Fund Zev to Israel - Tel Aviv University

In May of 2013, I was granted a trip to Israel through Birthright. I had no idea that a simple ten day trip would impact my life so deeply. The purpose of Birthright is to connect Jews who have never been to Israel to the land, the culture, and its people. Birthrights worked: I wanted to return to Israel before I even left - Israel spins that kind of magic!

As a college student, majoring in business and design at the U of U, I looked into ways that I could study abroad and found that Tel Aviv University allows for this. I was just notified late Novemenber that I was one of forty students accepted! But, without enough funds, and a short time between now and January departure to actually get enough hours in at work between full time classes, I'm asking for funding. (I work at Basin Recreation and Jan's at PCMR doing ski rentals.) Update: I am now working 35 hours a week at Jan's.

If you've ever been to Israel, you know what I'm talking about. If you've never been, this is a magical place. I'm looking forward to taking classes in business, marketing, design, to learn Hebrew and to connect with Israel once again.

What I need the funds for:
Tuition: estimated at $7000
Airfare: Delta to NYC then El Al to Israel - between $1200 - $2800 (The longer I wait to book the more it costs. Currently, I can get there for $1282, if I book outside a month.)
Living expenses: $2800 (Tel Aviv U estimates that my housing will cost $700 per month, minimally. )
Food: $2400 (Tel Aviv U estimates a $600 meals/expenses/while in the country.)

There are no scholarships available for this - so I must reach out.

The flight I'm supposed to take:
El Al Flight LY 002 at 6:00 PM, departing from New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport on January 13, 2014.

I'm not permitted to work in Israel on a student visa.

My mom is a middle school teacher and works as a professional photographer in her spare time. She will donate her services to help me realize my dream and study in Israel. My dad works at Park City Gun Club.

Check out her work here: and
If you want to order photos, stock or otherwise, contact her!

Regarding the condo:
The condo is located at the base of the Canyons Resort at Red Pine.
It is condo T2, which is a 1/1 that sleeps up to four. The complex has swimming pools, hot tubs, is walking distance to the Resort. Only the summer months have been donated to me. View the condo here:

Here is the letter I've been sending out to organizations:
Dear Sirs or Madams:

Birthright has worked for me in that for the first time ever, I felt part of the Jewish community and was able to identify with being Jewish. I felt "connected". Although born in Florida, I grew up in Park City, faced ridicule in school and on the playing fields for being Jewish. In kindergarten, I stood up and asked, "Isn't anyone here Jewish?" and met Melissa Burman. (Her mom informed my mom and a friendship was born.) In first grade, during holidays, I was told by a student I was "evil" because I was a Jew. During a ski race, I defended myself while waiting to start, and "fought" - defending being Jewish. On the lacrosse field, I took extra whacks under the muttering breath of opposition who said, "Jew", as he whacked me with his stick. Being a Jewish kid in Utah, with a Jewish name, isn't easy.

Last May, I went on my Birthright trip with Amazing Israel. I can honestly say that the experience was life changing. Since then, my focus has been on returning to Israel, as a scholar.
I applied to Tel Aviv University - and was just notified that I was accepted -for a Jan 13, 2014 departure, for the spring study abroad program. I'll be there as a junior studying business and design.

However, I need financial help and I'm wondering if there is anyway Birthright organizations have an "extension" program; or if there are other donors or organizations who assist people like me, who thanks to the Birthright program, desire to return to Israel - in my case, as a student. I'm scouring the internet to find resources and funding. My mom set up a "gofundme" site for donations.
I'm working the maximum hours allowed by my employer (35), and I'm a full time student.

Can you help?

Thanks for your help and advice.

Zev DeKoff
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Deb DeKoff 
Park City, UT
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