In Judaism, it is our duty as human beings to perform mitzvot or acts of kindness. These acts of kindness elevate us, drawing us closer to G-d and to the purest and most authentic versions of ourselves. When we contribute to the well-being of society and strive to be the best versions of ourselves, we are practicing an act known as Tikkun Olam. The phrase Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for “world repair”) is a concept in Judaism where we aspire to behave beneficially and shed light on a dark world.

Tikkun Olam is one of the many significant themes of a Birthright Israel trip. One of the most meaningful aspects of the trip is to teach and instill the values of this concept in the younger Jewish generations. Regardless of a participant’s Jewish background, Birthright Israel aims to create opportunities for everyone on the trip to contribute to the vibrancy of the Jewish people worldwide. Birthright Israel endorses unity and through the concept of Tikkun Olam, connects these young Jews to their community – their Jewish community at home as well as the Jewish community at large.

The Jewish people are a nation. We may live in other nations, but above all, we cherish our Jewishness. Birthright Israel aims to ensure the solidarity of the Jewish people by teaching our future Jewish leaders about the ideas of Tikkun Olam.

Birthright Israel alum, Garrett, says “Before Birthright, I had more of a theoretical understanding of Tikkun Olam, but being in Israel gave me a first-person experience with the physical nature of this concept. I had so many conversations with Israeli’s about what this meant to them and experienced so many stories about the amazing things being done in the country with the intention of repairing our world. It is humbling to realize that miles between people mean nothing when connected through a common bond.”

Birthright Israel encourages participants to take what they learn on the trip and spread the ideas of working to repair the world wherever they may go in life. The world we live in is full of suffering and deeply in need of healing and a greater commitment to selflessness. With the proper tools and education, participants can help make the world a better place.