Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the most commonly asked questions regarding the Seminar.

If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to contact us.

About the Seminar

What is the Young Leaders Seminar on Israel Studies?

The Young Leaders Seminar on Israel Studies is a six-day residential program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have demonstrated leadership and interest in Israel and the Middle East. The Seminar convenes an elite group of high school students for an intensive academic conference that equips them with a critical knowledge base of history, politics, culture, and Israeli society.  The Seminar is held on the campus of Brandeis University and at select venues in Boston, Massachusetts.

How will the Board of Advisors be involved in the Seminar?

The Board of Advisors help us develop the program and curriculum and in some cases actually deliver talks and lectures to the delegates.

How many students will participate in the Summit?

Approximately 100 delegates from around the U.S. are selected to represent their schools and states at the 2017 Young Leaders Seminar on Israel Studies.

The materials I received stated that the Seminar is taking place in Boston, but I see that I will be staying in Waltham on the Brandeis campus. Will I still spend time in Boston?

Yes. The Seminar brings the best of both worlds together for you. By staying on the Brandeis campus, outside of Boston proper, we are able to provide a college experience at a prestigious university in a very safe environment. At the same time, you will spend time exploring many educational resources that Boston has to offer.

Application and Enrollment

Is there an application fee?

No, there is not an application fee. 

How do I log into the online application?

Students who are invited to apply receive an email with application instructions shortly after receiving the invitation. Please contact us if you received an invitation but did not receive the application information.

I submitted an application to attend the Seminar. How soon can I expect to hear a decision?

Admissions is handled on a rolling basis. You can expect a decision within 5-10 business days of submitting your completed application. 

My brother/sister/friend was invited to the Seminar and I am also interested. Can I attend?

Students are invited to apply to the Seminar based on information we receive through national surveys and standardized tests. In addition, we accept nominations from educators. Students who are interested in applying and did not receive an invitation may ask a teacher or school counselor to nominate them. To find out more about the nomination process, please visit the nominations section of the website.

How can I request an invitation?

Students are invited to apply to the Seminar based on information we receive through national surveys and standardized tests. In addition, we accept nominations from educators. Students who are interested in applying and did not receive an invitation may ask a teacher or school counselor to nominate them. To find out more about the nomination process, please visit the nominations section of the website.


What does tuition cover?

Tuition to the Young Leaders Seminar on Israel Studies is $2,180 and includes the following:

  • Tuition for 5 days of Israel studies, including hands-on activities and distinguished speakers

  • A dedicated Faculty Mentor

  • All materials and supplies

  • Residence in state-of-the-art facilities

  • Shuttle Transportation to and from Boston Logan International Airport or MA 128-Westwood Amtrak Station

  • Private, deluxe motor coach transportation throughout the seminar

  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners - though students should bring cash for snacks while traveling off-campus

  • A Closing Semi-Formal Dinner

  • All activity fees

  • A Commencement ceremony with personalized certificate of completion

  • Residential staff to monitor residences during the night

  • 24-hour staff to address emergencies

Is there a payment plan?

Yes, we do offer a payment plan. Each student is required to pay a deposit of $250 at the time of admission using our online system. Three subsequent monthly installments of $643 will be required until the full seminar tuition and fees have been collected. Registration must be paid in full by May 15, 2018.

Only students who have paid their tuition in full will be eligible to attend the Seminar.

Delegate Safety and Supervision

Where will I reside during the Seminar?

All delegates reside in state-of-the-art residence halls on the campus of Brandeis University. All residence halls are air-conditioned, have a wireless Internet connection, and will be staffed by Seminar faculty and monitored by adult, campus staff 24 hours a day.

Who will be watching over the students at night? Will there be an RA for the residence halls?

You will be housed on single sex floors with faculty of the same gender living on each floor. In addition to an on-call advance team and residential staff, we also benefit from our Campus Public Safety division that monitors all activities 24/7.  You must keep your name badge, containing emergency contact information, with you at all times, should you ever need assistance in the residence halls after hours.

How will safety and security be addressed during the Seminar?

The safety, security and educational outcomes for our students are at the forefront of all Seminar activities. Delegates are led in small groups. The resident faculty to student ratio is approximately 1:17.

Students are supervised both on campus and during all excursions and off-site activities. There is limited leisure time, as the delegates work and study in small groups with adult staff at designated meeting times. The Seminar faculty includes a dedicated program manager, professional curriculum designers, a seasoned advance team and experienced educators. All Seminar staff complete an extensive background check before being hired.

All delegates must reside in Brandeis' secure residence halls that are monitored at all times by adult faculty members. Parents and guardians can reach a member of our team at any time during the Seminar.

Will I be supervised by a staff member of the same gender?

During small group meetings and large group functions, you will be in coed groups and work with both male and female staff members. When staff are conducting room checks in the evenings, or if personal issues need to be addressed, this is done by a staff member of the same gender.

Will students use public transportation while attending the Seminar?

All transportation is provided by private coach and students are supervised while traveling between venues.

Can my parents visit while I am at the Seminar?

Yes. We do encourage you to plan your visits during meal times so that you will not miss any of the fantastic opportunities planned for you. In order to visit, your parents will need to check in with the Seminar staff in order to ensure your safety.

Can I leave the Seminar with another family member or a family friend who lives in Boston?

Yes, these visits are allowed. Your parents must submit a parent permission form in advance to allow anyone visit with or take you off campus. To ensure safety, you must sign out of the Seminar with our staff when you are leaving and sign back in upon your return.

Does my student have to stay on Brandeis campus during the Seminar?

Yes. Residency at Brandeis is a requirement of the Seminar. One of the best parts of the Seminar experience is meeting new people, interacting with them throughout the day and being able to get a real-life glimpse into college living.

Will the students be split into groups for the program? Who will lead these groups?

Yes. Delegates interact in small groups of 17 with a faculty mentor and then attend seminars and site visits in groups of 17 to 50.  Our overall delegate to staff ratio is 14 to 1. Our mentors are college educated professionals ranging from current Israel studies or education graduate students to seasoned professionals.


How do students travel to the Seminar?

Traveling by Plane:

If you are arriving by plane, please arrange your travel to Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS). We will meet you at the airport and provide transportation to Brandeis University. We will also provide transportation back to the airport at the end of the program. We ask that all participants try to book travel that gets the to Logan no later than 1pm on arrival day. On departure day flights can be booked anytime after 11am (for App Design, Service Corps, BIMA and Genesis) or anytime after 2pm (for YLS and GYS).

We will be running free shuttles to and from the airport to Brandeis on arrival and departure days. You will receive instructions about where to meet our Brandeis staff. On arrival days, shuttles from the airport to Brandeis will run from 8am-2pm.  On departure days for App Design, Service Corps, BIMA and Genesis, shuttles to the airport will run 9am-12pm.  On departure days for YLS and GYS, shuttles to the airport will run 11am-2pm.  

Traveling by Train:

If you are arriving by train, please arrange your travel to the Route 128 train station in Westwood, MA (RTE). We will meet you at the station and provide transportation to Brandeis University.  We will also provide transportation back to the station at the end of the program. Please try to book travel that will have you arriving to Route 128 no later than 1pm on arrival day. On departure day, trains can be booked anytime after after 11am (for App Design, Service Corps, BIMA and Genesis) or anytime after 2pm (for YLS and GYS). A Brandeis staff member will meet you in the waiting area of the train station.

If you are unable to arrange travel during those times, we understand. Brandeis Precollege Programs will pick up ALL teens arriving to Boston Logan Airport and Route 128 (RTE) train station, and will ensure their return at the end of the program. Please be aware, however, that if you book a flight that arrives very early on arrival day, or departs very late on departure day, you will end up with a longer day at the airport.

Traveling by Car:

We ask that participants arriving by car arrive between 1pm - 3pm. Participants of App Design, Service Corps, BIMA and Genesis should be picked up between 9-11am on departure day. Participants of YLS and GYS should be picked up between 12pm-2pm on departure day. Signs will be posted on the campus to direct you.

Arrival/Departure Destinations

Boston Logan Airport

Boston Logan Airport is an international airport with four passenger terminals. It is located in the East Boston neighborhood of the city. Logan has free public wifi.

In light traffic, Logan airport is about a 25-minute drive from the Brandeis campus.

Westwood Amtrak Station

The Westwood, MA/Rt. 128 Amtrak train station is served by most commuter trains on the MBTA Commuter Rail Providence/Stoughton Line, and all Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela Express intercity trains.

If I cannot book a flight close to the check in time, will I receive transportation?

If you are unable to arrive during the travel window of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you may take a taxi to Brandeis University located at 415 South Street, Waltham, MA.  Once we receive room assignments in early June we will update families on the specific building students to where should direct their taxi driver.

What opportunities will I have to spend time off campus in Boston?

We plan outings off-campus as we know that cultural exploration of Boston is an equally exciting opportunity for you as the academics of the Seminar.  Outings will be announced in early June, but you can be certain they include many of the historically important sites in and around Boston.  All off campus transportation and events are included in tuition, though you may want to bring a little spending money for souvenirs and incidentals when out and about.

What are some nearby hotels?

Nearby hotels in Waltham include the Westin, Embassy Suites and Marriott – all just off 1-95.  Additionally, guests who stay in Lexington at the Element or aLoft receive a 20% discount by mentioning Brandeis at the time of reservation.

What to Bring

What should I pack for the Seminar?

For the majority of the Seminar, the dress code is professional business and business casual. The list below shows what you are expected to wear each day of the Seminar. Comfortable closed-toe shoes are essential for the Seminar since you will be walking a lot.

You should prepare...

  • 2 Business Casual Outfits (Slacks or dress khakis with buttoned and collared shirts and sport coats for young men, slacks or skirts with collared shirts or dresses for young women.  Cue: What you would wear to a meeting where you are trying to impress your clients.)

  • 1 Professional Business Outfit (Suits and ties - or slacks and sport coats with ties - for young men; dresses, skirts or slacks with workplace appropriate blouses.  Cue: What you would wear if you were presenting to a major national conference and wanted to be perceived as an expert.)

  • 2 Casual/Travel Day Outfits (Comfortable khakis or jeans with collared shirts or tasteful t-shirts without writing)

  • 1 Semi-Formal Outfit (Cocktail dresses for young women – suits or sportcoats with ties for young men.  Cue: What you would wear to a non-formal prom.)

We encourage families not to spend additional money on clothing. The academic rigor of the Seminar calls for appropriate attire, but not a large investment on the part of the families. Please contact us if you have specific concerns about the dress code.

Do we need to bring our own linens?

Residence hall linens are provided and included in the cost of tuition.

Do we need to bring a laptop?

If possible, you are requested to bring a laptop. Computers are used for both research and presentations. Brandeis University’s library is available for computer use throughout the program as well.

Special Requests

Can special dietary needs be met?

Vegetarian options are always available, and kosher meals can be made available upon request. All dietary needs must be indicated on the special needs section of your travel form, and, if necessary, a staff member will contact you to discuss any special arrangements that need to be made for you.

Can students who require reasonable accommodations attend the Seminar?

Yes, we will make every attempt to accommodate all students. Please contact the Brandeis Precollege Programs for more detailed information.

If I find I am not enjoying the Seminar and want to return home, what is the policy?

We believe that all students who attend the Seminar can have a positive and meaningful experience there. However, we understand that sometimes it can be challenging for you to be away from home in a different setting for a new experience. We work with you to create strategies to make your time enjoyable and to address concerns or issues you have. If you are not able to continue with the Seminar, you will be able to return home at any time. According to the Seminar policy, there would be no refund available at that time.

If my student cannot arrive on the first day, can s/he still attend the Seminar?

Yes. However, we strongly encourage you to limit the amount of time missed. Every moment of the Seminar is carefully planned to create a valuable experience for your student and they should plan to take advantage of all those opportunities by being present for the entire Seminar.

Can I request a roommate?

While we do allow roommate requests, one of the most important aspects of the Seminar is interacting with other students and we encourage students to meet new students and create a diverse peer group. Additionally, we have a number of single rooms for students.