Send-a-Kid-to-Israel Partnership (SKIP)
SEND-A-KID-TO-ISRAEL PARTNERSHIP (SKIP) FAQs
SKIP is a cooperative program in which families, congregations, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago each contribute funds toward an Israel Experience program for participating students. The SKIP goal is for each student to travel to Israel as part of his/her Jewish education. Enrollment begins during a student’s 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade and continues through 9th grade. Both public school and day school students are eligible. The combined annual contribution for our children at Beth Shalom is $255 - $85 from each family, matched by $85 from our congregation and $85 from Federation. Although the SKIP program may not cover the entire cost of a trip to Israel, the funds make a considerable reduction in the expense. Remember that the funds are in an interest-bearing account. Furthermore, families in financial need can apply for scholarships from other sources.
Enrollment is arranged through our synagogue. After the initial enrollment form is completed, we are responsible for the rest – submitting the partnership agreements, transferring the funds and reporting our children’s names to the Federation. Enrollment information will arrive in November, with a deadline of December 1st for the submission of forms and checks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register my child? When you receive the enrollment information, you need to complete the forms and send an $85 check, made payable to Congregation Beth Shalom, by December 1st. The only special information you need in order to complete the forms is your child’s social security number.
What if I forget to sign up in 3rd grade? May I start my child at a later date?Yes, your may begin participating when your child is in 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th grade.
If I want to enroll my child who is currently in 4th grade, may I pay past 9th grade and make up a missing year? You may begin contributions in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6 but you may only contribute through 9th grade.
If my child would like to go to Israel after 8th grade, may I use his/her funds one year earlier? S.K.I.P. ‘s goal is for funds to be used for a high school or college Israel Experience program and is designed for sophomore high school students or older.
My child is in 6th grade and I would like to begin a SKIP account. May I enroll him now and pay for the previous years (for 3rd, 4th, or 5th grades)?You certainly may enroll your child in 6th grade. However, catch-up payments are not accepted.
May we use the funds for a family trip to Israel?The partnership program is designed to promote travel with a peer group. Although the synagogue and JUF support and encourage family trips, these funds are to be used when your child travels with a group of friends on his or her own young adult trip to Israel.
What if we move and we join another synagogue in the Chicagoland area? If the synagogue has a S.K.I.P. program, your child’s account will be transferred and the partnership continues. You continue to invest $85 each year, JUF continues its matching funds (always $85), and the new synagogue continues its matching funds. However, each congregation determines the amount to be contributed. The new synagogue may not match the entire $85 amount.
After several years of contributions, my child no longer wants to travel to Israel. What happens? You will receive a complete refund of the money you deposited, plus the interest on that money.
Up to what age may SKIP funds be used?
This is a new rule that we only learned about in the past few weeks. SKIP funds may now be used by a student through the age of 26.
Enrollment information has been mailed to all Aleph and new student families. Additional forms may be picked up at our school office. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact me through the synagogue or religious school office.