The Birthright Israel trip was an amazing experience for my son Jacob, he literally came back a changed person with a more insightful view on history, current events and learned so much about the people of his rich heritage. Jacob was amazed by the things he saw and, most importantly, was challenged by the activities he participated in. He told me, “I was welcomed by a strong sense of community everywhere I went, and by everyone I interacted with.”
What made Birthright Israel so special to me is the fact ever since Jacob’s father passed away in 2010, he didn’t have much of a connection to the Jewish side of our family. Knowing that Jacob participated in Birthright Israel would have made his father so happy. I know my son felt closer to his father being immersed in Jewish culture and activities. Honestly, it brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about this all and how proud his father would have been knowing his son made it to Israel.
If I could say anything to the nearly 40,000 donors who made this trip possible, it would be THANK YOU SO MUCH. Thank you for helping my son connect with the part of himself that was taken from him when he was only 12 years old when his father passed away. Since I am not Jewish, Jacob would have never gotten from me what he received in experience and knowledge by participating in Birthright Israel.
When Jacob came back home from Israel, he became a young man with increased confidence to pursue his life goals. Birthright Israel opened his eyes to so many things and definitely gave him a sense of pride for where and who he comes from.