton Taglit Birthright Israel

Camel Ride Birthright 2011

The CJL offers an annual Birthright Israel trip for Princeton students. Students see the sun rise after scaling Masada, watch the sun set over the Mediterranean, place notes in the Western Wall, and spend a night in a Bedouin tent and ride a camel.

Cultural Traditions in the Navajo Nation

picture from the navajo nation trip

How does one find a successful balance between integrating into modern society while maintaining cultural traditions? This question is applicable to people everywhere, but it is especially pressing for modern Native American communities. This alternative spring break trip to the Navajo Nation in the US Southwest focused on learning about what it meant to be both a Navajo and an American.   

Housing and Youth Homelessness in New Orleans

pic from new orleans service trip

This service trip focused on poverty and homelessness in New Orleans and included building a house with Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at schools and family care facilities, and engaging with guest speakers. When not volunteering, participants explored the food and culture that make New Orleans the amazing city that it is.