Birthright Israel tour educator Moshe Linetsky will be visiting the US on behalf of Birthright Israel Foundation this year to meet with supporters regarding the educational programming of the classic 10-day trip. Moshe is a licensed Israeli Tour Educator, geopolitical speaker, and former IDF Officer who has years of experience in helping young Jewish adults better understand Israel. His involvement with Birthright Israel is vast. Moshe has had the privilege of working as an Israeli madrich, a field coordinator, a program writer, and was head of the Former Soviet Union Department for Israel Experience, a Birthright Israel trip organizer.

Born in the Soviet Union, Moshe and his family made aliyah in 1991. He studied International Relations and Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 2016, Moshe founded Ayzik Tours, an educational tourism company that specializes in presenting Israeli and Middle Eastern Reality based on regional, historical, and sociological approaches. Moshe has delivered over 300 lectures in both Russian and English on these various topics.

Q&A with Moshe Linestky

What inspired you to become a Tour Educator for Birthright Israel?

Moshe Linetsky: “I’ve been working with Birthright in various positions with different organizers since 2008. I’ve made the path from being a madrich in the field to being a program director in the office. However, after spending several years in the office, I realized that I missed the field experience, and becoming a tour educator was a clear and enjoyable choice for me.”

What do you believe is the most important role for TE’s in regard to helping young Jews better understand Israel and their Jewish heritage?

Moshe Linetsky: “As a tour educator, I believe there are two crucial aspects to this role. Firstly, leading by example — not pretending to have all the answers. Secondly, asking meaningful questions, particularly those I might not have the answers to myself. Identity developed through dialogue is stronger and more profound than identity shaped through one-way communication.”

Moshe Linetsky, Birthright Israel Tour Educator

Describe some of the ways in which you help young Jews learn while on the trip.

Moshe Linetsky: “During the trip, I encourage participants to share their thoughts and feelings about the places and experiences we encounter. I ask them to reflect on what these experiences mean to them personally and what they will take back home from them.”

Do you learn anything from the young Jews who you lead through Israel?

Moshe Linetsky: “Absolutely! I learn a lot, especially when leading groups from North America. Their perspective on the ways to combine Judaism in both modern and a liberal sense are somewhat different from the average Israeli’s. I believe there’s much that Israeli society can learn from the Diaspora Jews.”

What do you think is the biggest takeaway participants gain from their experience?

Moshe Linetsky: “There are two, I believe. The first is that Israel is truly a second home and can be an integral part of their Jewish identity. The second is that they realize they are not alone. If they weren’t part of a Jewish community before the trip, they discover a community here that welcomes them.”

What do you think is the most important lesson a young adult can learn from a firsthand Israel experience?

Moshe Linetsky: “That are are part of an ancient story that is now at yet another crossroads, and they can also have an active role in shaping the future of the Jewish people.”

Can you describe your favorite moment as a Tour Educator?

Moshe Linetsky: “One of my favorite moments as a Tour Educator was during the final feedback session, where a participant who had absolutely no prior connection to the Jewish community said: ‘From now on, when I’m going to speak about Jews, I’m going to use the term us.'”