Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Courtney Barnett & Shahriar Sharifi

In 2014, when Courtney and Shahriar both boarded planes to Israel, they never imagined they'd met their future spouse. Courtney was living in Phoenix and Shahriar was living in Encino when they signed up and despite Operation Protective Edge going on Israel, they both knew this trip was too important to pass up. After falling in love on Birthright Israel…   Read More 

Pop Quiz: Test Your Jewish Knowledge

Do you know where Israel signed their Declaration of Independence? Or what the most common food in Israel is? Not quite sure? Well, then it's time to take our pop quiz and test your Jewish knowledge. We can't wait to see how you score! When you're done with the quiz, be sure to share your score on social and tag…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Questions & Answers: The Meaning of a Bat Mitzvah at 23

I returned from my Birthright Israel trip several months ago now. There, I took advantage of the opportunity to have a Bat Mitzvah at the age of 23, during which each participant spoke about what they wanted to commit to from that day forward. Below, I reflect on this speech, discussing what my trip meant to me and how the ceremony connects my past, present and future.   “After being accepted to Birthright Israel and learning…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

10 Days, Forever Changed: An Experience Beyond A Free Trip to Israel

Twenty years ago, 9,000 Jewish young adults embarked on the first round of Birthright Israel trips. They were pioneering travelers who signed up for the free trip without any point of reference, like the wealth of alumni testimonials and Brandeis University studies available to prospective participants today. “I left the United States with no preconceived notions or expectations of what…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel with Argentinians: Connecting with our Jewish Identities

Growing up, I went to Sunday school every Sunday until I was 16. For a time, I was even at the synagogue on a weekday evening after soccer practice for Hebrew/religious school as well. At a young age, I felt connected to my Jewish identity; I loved the songs, the prayers, the food (other than maror), the holidays, and the community. …   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Fellows: Leading the Way

“So, let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves by saying our names, where we’re from, our most memorable Birthright Israel moment, how each of us defines our Jewish identity, a value that represents how we live our lives, and what each of us is hoping to get out of being here at Birthright Israel Fellows.” And, this is how…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Connecting with Grandma: How My Birthright Israel Trip Reconnected Us

Over the last few years, Birthright Israel and Birthright Israel Foundation have become dear to my heart. This is in large part due to Margie Honickman who many in the Philadelphia area know and love. Margie sits on the Board of Directors and is the Philadelphia Leadership Council Co-Chair for the Foundation too. Before I began working for her, I had never heard of…   Read More 
Food

Shabbat Recipes to Help You Slow Down and Celebrate

After a long week of work or school, Shabbat serves as a prime opportunity to relax, recharge, connect with loved ones, and sit down for a nice meal. The festivities, which begin at sundown on Friday, commemorate the day when G-d rested after creating the entire world, in the Torah.  And you thought your week was busy! TGIF—Literally Enjoying Shabbat…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Birthright Israel Ignited My Love of Judaism Even More

My love for Judaism was ignited at my Bar Mitzvah and the candle has stayed aflame since that day. It was only when my sister went on Birthright Israel, I became interested in going to Israel, where all our prayers go. I have Autism and I knew that I too could have my Birthright Israel experience with peers from all walks of life.   At first, I was nervous about being the only…   Read More 
Alumni Trip Highlights

Say It Forward: Spreading the Word in the Jewish Community

Have you ever performed a mitzvah and told the recipient to “pay it forward”? A common saying in popular culture, the term was likely coined during the early 20th century, though the concept dates back to ancient literature. The idea is simple: Rather than repaying an act of kindness, do something kind for someone else. Birthright Israel Foundation is rooted…   Read More 
Alumni Love Stories

Birthright Israel Love Story: Tatiana & Haley

In summer 2017, Tatiana Lundstrom and Haley Harris-Bloom thought Birthright Israel would be a great opportunity to get in touch with their Jewish heritage. Hours into their trip, the two were sitting together on the bus and within days had fallen in love. Check out our interview with the couple to see how their Birthright Israel love story unfolds. What…   Read More 

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