Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Nikki Labaschin & Joey Torres

In college, Nikki found community in her Birthright Israel family. So much so, when her class voted for superlatives, they named her most likely to be CEO of Birthright Israel. Although Nikki isn't the CEO, she did become a madricha for a Chicago Professionals trip. It was during this trip she met Joey, who she'd soon find out was her…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Courtney Barnett & Shahriar Sharifi

In 2014, when Courtney and Shahriar both boarded planes to Israel, they never imagined they'd met their future spouse. Courtney was living in Phoenix and Shahriar was living in Encino when they signed up and despite Operation Protective Edge going on Israel, they both knew this trip was too important to pass up. After falling in love on Birthright Israel…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Tatiana & Haley

In summer 2017, Tatiana Lundstrom and Haley Harris-Bloom thought Birthright Israel would be a great opportunity to get in touch with their Jewish heritage. Hours into their trip, the two were sitting together on the bus and within days had fallen in love. Check out our interview with the couple to see how their Birthright Israel love story unfolds. What…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jane & Vitaly

Growing up in Kiev, Ukraine, I knew absolutely nothing about Israel, Jewish culture, and I definitely had no sense of belonging to the Jewish people. As a post-Soviet Jewish girl, you can imagine all of these were things my family never spoke about. So, when I signed up for Birthright Israel, I never dreamed I’d meet my husband. Of course,…  Read More 
Alumni Leadership & Supporters Love Stories

Why Jewish Moms Love Birthright Israel

Jewish moms love Birthright Israel for thousands of reasons. They see the impact of the program on their children and now, 20 years since inception, many of our alumni are now moms! So many had a life-changing experience on the trip. With more than 750,000 Birthright Israel alumni across the world, many Jewish children now have moms who are alumni. And, more than anything,…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Ruthie Schorr & Simon Menaker

In the winter of 2012, a girl from Seattle, WA, and a boy from Charlotte, NC, both signed up for Birthright Israel hoping to get more connected to their Jewish heritage and have a fantastic experience, but little did they know they'd end up meeting their soulmate. This is the Birthright Israel Love Story of Ruthie Schorr and Simon Menaker.…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories Trip Highlights

Young Leadership Spotlight: Neil St. Clair

My last name might confuse you, but I am, in fact, an American Jew through my mother. My mother’s maiden name is Robin and she was born and raised in Pittsburgh a few generations after our ancestors fled the pogroms of Czarist Russia. And my father came from an Episcopalian background. There was little religion in our home in New…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jenna McCoppin & Shelby Klein

In 2016, Jenna McCoppin from Dallas, TX, decided the time was now or never to sign up for Birthright Israel. She knew this would be her last chance to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime gift, "It was important to me to take advantage of the opportunity, but there was also hope to find something that I had been searching for…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Love Story: Carly and Alex Vargas

Carly Rapaport and Alex Vargas met on their Birthright Israel trip back in the summer of 2014. Although they lived under 6 miles from each other in Boston at the time, they didn’t meet until their trip when they were over 5,000 miles from home! Carly explains, “Alex had wanted to go on a Birthright Israel trip for years, but…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Love Story: Tori Berkman & Dylan Burstyn

In May 2015, neither Tori or Dylan thought when they signed up for Birthright Israel, they'd meet their soulmate. Now, a few years later, they're engaged and can't wait to start their life together. We had an opportunity to catch up with them and learn how their Birthright Israel love story played out! Did either of you think you'd meet…  Read More 
Alumni Love Stories Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jordana & Gregory Bel

My husband and I met on our Birthright Israel trip in January 2011. We were a grade apart at Union College and applied for the trip through the Hillel. Greg has said that he was instantly attracted to me ever since the initial meeting in the Hillel board room (though he likely won’t admit that publicly!) We became friends on…  Read More 

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