From the desk of Birthright Israel Foundation

A Message from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to the Supporters of Birthright Israel

by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks September 14, 2020 at 8:00 am
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A Message from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks to the Supporters of Birthright Israel

by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks September 14, 2020 at 8:00 am

Dear Friends, In decades to come, we will look back on 2020 as a watershed moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed so much. We are in the midst of a public health crisis, an economic crisis, a race crisis, a law and order crisis, the ripples of which have been felt around the world. Read More

Birthright Israel is a Game-Changer for American Jews, Says Indiana’s Bob Schuckit

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 13, 2020 at 4:36 pm
Bob Schuckit at the Kotel in Jerusalem

Birthright Israel is a Game-Changer for American Jews, Says Indiana’s Bob Schuckit

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 13, 2020 at 4:36 pm

As a child in Madison, Wisconsin Bob Schuckit grew up in a Conservadox household where his Jewish heritage was extremely important. His parents were immigrants and valued the strength and support of their local Jewish community.   Eventually, he left Wisconsin and attended Brandeis University. Here, he had a wonderful time and credits the school for keeping his passion for Judaism alive. However, like most young Jews today, Bob lost touch with his Jewishness as a young professional. Read More

Birthright Israel: The Gift for the Jewish Future

by Rabbi Ari Hart • Skokie, Illinois September 13, 2020 at 7:18 am
Rabbi Ari Heart

Birthright Israel: The Gift for the Jewish Future

by Rabbi Ari Hart • Skokie, Illinois September 13, 2020 at 7:18 am

A dangerous misconception exists; the Jewish people are oriented to the past. Our collective age, deep connection to ancient traditions, our lived memory of events centuries before our time, the image of Tevye singing, “Tradition!” and more sometimes belie the truth: We are not a people of the past. We are a people of the future.  Read More

What Is Rosh Hashanah? 10 Key Facts to Know

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm
A man blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah

What Is Rosh Hashanah? 10 Key Facts to Know

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm

The Jewish High Holy Days, also known as the 10 Days of Repentance or Awe, are approaching faster than three blasts of a ram’s horn. It’s time for us to let go of the old as we embrace the Jewish New Year. A time of reflection and renewal, the High Holy Days kick off with Rosh Hashanah, Hebrew for “head of the year,” and conclude 10 days later on Yom Kippur. Read More

Looking Forward: A Rosh Hashanah Message from Izzy Tapoohi

by Israel "Izzy" Tapoohi • President & CEO September 11, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel Foundation CEO Izzy Tapoohi with his extended family in Israel

Looking Forward: A Rosh Hashanah Message from Izzy Tapoohi

by Israel "Izzy" Tapoohi • President & CEO September 11, 2020 at 8:00 am

Each year as the summer winds down, the Jewish community prepares to observe the High Holy Days.  The evening breeze, the anticipation of fall, are all part of the build-up to Rosh Hashanah.  We enjoy the last minutes of summer, we prepare our children and grandchildren to return to school, we shop for dresses, ties, and shoes to add to our wardrobes for our days in synagogue.  We Read More

How Birthright Israel Trips Impact Indiana University Students

by Jess Goldblatt • Bloomington, IN September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jess Goldblatt

How Birthright Israel Trips Impact Indiana University Students

by Jess Goldblatt • Bloomington, IN September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am

Staffing Birthright Israel trips are the most rewarding aspect of my job. My desire to pursue Hillel work stems from prodigious positive memories formulated during 13 years of attending a Yeshiva day school. Over the course of ten days Birthright Israel trips are able to successfully create more positive memories and enable growth for students in ways in which Jewish professionals strive to emulate throughout the academic year. Read More

New Year, Blank Slate? Not for Us.

by Rabbi Emily Hyatt • Denver, CO September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Rabbi Emily Hyatt

New Year, Blank Slate? Not for Us.

by Rabbi Emily Hyatt • Denver, CO September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am

Rosh Hashanah is first referred to in our texts as Yom HaZikaron – the Day of Remembrance. It is not until the Talmud that the idea of the “new year” is even associated with the day, and liturgically speaking, many of our prayers describe Rosh Hashanah as one of memory – a reflection on the past rather than an aspiration for the future.  Read More

A Look at Why Rob Clarfeld Supports Birthright Israel

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Robert & Kristen Clarfeld at a Birthright Israel Mega Event concert

A Look at Why Rob Clarfeld Supports Birthright Israel

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 10, 2020 at 8:00 am

Like hundreds of thousands of other Jewish parents, Rob Clarfeld first learned of Birthright Israel when his son went on a trip. He remembers his son Larry, then a student at the University of Vermont, informing him: “I’m going to Israel with a group called Birthright Israel.” Within a few weeks, Larry and his girlfriend (now wife) were in Israel; a wonderful time and perspective-altering experience. Read More

How Birthright Israel Set My Son on a New Path

by Stacey Geer • Atlanta, GA September 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm
Jonah Geer with his mother on his Birthright Israel accessibility trip

How Birthright Israel Set My Son on a New Path

by Stacey Geer • Atlanta, GA September 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm

As a mom, it is important that my son Jonah achieve special milestones throughout his life. When Jonah was diagnosed with high functioning autism at a young age, I wasn’t sure if he would have the same opportunities as other kids. This included the chance to experience Jewish milestones.  Our family belongs to Temple Sinai in Atlanta, Georgia. Jonah Read More

Navigating Life After Your Birthright Israel Trip

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 2, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants hugging at Mega event

Navigating Life After Your Birthright Israel Trip

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 2, 2020 at 8:00 am

When alumnus Neil St. Clair first entered the workforce, his family encouraged him to hide his Jewish identity, “suggesting that if I want to succeed, I should not display my Judaism.” He didn’t identify publicly as a Jewish person for the first time until he was in his 30s. Married, with his second child on the way, he decided to claim his birthright through Birthright Israel’s pilot program for 27-32 year olds. Read More