Six months ago, our world was forever changed.  We woke up on October 7 to the news that 1,200 innocent Israelis were murdered and 234 were kidnapped by Hamas.  Homes and families were destroyed as our homeland was under attack.

Quickly, we understood the substantial impact these horrific attacks would have on Israeli society, its economy, and Jews around the world. What also quickly became apparent was the incredible outpouring of support from the global Jewish community. Our focus instantaneously turned to the humanitarian support Israel needed. Emergency funds were created, clothing and household items were collected, all while our Israeli brothers and sisters were flooded with WhatsApp messages of love and support.

 As an organization, we shared the desire of our alumni and other young Jewish adults to find community, connection, and a way to help our Israeli brothers and sisters. Birthright Israel connected with alumni through email, social media, and Zoom, empowering them to advocate for Israel on their platforms and campuses. Alumni took action, organizing local fundraisers, speaking on national news, and even testifying before Congress.

How Birthright Israel Alumni Take Action
Birthright Israel Alumni Take Action

Birthright Israel Alumni Make a Direct Impact in Israel

Birthright Israel Onward launched a volunteer program to provide Jewish young adults with volunteer opportunities in Israel. Since November, the program has welcomed an impressive 2,800 volunteers, with a majority being Birthright Israel alumni.

These dedicated volunteers have made a significant contribution to Israel through various initiatives:

  • Food Rescue & Agricultural Support: Partnering with 15 organizations across farms and distribution centers, volunteers helped sort and pack essential goods for both civilians and military personnel.
  • Over 103,615 Hours Donated: This incredible amount of volunteer time translates to a real difference for those in need.
  • Beyond Numbers: The volunteers’ impact goes beyond statistics. They provided much-needed support and friendship to the people of Israel during a challenging time.
  • Building Relationships: Through visiting injured IDF soldiers and patronizing local businesses, volunteers fostered a sense of connection and understanding between themselves and the Israeli community.
  • A Lasting Impact: Participants returned home with a deeper understanding of “the real Israel,” making the experience mutually rewarding for all involved.

Hope Beyond October 7: Classic 10‑Day Trips Resume

Following the introduction of our volunteer program, we relaunched our classic 10-day program in January, and we have already welcomed nearly 1,000 participants this year. As the world’s largest Jewish educational project, we have the responsibility to provide our participants with an understanding of October 7 while demonstrating a vision of hope. We must not allow October 7 to define us as a people, but rather, we must instill a positive view of our homeland and Judaism as part of the story of an ever-living people.

Building Generation Zionism: Birthright Israel Empowers Young Leaders

Today, we have the great responsibility of inspiring, teaching, and motivating this generation, “Gen Z,” to be proud of who they are, where they come from, and where they are going. Now more than ever, they need Birthright Israel. We anticipate 14,000 participants across all of our programs this summer. They will return from their experiences in Israel with knowledge and confidence in the strength and resilience of our people because of you.

Your generosity and commitment to our mission will inspire them to be proud of their homeland and Jewish identity, leading the way as “Generation Zionism.”  Together, we can make this a reality not only this year but for years to come.  Registration is currently open for this summer. Please spread the word and encourage those in your families and network to apply for our classic 10-day trip and our volunteer program.

We will never forget the lives lost on October 7 and continue to pray for the safe return of the hostages still being held in Gaza. May we find peace and go from strength to strength.