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 

New Year, Blank Slate? Not for Us.

Rosh Hashanah is first referred to in our texts as Yom HaZikaron - the Day of Remembrance. It is not until the Talmud that the idea of the “new year” is even associated with the day, and liturgically speaking, many of our prayers describe Rosh Hashanah as one of memory - a reflection on the past rather than an aspiration for the…  Read More 
Leadership & Supporters

A Look at Why Rob Clarfeld Supports Birthright Israel

Like hundreds of thousands of other Jewish parents, Rob Clarfeld first learned of Birthright Israel when his son went on a trip. He remembers his son Larry, then a student at the University of Vermont, informing him: “I’m going to Israel with a group called Birthright Israel.” Within a few weeks, Larry and his girlfriend (now wife) were in Israel;…  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 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 

Pop Quiz: Test Your Jewish Knowledge

Do you know where Israel signed their Declaration of Independence? Or what the most common food in Israel is? Not quite sure? Well, then it's time to take our pop quiz and test your Jewish knowledge. We can't wait to see how you score! When you're done with the quiz, be sure to share your score on social and tag…  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 

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