Alumni

Jacob Babbin on Doing Birthright Israel with Non-Verbal Learning Disability

Jacob Babbin is a 2022 Birthright Israel alumnus with Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD). Non-Verbal Learning Disability is when people struggle with various conditions that include social and spatial disabilities. Jacob knew about the Birthright Israel program but thought he would not be a good fit because of his disability. Nonetheless, Jacob pushed himself to sign up and was elated with… Read More 
Alumni Leadership & Supporters

5 Things Moms Love About Birthright Israel

You'd guess right if you guessed that Jewish mothers are some of Birthright Israel's biggest fans and Birthright Israel Foundation's most devoted supporters. For over two decades, Jewish moms and grandmothers have encouraged their offspring to sign up for Birthright Israel. They know that a peer-led experience in Israel encourages their children to find their own connections to the land… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Video: How Birthright Israel Ignited My Never Ending Love Affair with Israel

Coming from a mixed family, with what many might call an unorthodox Jewish upbringing, I’m probably the last person you’d expect to dedicate my professional and much of my personal life to advocating for the Jewish people and Israel. I grew up with a very unaffiliated Jewish father, a Chinese-American mother, and an uber-liberal, atheist Jewish grandmother. I always knew… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center

There are many lessons and sites young Jews on Birthright Israel will never forget, and perhaps the place that impacts participants the most is Yad Vashem. The museum, known as the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, was established in 1953 and is the globe's leader in Holocaust education. Tripadvisor ranks it as one of the Top 25 Museums in the World.… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel is Life-Changing and I’ll Keep Saying It

To start, Birthright Israel changed my life. It has changed my life spiritually, mentally, romantically (which you will hear about later). I want to leave you with suspense! When I am asked to share my Birthright Israel story, it's difficult to decide where to begin because my experience has provided me with so many different outlets and avenues that impacted… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Meet Indiana Birthright Israel Alumna Ellen Voskoboynik

Ellen Voskoboynik was born in the United States to former Soviet immigrants. Her parents, who fled the former Soviet Union as refugees, raised her to have a strong respect for her Jewish heritage. Ellen participated in Birthright Israel through the Indiana University Hillel, where she became a Bat Mitzvah on the trip. Ellen is now a practicing emergency room nurse… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Jeremy Ettlinger: Recalling My Bar Mitzvah at Masada

I went on Birthright after my second year of college in May 2019. Like many Birthright Israel trips, my journey started at the airport. My dad and stepmom dropped me off at the airport. Margot, my stepmom, wanted to come with me to the airport so she could see a Birthright Israel trip up close. After two goodbyes and many… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Meet South African Birthright Israel Alumna Shani Levi

Shani Levi is a recent Birthright Israel alumna from Johannesburg, South Africa. After her Birthright Israel trip, she went on to study midrasha in Jerusalem, Israel. Shani loves getting involved in her community and helping people — something her trip further inspired her to do. In our interview below, read how her trip impacted her life. Q&A with Shani Levi… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Video: Birthright Israel Showed Me the Real Meaning of ‘Am Yisrael’

The Birthright Israel experience is very different for an Israeli young adult than our American counterparts. When I was asked to join a Birthright Israel group in Tel Aviv for three days, I said, "of course, it's a free vacation." Most of all, I was excited to have time off from the army. I was very excited about this "free… Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Megan McKee & Levi Snow

Levi Snow and Megan McKee do not have the traditional Birthright Israel love story. Before their trip in 2014, the two had already been dating and met through the Indiana University Hillel. Their journey helped solidify their love for her each other. They both signed up for Birthright Israel at the beginning of their relationship, not knowing what the future… Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Meet Melissa and Alex Block: An LA Birthright Israel Love Story

The Birthright Israel love story of Melissa and Alex Block was beshert from the beginning. Their story unknowingly began when Melissa volunteered to lead an LA-based trip in 2008, and Alex's plans of going on Birthright Israel with his cousin fell through. For Melissa, she was not initially leading the trip Alex was on. At the time, only a limited… Read More 

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