Alums Trip Highlights

Dear Donor: I’ve Never Been Happier Than I Am Now, Knowing I Am a Jew

Dear Birthright Israel Foundation Donor, This is definitely the hardest letter I had to write in my entire life, and you’re probably wondering why. In the beginning, I was very skeptical about writing this down, and even worse, having to share this personal thought with you guys was very intimidating. But after some time of thinking about it (a year… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

Q&A with Past Participant Madeline Beard

Madeline Beard is a 2017 Birthright Israel alum who currently lives in Denver, CO. She grew up in Texas, went to school in DC, lived in NYC, and had a stint in Kentucky while working on a political campaign. She currently works as a Project Lead for TinyWins, a remote-first strategy and design agency. Outside of work, she loves staying… Read More 
Alums Food

A Delicious Blintz Recipe Inspired by Tzfat

Birthright Israel participant Susana Szegedi shares her savory blintz recipe inspired by her time in Tzfat on the trip. She describes being in the middle of a bazaar and seeing a man making blintzes and filling them with mouthwatering ingredients. Instead of the traditional sweet filling, this recipe takes a more savory approach and uses goat cheese, arugula, and watercress… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

My Birthright Experience: Discovering Israel and Myself

As a 98.9% Ashkenazi Jewish individual growing up in Los Angeles, I always felt a connection to my culture and religion. From attending reform Jewish ceremonies within my family to spending summers at a Jewish sleepaway camp in Malibu, my exposure to Israel was limited to what I learned from others. However, as life got busier with sports and college,… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

The Magnitude of a Birthright Israel Trip

On the first day of school, nearly every year, each of my classes handed out the infamous questionnaire designed to introduce students to one another. Everybody is aware of the daunting feelings brewing inside of the person whose turn is approaching as they prepare to compile brief answers about their personal lives and interests. “Where are you from? What is… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Turned a Jewish Student into a Jewish Activist

When people talk about their Birthright Israel success stories, you’ll usually hear about someone who had no previous connection to Israel returning with a newfound love for their homeland. My Birthright Israel experience, however, instilled in me a sense of responsibility to stand up for its existence. In 2019, I filed a lawsuit against NYU for failing to protect its… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

Meet Miami University’s Hillel Engagement Director & Alum Katie Spector

Katie Spector is originally from Northeast Ohio and lives in Cincinnati today. She is the Director of Engagement at the Hillel at Miami University in Ohio. She's passionate about providing Jewish students a place to find their Jewish identity and creating spaces where all Jewish students are welcome. When she isn't working, she is either crocheting, reading a book, or… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

Israel Is the Glue That Binds the Jewish People Together

Homeland, miracle, and start-up nation. As a kid growing up in New Jersey, these were the words used to describe Israel — by both my parents and my teachers in Hebrew School. After visiting Israel for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, I thought I understood the importance of the Promised Land as the safest place in the world for the Jewish… Read More 
Alums Love Stories

Finding Love in Israel: American Jewish Married Couples Meet in The Holy Land

When young Jewish adults travel to Israel through trips presented by organizations such as Taglit-Birthright Israel or Jewish National Fund-USA, they are usually looking for meaningful connections to their heritage and religion. However, some participants on these trips found something more in addition to connections to Judaism and Israel: their bashert (soul mate). There are Jewish married couples in the… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel bone-marrow registry marks 100,000 potential donors

For nearly 20 years, Birthright Israel has partnered with the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, encouraging the young Jews who participate in trips to Israel to register and potentially help those with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases. The groups recently hit a milestone: 100,000 who have offered to serve as donors. The 100,000th is 20-year-old Mitch Linefsky of Fairlawn,… Read More 
Alums Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Gave Me Courage

Birthright Israel is a gift that kindles a spark of shared cultural identity in the hearts of Jewish students, fostering a sense of community that transcends borders and lasts a lifetime. This invigorating experience empowers Jewish youth to explore the profound significance of their cultural identity and gain a newfound appreciation for their Jewish heritage. Through this journey, students can… Read More 

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