I was an Israeli...I've been to all these places and I was at a point in my life that I thought that I didn't necessarily want to get to know new people from out of the country...But I remember one of my teammates approached me and said, 'Shavit, you have to go on this trip.' ... Gifting Birthright Israel is really life transforming. It's almost the only resource to be able to provide to Jewish young people like myself to understand each other. To identify with each other."

Shavit Rootman, Birthright Israel Mifgash Alum

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I remember so specifically getting off the plane to Israel and our tour guide was like, 'Courtney, welcome home!' Welcome home? I'm from New York City! But, I understood what he meant by the end of the trip, because it was home. The way that they showed Israel to the participants was as if we were meant to be there, and we should have visited years prior!"

Courtney Demri, 2012 Birthright Israel Alum

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I witnessed a soldier who was Israeli...but he was brown just like me. I was blown away! There's another one! I was just so excited because my whole life it was just me and my brother—that was it...Then he said something to me that forever changed my life. He said, 'In Israel, there is no Jew/brown Jew. You're just Jewish.' It was the first time I even thought about not saying, 'I'm a brown Jew' or 'a Jew of color.' I could be just Jewish."

Arel Moodie, 2004 Birthright Israel Alum

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"We’re forever grateful that Birthright Israel gave us each other, and that's why we will always cherish the opportunity to invest in making Birthright possible."

Sarah Fels & Corey Dicker, Birthright Israel Alums

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I remember thinking that this was full circle: somebody who doesn't want anything to do with Judaism went to Israel and had a life-changing experience. How do I give back? How do I bring this back to my day-to-day life protecting our people on American soil? ... Israel changed my life. That's what I want to give someone else."

Corey Black, 2018 Birthright Israel Alum

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I want to thank you all for giving them such a special experience that they will treasure forever. Our gift is to help continue this program, so other young adults get to experience Israel in such a special way.

Betsy Krantz, 2022 Birthright Israel Parent

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I didn't grow up going to synagogue, I didn't have a Bat Mitzvah, I didn't know the prayers. But, when I went to Israel, I learned about being Jewish in a different way...To anyone who maybe feels like they're not Jewish enough to go on Birthright: you are Jewish enough! Not only for Birthright, you're Jewish enough in every area of your life."

Amy Albertson, 2013 Birthright Israel Alum

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Being in the holy land, walking on sacred ground with my own two feet, was a gift I will be forever grateful for…Coming home to Israel was a special feeling, indescribable really, hard to put into words. I fell in love with Israel, the people, the culture, and what it stands for. I made Israeli friends, saw the beautiful landscape, and feel so much closer to my Jewish heritage through this experience. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

Holly Millet
2018 Birthright Israel Alum

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Not everyone on a Birthright Israel trip knows what it means to be Jewish. Some of my participants even admitted they were embarrassed about being Jewish…After the trip, I watched them all change their social media pages to pictures of them in Israel, something you’d never see before.

David Bitton, Birthright Israel Trip Leader & 2006 Alum

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It led me to realize that I had a newfound connection with my grandmother that was previously unexplored. We talked for hours about my Birthright Israel trip and she shared memories with me that I had never heard before. I told her about all I saw and experienced in Israel. After this, she found and dusted off her Shabbat candles.

Alix Ablaza, 2015 Birthright Israel Alum

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Birthright Israel gives our younger generations an opportunity to go to Israel and ask questions. It’s an opportunity to learn about their heritage and traditions…We need this in the Jewish religion. If you don’t take advantage of learning opportunities like Birthright Israel, how are you going to fight antisemitism?

Gene Hoffman, Palm Beach Donor

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Then the soldiers came and met us, and they didn't fit the image that I had of soldiers in my head. They were teenagers; twenty-somethings like us in jeans and t‑shirts…[We] spent hours talking, and there were so many similarities between a 21 year old girl in Israel and a 19 year old girl in America that we were only discovering because we were put together in a hotel room one night.

Erin Schrode, 2010 Birthright Israel Alum

…I was not surrounded by many Jews growing up, so to be in a country of Jews is astounding…The generosity of Birthright Israel is life-changing, not only to the trajectory of my future by finding my life partner, but in terms of connecting me further to Judaism. Thank you for creating a trip of a lifetime for Jews across the world to connect and feel united.

Haley Harris-Bloom, 2017 Birthright Israel Alum

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Every time we turn around, there is another voice popping up that is anti-Israel or antisemitic. We have a vehicle here to reverse what is happening, and the vehicle is Birthright Israel, and it’s needed. This is how we can show the beauty and vibrancy of Israel to our young people.

Ron Eichel, Atlanta Donor

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Ira and I have now been married almost 9 years, and we would never have met had it not been for Birthright Israel. I would not be observant had it not been for Birthright Israel. And most importantly, my two daughters, Stella and Juliet, would not be here were it not for this organization…This story is just one of the thousands in which Birthright Israel has changed the course of someone’s life for the better, filling it with inspiration, meaning, connection, and direction.

Elizabeth Savetsky, 2004 Birthright Israel Alum

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What Birthright Israel does is of phenomenal importance…it's not anything we could have done on our own. Having this experience at this point in our lives and knowing that this is the foundation for…marriage and for our family and raising children. It really is a gift.

Sarah & David Myer, 2018 Birthright Israel Alums

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I went in thinking I was Jewish because my parents are Jewish, and I identified as Jewish—kind of. And then you go and you're there at the Wall and there's this palpable energy. Judaism and the thousands of years of history, both of the people and of the religion, are around you and you can feel it.

Brooke, 2018 Birthright Israel Alum

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Every Birthright Israel alumni and Birthright Israel Foundation donor has a story. Read about thousands of inspiring journeys just like these on our Blog.

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