Dear Friends,

In 2018, we have a great amount to be appreciative for. Personally, I am extremely thankful for the incredible opportunities I have had and will continue to have on behalf of Birthright Israel Foundation.

Every day I have the unique privilege of interacting with some our generations’ most prominent Jewish leaders whose vision and resources are providing the Jewish people with a more secure future. Together, we take pride in the profound impact of Birthright Israel through the voices of our 650,000 alumni and Israeli soldiers (Mifgash), whose lives are transformed forever.

To me, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur represent an opportunity to reflect on the past and look toward enriching our lives in the future. The sound of the shofar will awaken us all. It is like a yearly alarm clock that reminds us of our commitment to each other, our commitment to G-d and our commitment to the land of Israel.

I think of Birthright Israel Foundation’s commitment to our people’s values and the promise we made at Mt. Sinai. I use this time to examine what I have learned and how I can translate the lessons into actions and growth in the year ahead.

Now more than ever, our mission is of the upmost importance. When a young adult embarks on a Birthright Israel trip and feels the stones of the Western Wall for the first time, it is like a small shofar sounding inside of them. They themselves have been renewed, awakened to the beauty of their heritage and reconnected with the Jewish people and their homeland.

Birthright Israel Foundation, along with communities and individuals across the country, work together to give this life-changing gift to 50,000 young Jewish adults annually. But, I know in the coming years we have even more work to do. Each year, hundreds of thousands of Jewish children are born and it is our commitment as the Jewish people, to ensure that each and every one of them has the opportunity to claim their birthright.

On behalf of the Birthright Israel Foundation family, I wish you a sweet New Year.

Shana Tova!

Israel “Izzy” Tapoohi
President & CEO
Birthright Israel Foundation