WACA Leadership Mission to Israel 
June 2-10, 2016 

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Applications Due April 8 
The World Affairs Councils of America is pleased to announce that the America-Israel Friendship League   will host a WACA Leadership Mission to Israel from June 2 to 10, 2016. 
Note: Flights will depart the U.S. on Thursday, June 2, and arrive in Jerusalem on Friday, June 3. 

The Leadership Mission will be comprised of an AIFL escort, WACA President Bill Clifford, and up to 14 delegates from the Council network. Prospective delegates will find application details below.  

This Leadership Mission to Israel will focus on a variety of contemporary issues, including Middle East regional affairs, Israeli politics and diplomacy, counter-terrorism, immigration and refugees, innovation and entrepreneurship (alternative energy, IT, health care), and religious diversity.

The trip will likely require a considerable amount of walking to and from meetings, as well as walking tours.

The deadline to apply is April 8, 2016. 
Leadership Mission Details  

A Leadership Mission is a working visit made by a WACA National Leadership Delegation to a foreign country. It is an important membership benefit for our network leaders and sponsors. Missions allow participants to obtain firsthand knowledge of the host country, which helps them to design and operate programs, events, and activities for their Councils that make a real difference in fostering grassroots understanding and engagement in international affairs. 

Itineraries and meetings are organized by the host. Arrangements will be made for the delegation to interact with top ministry and government officials, members of the Knesset from major political parties, as well as business, NGO, media, and religious leaders, in order to enhance delegates' understanding of Israel. 

Please see the 2008 WACA Leadership Mission to Israel Report, which details the wealth of professional meetings and cultural activities, such as a visit to a kibbutz, that participants can expect.   
This Leadership Mission is open to Council CEOs, Board members of local Councils and the national network, and sponsors. Applicants should be actively involved in Council operations and activities, and must be supported by their Councils. As many as 14 delegates will be selected. 

*** For this particular opportunity, WACA will give preference to community and business leaders who have not previously traveled to Israel. ***

In addition, participants must agree to attend all meetings during the trip and provide a Leadership Mission report within two weeks of arriving back in the U.S.

Airfare and flight arrangements to and from Israel as well as a participation fee of $1,250 are the responsibility of each participant. The America-Israel Friendship League will coordinate and cover in-country transportation, hotel accommodations, and other arrangements.
Leadership Missions involve multiple professional meetings, cultural activities, and extensive walking each day. It is a stimulating and demanding experience, even if one is immune to jet lag. For these reasons, all delegates should be in excellent physical condition. 

Delegates representing the World Affairs Councils of America are citizen diplomats in every sense of the phrase. 

Before Departure 
Briefing materials will be provided to delegates in advance of the trip; however, we recommend proactive, independent reading about Israel's history, social mores, and current issues in domestic politics and foreign relations. 

During the Trip 
Delegates should be prepared for a full schedule in Israel from June 3 to 10. (Note: Flights will depart the U.S. on June 2 and arrive in Jerusalem on June 3.)

AIFL will recommend international flight options including economy, economy premium, and business class. 

Delegates are also asked to bring some gifts to present to meeting hosts and others, as appropriate. A trip leader will be present to coordinate this and act as a liaison with the Israeli organizers. In some instances, a tour guide will be provided and should be tipped as is customary. 

Upon Return 
Within two weeks of returning from Israel, participants must contribute to a Leadership Mission report, published by the World Affairs Councils of America and distributed to the Councils network, as well as to the trip hosts and some government offices where appropriate. (Sample trip reports can be found on the   WACA website.) 

Participants are also required to share their experience through Council events, op-eds, radio interviews, and other means of public engagement. Within six months after the delegates' return to the U.S., delegates are required to submit a report of their public engagement activities to the WACA National Office. 

AIFL's generous sponsorship will cover in-country expenses for the delegation, including lodging, meals, and local transportation. 

Selected delegates are required to pay an administrative fee of $1,250 to the World Affairs Councils of America. Delegates are responsible for making any travel insurance arrangements at their own discretion. 

Delegates are responsible for any souvenirs and incidentals.
Selection Process 
Applicants are required to submit the following to the World Affairs Councils of America National Office  by email to  lesehaki@worldaffairscouncils.org by April 8, 2016: 
  • Application form (Download Here
  • Release of Liability Form (Download Here
  • A color copy of the photo page of your passport
  • A letter of reference from your local Council CEO. If you are a Council CEO, please submit a letter of reference from the Chair of your Board of Directors. 
Delegates will be selected based on their demonstrated involvement with their local Council and commitment to public engagement following the Leadership Mission.

The World Affairs Councils of America 

1200 18th St., NW, Suite 902, Washington, DC 20036

Phone (202) 833-4557  Fax (202) 833-4555

Email waca@worldaffairscouncils.org Website www.worldaffairscouncils.org