Since our program’s inception, the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University has rigorously evaluated Birthright Israel’s impact on participants once they return home. New research from the Summer 2023 cohort underscores the transformative impact of Birthright Israel on our participants, particularly after October 7th. Compared to Birthright Israel applicants who did not participate on a trip last summer, the data reveals just how essential Birthright Israel is in the lives of Jewish young adults.

Whether on our classic 10-day trip, Onward, our new volunteer program, or Excel, our programs equip participants with the tools they need to navigate tough conversations with confidence, allowing them to proudly become ambassadors for our people and our homeland, demonstrating the inherent resiliency of our people.

Key Takeaways from “Birthright Israel’s Impact in the Shadow of the Israel‑Hamas War”

  • From April-December 2023, Birthright Israel participants’ were 4X more likely to be connected to Israel than non-participants.
  • From April-December 2023, Birthright Israel participants’ involvement in Israel activism increased by 77% compared to non-participants.
  • Birthright Israel participants are twice as likely to feel a part of the worldwide Jewish community compared to non-participants.
  • 82% believe their Jewish identity is very important after their Birthright Israel and/or their Onward trip.
  • Connection to Israel increased regardless of the participant’s political identification (pre-trip vs. post-trip):
    • Liberal: 23% → 50%
    • Moderate: 37% → 63%
    • Conservative: 40% → 76%
  • 54% of Birthright Israel participants have been active on social media since the start of the war, 23% more than non-participants.
  • Birthright Israel participants are twice as likely to draw closer to their Jewish friends and community since the start of the war when compared with non-participants.

Birthright Israel remains a rite of passage for Jewish young adults and an even more critical element in shaping their Jewish identity and connection to Israel. Birthright Israel is not just a trip; it is a life-changing experience, one that is needed now more than ever.

Watch the Statistics Come to Life: Panel with Five Birthright Israel Participants on College Campuses

Birthright Israel Foundation hosted a special Yom Ha’Atzmaut webinar featuring five inspiring college students: Yasmeen Ohebsion (Tulane University), Sabrina Jahan (University of Southern California), Talia Dror (Cornell University), Eden Yadegar (Columbia University), and Jordana Levine (University of Michigan).