Alumni Trip Highlights

Discovering the Real Israel on Birthright Israel

Growing up in Massachusetts, my family went to temple every so often. I started going less and less after my Bar Mitzvah, even though we still celebrated Hanukkah. I heard about Birthright Israel through my mom and I was reluctant, but I was still interested. Initially, I looked at a general Birthright Israel trip, but as I talked with the organizers, they told me…  Read More 
Leadership & Supporters Trip Highlights

The Gift That Keeps Giving: Ensuring the Jewish Heritage of Future Generations

Over the past two decades, Birthright Israel Foundation has helped send more than 750,000 Jewish young adults to Israel. The vast majority returned with a newfound connection to their homeland and a lifelong commitment to their Jewish heritage. That’s why we call Birthright Israel a gift that keeps on giving. The trip itself is a gift, but it also gives…  Read More 
Holidays Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel: The Gift for the Jewish Future

A dangerous misconception exists; the Jewish people are oriented to the past. Our collective age, deep connection to ancient traditions, our lived memory of events centuries before our time, the image of Tevye singing, “Tradition!” and more sometimes belie the truth: We are not a people of the past. We are a people of the future.  In our tradition, we count up. Whether it…  Read More 
Leadership & Supporters Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Trips Impact Indiana University Students

Staffing Birthright Israel trips are the most rewarding aspect of my job. My desire to pursue Hillel work stems from prodigious positive memories formulated during 13 years of attending a Yeshiva day school. Over the course of ten days Birthright Israel trips are able to successfully create more positive memories and enable growth for students in ways in which Jewish…  Read More 
Leadership & Supporters Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Set My Son on a New Path

As a mom, it is important that my son Jonah achieve special milestones throughout his life. When Jonah was diagnosed with high functioning autism at a young age, I wasn’t sure if he would have the same opportunities as other kids. This included the chance to experience Jewish milestones.  Our family belongs to Temple Sinai in Atlanta, Georgia. Jonah went to preschool and Sunday school there, he became a Bar Mitzvah and he was confirmed. As a teenager, he was a madrich in the Sunday…  Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Navigating Life After Your Birthright Israel Trip

When alumnus Neil St. Clair first entered the workforce, his family encouraged him to hide his Jewish identity, “suggesting that if I want to succeed, I should not display my Judaism.” He didn’t identify publicly as a Jewish person for the first time until he was in his 30s. Married, with his second child on the way, he decided to…  Read More 
Leadership & Supporters Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Foundation is Transforming Young Jewish Lives in Philadelphia

Throughout the last twenty years, Birthright Israel Foundation has changed tens of thousands of young Jewish lives in Philadelphia. This is in large part due to the incredible local lay leadership, proving Philadelphia is truly the City of Brotherly Love. We must thank our local lay leaders Margie Honickman, Gail Norry, Susan Schwartz and the late Madlyn Abramson z'l who have worked…  Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Questions & Answers: The Meaning of a Bat Mitzvah at 23

I returned from my Birthright Israel trip several months ago now. There, I took advantage of the opportunity to have a Bat Mitzvah at the age of 23, during which each participant spoke about what they wanted to commit to from that day forward. Below, I reflect on this speech, discussing what my trip meant to me and how the ceremony connects my past, present and future.   “After being accepted to Birthright Israel and learning…  Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

10 Days, Forever Changed: An Experience Beyond A Free Trip to Israel

Twenty years ago, 9,000 Jewish young adults embarked on the first round of Birthright Israel trips. They were pioneering travelers who signed up for the free trip without any point of reference, like the wealth of alumni testimonials and Brandeis University studies available to prospective participants today. “I left the United States with no preconceived notions or expectations of what…  Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel with Argentinians: Connecting with our Jewish Identities

Growing up, I went to Sunday school every Sunday until I was 16. For a time, I was even at the synagogue on a weekday evening after soccer practice for Hebrew/religious school as well. At a young age, I felt connected to my Jewish identity; I loved the songs, the prayers, the food (other than maror), the holidays, and the community. …  Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Fellows: Leading the Way

“So, let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves by saying our names, where we’re from, our most memorable Birthright Israel moment, how each of us defines our Jewish identity, a value that represents how we live our lives, and what each of us is hoping to get out of being here at Birthright Israel Fellows.” And, this is how…  Read More 

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