As Birthright Israel entered its 20th anniversary year no one could have imagined a global pandemic…
The world has drastically changed since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. We look around us and see a new type of ordinary as we adjust to social distancing guidelines to keep one another healthy. However, as we look to the future, Birthright Israel Foundation supporters and future Birthright Israel parents and participants remain hopeful.
Cheryl Rosenberg, a supporter of Birthright Israel Foundation in Atlanta, says that although her daughter’s trip is postponed, she knows Sadie will go. “This is just a pause. Everything will work. Birthright Israel is important,” says Cheryl.
As our partners at Birthright Israel adjust to the ever-changing situation and work to keep future participants engaged, the work of Birthright Israel Foundation has not stopped. “We understand a peer-to-peer firsthand experience of Israel is crucial to the next generation’s Jewish identity. We want our communities filled with Israel supporters and future leaders that have strong connections to their Jewish heritage,” says Izzy Tapoohi, President & CEO of Birthright Israel Foundation.
And like him, Cheryl Rosenberg also sees the impact and potential impact of the program in her Atlanta community. “I think it’s important our kids learn to connect with their Jewish identity and other Jewish people. We live in Atlanta, and in Atlanta, you have to seek out the Jewish community. I want my daughter to feel secure in her Jewish identity and seek out a community.”
Sadie Rosenberg’s Birthright Israel trip is postponed, but the University of Michigan student remains excited for the time when she will get to go. “It’s the thing to do at my campus after your sophomore year. Everyone that goes on Birthright Israel just has this bond. No one else can understand what you’ve gone through. I was really looking forward to going this summer. My camp friends from childhood and I promised we’d all go together. I’m not sure if that will still work out, but no matter what, we will all go. I’m still really excited.”
As all of us dream of the day when we can return to synagogue, celebrate Shabbat with our families, and venture to Israel, we are trying our best to make each day bright. “We are confident that The Kotel, Masada, and the streets of Tel Aviv will soon enough be filled with Birthright Israel participants. After all, together, we have made a promise to the next generation. We will keep our promise, ” says Izzy.