Houston Hillel Perspectives

Summer Packing List



  • It probably won't rain while we're in Israel.

  • Jerusalem highs will be in the mid to upper 80s, with lows in the upper 60s, and reasonable humidity.

  • Tel Aviv and Tiberias, the other two places we're staying, will be a few degrees higher than Jerusalem, and a bit more humid. Tel Aviv's weather in August is very similar to Houston's.

Packing thoughts

  • You can bring one large bag and one carry-on. You won’t have access to laundry facilities, so you should think about bringing enough clean clothes for the entire trip. The other option is to hand wash some clothing during the trip. (Kenny does this, so don't be surprised if it looks like he's wearing the same shirt every third day. If you've never hand washed while traveling but think it might work for you, ask Kenny about his plan.)  

  • Any casual clothing works on the street. During warm weather in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv you'll see men and women in shorts and tank tops, or even more revealing clothing. 

  • However, you’ll have to dress modestly at some religious sites, perhaps on Shabbat (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), and in the Palestinian areas. Men should wear pants and a nicer shirt (probably with a collar) that covers your upper arms. Women should cover their legs to the ankles, along with arms to the wrists. Women will most often be fine with pants and a shirt with sleeves to the elbows. But the local custom can vary, and we might enter a site at which the guard refuses entry to women in pants. It's probably a good idea for women to bring a lightweight opaque easy to pull on full length skirt, and a large scarf or shawl that can be used to cover your head and shoulders.

  • If, like Kenny, you hate wearing long pants, then men can pack a pair of lightweight long pants in your backpack and feel free to change on the bus when needed. Women can carry in your backpack a wrap skirt and shawl to easily put on and take off.

  • Think twice before bringing expensive jewelry, laptops and other valuables.

  • Houston Hillel will provide each participant with 15 disposable face masks, two small bottles of hand sanitizer, and one packet of 50 sanitizing wipes.

Bring on the plane in your backpack (a backpack that you can carry with you during the trip)

  • Face masks

  • Hand sanitizer in a carry-on size bottle

  • Sanitizing wipes

  • A change of clothes

  • Sweatshirt or fleece pullover (the plane can get cold)

  • Medication (in original pharmacy containers, if possible)

  • Prescription glasses (and contact lens)

  • Passport and a drivers license (or other government issued ID in place of drivers license). Israel does not stamp passports, and instead provides a small paper visa that you need to carry with you, so consider a safe place to keep it. 

  • Cash and credit/ATM cards. You’ll need to buy food in the airports, most lunches and some dinners during the trip. ATMs are all over the place, and you can easily use them to take out some Shekels. You should check to see if your ATM card will charge a transaction fee in addition to the usual ATM fee. You should also consider telling your credit and ATM card providers that you’ll be out of the country so they don’t flag your purchases as fraud and freeze your cards. Israeli currency is much more coin oriented than in the United States. Consider bringing a small zippered pouch or coin wallet.

  • Phone, charging cord and external battery

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant

  • Headphones or earbuds

  • Ear plugs

  • Airplane pillow

  • Eye mask

  • Stuff to read

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle - you'll want to carry one with you the entire trip


Other stuff in your suitcase - Let Kenny know if you need help figuring out how many of each you should bring.


  • Short (and maybe long) sleeve shirts

  • Shorts

  • Pants

  • Sweatshirt or fleece

  • Windbreaker or lightweight raincoat

  • Shabbat/modest clothing 

  • Underwear

  • Socks 

  • Pajamas 

  • Bathing suit

  • Small towel

  • Hat with a visor - like a baseball cap

  • Shoes. There’s going to be lots of walking and exploring, so comfortable outdoor shoes are essential. You'll be fine with sturdy running or other closed-tow athletic shoes.

  • Power plug adapters like in the picture for electrical equipment that is adaptable to 220 volts. Cell phones and tablets typically work with just a power plug adapter.

  • Power converter? You won't need one! Things that use a motor, like an electric shaver and hair dryer, are the only items that require a power converter. Most hotels will have a hair dryer and electric outlets that provide 110 and 220.

  • Sunglasses 

  • Toiletries (the hotels will have soap, shampoo and towels). Don’t forget your toothbrush and deodorant. 

  • Sunscreen 

  • Plastic bags for wet and dirty clothes

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