The year 2022 was an incredible year for Birthright Israel Foundation and young Jews worldwide. Tens of thousands of young Jewish adults applied for Birthright Israel and returned home to the Jewish homeland. While on the trip, they reconnected to their heritage, formed unbreakable bonds with their Israeli peers, and learned about Israel firsthand. This is why we’re excited to share our participants’ most significant takeaways.

What Young Jews Have To Say About Birthright Israel

1. “I’m so thankful!”

“I’m so thankful I got to see firsthand many historical sites in Israel. This put into context histories I had read about in many texts or through friends in the Jewish community. I particularly enjoyed our trip’s visit to Masada, where we got to spontaneously partake in a Bar Mitzvah. Driving to the Dead Sea, Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Negev, Tsfat, Sderot, and beyond are memories I will treasure for a lifetime. I’m thankful that this trip allowed me to gain a deep connection with my roots and with Israel.”
Sarah Feldman, California

2. “My Birthright Israel trip was so educational.”

“My Birthright Israel trip was so educational and amazing! I loved learning the history of the land and seeing the sights. It really instilled in me a strong connection and love for Israel. I really want to show my appreciation and gratitude to the people who made my trip possible.”
Abigail Thurm, New York

3. “Birthright changed my life.”

“It might be cliché, but my Birthright experience changed my life. I was raised super secular. Never had a Bat Mitzvah, didn’t really do the holidays, and I can count on one hand how many times I went to temple. Birthright Israel gave me the opportunity to learn about my Jewish identity, take pride in my culture, and realize how important it is to me to be Jewish and live a Jewish life.”
Lauren Hughes, Colorado

4. “This trip made me proud to be Jewish.”

“I grew up in a house where we wore Magen David’s but were sure to hide them under our shirts. We never answered when people asked about our religion. Enough was enough. I wanted to see the place, Israel. I signed up for this trip, having never flown on a plane and living a very sheltered lower-middle-class life in California with my single Mother and older brother. Had it not been for this foundation, I would not have set foot in the land that my ancestors were forbidden from. This trip made me proud to be Jewish, it emboldened me to honor my religion and its history.”
Anonymous, California

5. “I learned the importance of Zionism.”

“I learned the importance of Zionism and the State of Israel. I learned how to be a better person and communicate better with others. I learned about the history of Israel and how important we promote it as the Jewish homeland.”
Max Lederer, Pennslyvania

6. “We are all connected.”

“I learned that no matter where come from or what our backgrounds are, we are all connected just by being Jewish.”
Nicole Yakubov, New York

7. “What it truly means to be Jewish.”

“I learned deeply about our history, our religion, our culture, our people, and where we come from. On what it truly means to be Jewish, I am even prouder of that fact. I learned how magically seamless it is to connect with my fellow Jewish peers and to the amazing country of Israel.”
Illana Hoffer, New Jersey

8. “A lasting impact.”

“My Birthright trip has had a lasting impact on me. I am grateful for the experience and want to encourage others to consider Birthright.”
Kim Christel, New York

Every Dollar Counts! Donate today and help send a young Jewish adult ona life-changing trip to claim their birthright.
Every Dollar Counts! Donate today and help send a young Jewish adult ona life-changing trip to claim their birthright.

9. “Grew an immense pride for Israel.”

“I had a great experience, and I’m so grateful to all the donors who made my trip a reality. I also learned more about my Jewish roots and grew an immense pride for Israel.”
Sarah Strent, New York

10. “I wouldn’t have gone to Israel without Birthright.”

“I want to tell you about my Birthright Israel trip, which was in July 2022, because it deepened my Jewish identity and love for Israel. I learned that Israel is the Jewish people’s promised land and is very diverse. More so, I would not have gone to Israel without Birthright.”
Ivan Galperin, California

11. “An expertly planned trip.”

“Birthright was an expertly planned trip with lots of fun events and educational time. People who were on my bus had never been to Israel before, never celebrated Shabbat, and never heard Havdallah. We all came out of Birthright Israel with a renewed sense of our Judaism and a love for Israel, even for the people on our bus who were skeptical at first.”
Elizabeth Rubin, Pennslyvania

12. “Heartwarming to meet others with similar stories.”

“My experience on Birthright Israel is not so unique. There are so many of us, young Jews, that have grown up disconnected from our roots. It was heartwarming to meet so many others with similar stories. I have never felt so connected to the nation of Israel as I do now.”
Kyle Mayer, Pennslyvania

13. “I learned what it means to be Jewish.”

“I learned what it means to be Jewish to different people, and I better understood the perceived value of Israel to parts of the Diaspora. I also learned how being Jewish and practicing Judaism, and believing in G-d and self-identity are all connected but separate. I also learned that there is room for all Jews, no matter what you believe, both in the Jewish community and in Israel.”
Ben Chasnov, Pennslyvania

14. “Birthright was an absolute privilege to take part in.”

“I learned that there is no measurable amount of how much we are or are not Jewish. We simply are. I also really appreciated how much of a miracle it is that I am alive at a time when I can set foot in the holy land, whereas so many of my ancestors could not. Birthright Israel was an absolute privilege to take part in.”
Michael Danelia, Michigan

15. “The group leaders made the experience.”

“I had the most amazing ten days with the most amazing 39 people! The places we visited were as fun, beautiful, and moving as everyone said they would be. But, it was really the group leaders I was with that made the experience beyond what I ever could have expected. We all still stay in touch to this day, planning monthly Shabbat dinner reunions for all that can attend.”
Lauren Witonsky, New York

16. “Appreciative of the opportunity.”

“It was a life-changing experience. I am so appreciative of the opportunity to experience the beauty and history of Judaism and Israel. I felt such an unexpected but deep connection to Israel and plan to go back.”
Caitlin Weston, Virginia

17. “10/10 experience.”

“I had an amazing time. I really enjoyed my tour guide, North American staffers, the other kids on the trip, the Israeli soldiers who joined us, and the food. It was a 10/10 experience, and I would do it again if I could.”
Alexia Kadota-Browner, New York

18. “I learned about Israel’s rich history.”

“I learned about Israel’s rich history, culture, and modern life. Particularly, I learned firsthand about Israel’s mentality towards living in the present — Israelis are able to switch emotionally from fun to serious topics, and I feel Israel as a country does the same.”
David Veksler, California

19. “The geopolitical issues surrounding Israel are incredibly complex and nuanced.”

“I learned that Judaism is as much a culture and lifestyle as it is a religion, that Israel is such a diverse place culturally, and that the geopolitical issues surrounding Israel are incredibly complex and nuanced.”
Sabrina Richardson-Reitman, Texas

20. “I got to see and hear all different kinds of perspectives.”

“I met all kinds of people with all different views on how being Jewish is a part of their life and identity. I got to see and hear all different kinds of perspectives, from the very secular to the very religious and everything in between. I got to hear the perspective of Zionist Jews living in Israel firsthand and got to meet Americans who had made Aliyah to understand why they made that decision and what drew them to the Biblical homeland.”
Rebecca Levin, New Jersey

21. “It is hard to describe this trip in just a few words.”

“It is hard to describe this trip in just a few words. I can proudly say that Birthright Israel has changed my perspective of Israel completely. It felt amazingly special to be part of the majority for the first time in my life.”
Abraham El Gadeh, Canada

22. “I returned a different person.”

“I returned from the trip an entirely different person across the board, especially in my relationships with my Jewish identity, community, work, and relationships. I went into this trip not very Jewish at all and am leaving a proud Jew. I’m attending services for the first time in my life, finding a Jewish community in my city, getting in touch with my Jewish heritage, and planning a trip back to Israel in the fall.”
Kristen Guerin, New Jersey