Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel’s Connection to Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut

Every year, Israelis and Jews worldwide come together to commemorate and celebrate two important days on the Jewish calendar: Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut. Yom HaZikaron is Israel's Memorial Day to remember those who lost their lives fighting for the establishment of the State of Israel and all military personnel killed in active duty. Yom Ha'atzmaut is Israeli Independence Day… 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 Trip Highlights

Discovering My Own Strength Alongside My Jewish Identity

I was incredibly fortunate to go on a Birthright Israel trip in July 2021 when Israel opened its borders during the pandemic. I was eager to have this experience and am grateful to share more about it with you. Growing up, I was raised in a home that was a mix of reform, conservative and orthodox, from my parents and… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

An Israel Love Saga (Not Another Birthright Israel Love Story)

While I was in high school in the summer of 2012, I took my first trip to Israel with BBYO, the Jewish youth movement I was involved in. I was thrilled to be spending three weeks on a trip to Israel, but part of me was also a little sad — I knew that by going on this trip, I… Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

My Top 5 Favorite Moments on Birthright Israel

Going on Birthright Israel in the middle of a pandemic in the winter seemed like an intimidating trip. Although my trip was canceled and rescheduled many times due to COVID, the excitement of participating never left me. Once in Israel, I knew I was in for a fantastic jam-packed 10-day adventure. I could speak to many aspects of what Birthright… Read More 

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