Alumni Trip Highlights

Why My Birthright Israel Trip Changed Me

In 2004 I moved from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to a small suburban town in New Jersey where I became the “token Jew.” Here, I could count on one hand how many other Jewish people there were. For me, it made growing up Jewish and accepting my faith hard. I am also “half Jewish” so some people described me as not being a…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Recap: Birthright Israel’s 2020 Initiatives

As the leading educational project of the Jewish world, our mission is to help young Jews form unbreakable bonds with Israel and their Jewish heritage. So, even though Birthright Israel trips are paused, the team has been quite busy. Watch the short video below to see how they are engaging young Jews throughout the world. Birthright Israel's 'Community Features' Secondly,…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Why Birthright Israel is More Than a 10‑Day Trip

For countless Birthright Israel participants, the return flight home can be an overwhelming experience. After ten days of exploring the culture and history of your ancestors with 40 new friends, the thought of separation, and a return to normal life is daunting. With a new perspective on life, Birthright Israel alumni often find themselves asking, "what now?" On my trip, meeting Chen,…   Read More 
Trip Highlights

Embracing Jewish Heritage Across Generations, in Israel and at Home

Though more and more young Jews these days are conflicted about their heritage and faith, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks z’’l was optimistic about the future of the Jewish people. “We are super-resilient people,” said the respected spiritual leader. “The more pressure we’ve been under, the stronger we’ve become.” Take Israel, for example. The Jewish State has faced unrelenting threats to…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Reflections on an Accessible Trip to Israel

I am a Jewish Inclusion Fellow at RespectAbility, but I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my Jewish identity. I have always enjoyed eating potato latkes at Hanukkah, and appreciated the ritual of reevaluating oneself during the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but I know very little about Judaism, beyond these cultural touchstones. Some of this is because…   Read More 
Trip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Broadens Exposure to Jewish Customs and Traditions

There were many years when Judaism was not a priority for Mark and Renee Kaufman’s daughter, Desiree. She had no interest in going to temple, following Jewish customs and traditions, or marrying a Jew. Then Desiree received the gift of a Birthright Israel trip, traveling for free along with a group of her peers. In Israel, she experienced what one…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Why Future Birthright Israel Participant Isabelle Remains Hopeful

As Birthright Israel entered its 20th anniversary year no one could have imagined a global pandemic would change the course of the program for the year. Young Jewish adults worldwide were disappointed as their trips were postponed and communities everywhere went into lockdown. Take future participant, Isabelle Wigon of Boston, MA who wasn’t surprised to learn her June Birthright Israel…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

15 Ways Birthright Israel Exposes Participants to Life in Israel

Birthright Israel participants are typically pretty clueless about life in Israel before their trip. They return from the Middle East with a visceral connection to the Jewish State and these 15 lessons on life in Israel. Life in Israel is modern ... When alumnus Nathan Lightman claimed his birthright, he was surprised to find that the streets of Tel Aviv…   Read More 
Alumni Leadership & Supporters Trip Highlights

The Role Birthright Israel Played in Marina Yudborovsky’s Life

In 2004, a Birthright Israel trip inspired Marina Yudborovsky to reconnect with her Jewish identity, something it has done for 750,000+ young Jews worldwide. Marina, a Soviet Jewish émigré to the US, was then motivated to join the Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) in 2009 to help in its mission to strengthen the Jewish identity of Russian-speaking Jews around the world.…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Meet Maya Rosen, Birthright Israel Intern at Michigan State University

When I started as a freshman in 2017 at Michigan State University, I had no idea how big of an impact my Jewish identity would have on my experience. During my sophomore year, I signed up for a May Birthright Israel trip through the MSU Hillel. I had never been to Israel before, and I was eager but nervous. I had…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel and Connecting to My Jewish Identity

Like so many young Jewish adults, I was raised in a mixed-faith family. With my mother identifying as Presbyterian and my father identifying as Jewish, it was up to them to decide how both my brother and I would be raised. Judaism is hugely important to my father’s side of the family and my parents decided that the best way…   Read More 

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Sheldon Adelson (z'l): A Legacy Worth Leaving - There are few people in this world who can compare to Sheldon and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, when it comes to their generosity and dedication to our people and our homeland. Sheldon has truly transformed the Jewish world. Sheldon Adelson (z'l): A Legacy Worth Leaving - There are few people in this world who can compare to Sheldon and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, when it comes to their generosity and dedication to our people and our homeland. Sheldon has truly transformed the Jewish world.