New Los Angeles Cabinet members Melissa and Roee Wiczyk generously welcomed more than 50 friends of Birthright Israel Foundation to their home on Monday, February 26. Guests had the privilege to hear from host Roee Wiczyk, Los Angeles alumna Drea Rice, and Dr. Zohar Raviv, the International Vice President of Educational Strategy for Birthright Israel.
Roee opened the gathering by giving an overview of Birthright Israel’s mission to build a vibrant Jewish future. He highlighted how the purpose of the trips is to ignite Jewish identity by connecting young people to Israel and each other, generating a future with pride, purpose, and resilience. He updated the group on trips over the past year and those currently on the ground, stressing that the impact is not only on the individual but on their families, friends, and our community.
Alumna Drea Rice then shared how her recent Birthright Israel Onward volunteer experience allowed her “to find [her] own faith in humanity again.” Drea’s authentic telling of her unique story left many in the room emotionally and profoundly impacted. The group then had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Zohar Raviv. Dr. Raviv spoke about how the organization’s educational platform has evolved post-October 7th and how it’s now up to all of us, the broader Jewish community, to help increase our capacity to send as many young Jewish adults to Israel as possible.
Roee concluded by sharing why he and his wife Melissa are passionate about Birthright Israel and how his recent participation in our solidarity mission prompted them to increase their support of the organization. Following the event, the Wiczyk home was full of conversation, and guests were left energized and passionate about Birthright Israel.
In its 24 years, Birthright Israel has sent more than 850,000 participants worldwide on this life-changing experience, which includes more than 43,000 from our Los Angeles community. We are grateful to our local community for their commitment to our various programs that impact young Jewish adults worldwide. Together, we can ensure we can continue to provide this experience of a lifetime and transform future generations. 

Photos from the Event