From the desk of Birthright Israel Foundation

Tikkun Olam: Bringing Light into Darkness

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 22, 2020 at 8:01 am
Participants in the Negev

Tikkun Olam: Bringing Light into Darkness

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 22, 2020 at 8:01 am

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. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jenna McCoppin & Shelby Klein

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 15, 2020 at 8:39 am

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jenna McCoppin & Shelby Klein

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 15, 2020 at 8:39 am

In 2016, Jenna McCoppin from Dallas, TX, decided the time was now or never to sign up for Birthright Israel. She knew this would be her last chance to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime gift, “It was important to me to take advantage of the opportunity, but there was also hope to find something that I had been searching for my whole life.” Read More

What Does 2022 Olympic Hopeful Myles Silverman Say About Birthright Israel?

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 14, 2020 at 8:17 am
Myles Silverman on his Birthright Israel trip

What Does 2022 Olympic Hopeful Myles Silverman Say About Birthright Israel?

by Birthright Israel Foundation January 14, 2020 at 8:17 am

The summer of 2019 was life-changing for collegiate snowboarder and contender for the 2022 Winter Olympics, Myles Silverman. Although Myles grew up in an interfaith home, he was raised predominantly Jewish. Judaism was always a part of Myles’ life as he attended Hebrew school up until 5th grade and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13. Read More

A Lesson of Understanding

by Nathan Tecotsky • Claremont, CA January 9, 2020 at 7:29 pm

A Lesson of Understanding

by Nathan Tecotsky • Claremont, CA January 9, 2020 at 7:29 pm

We asked recent alumnus, Nathan Tecotzky of Claremont, CA, what was the most important lesson you learned on Birthright Israel, and his answer is definitely worth sharing. If there’s one major lesson I took away from going to Israel, it was the lesson of the importance of understanding. I have friends from Syria and Lebanon. Read More

I Was Drinking the Kool-Aid. Actually, I Took A Bath In It.

by Tori Greene • Miami, FL January 2, 2020 at 8:59 am

I Was Drinking the Kool-Aid. Actually, I Took A Bath In It.

by Tori Greene • Miami, FL January 2, 2020 at 8:59 am

Everything changed after Birthright Israel. Judaism was pure boredom to me up until I stepped off the plane at Ben-Gurion Airport in 2014. I grew up in Florida and went to the University of South Florida, where I joined a Jewish sorority, with only four Jewish members. Chabad would ask me to attend Shabbat, and I honestly wanted to be anywhere but there. Read More

A Jewish Identity Centuries in the Making

by Alejandro Mansbach • Washington, DC December 31, 2019 at 8:58 am

A Jewish Identity Centuries in the Making

by Alejandro Mansbach • Washington, DC December 31, 2019 at 8:58 am

We want to take you back in time to the 15th century. Imagine a small village in Spain, with stone pathways, the smell of Pescado Frito coming from the windows on Friday afternoons and Ladino was spoken on the street corner. This was probably daily life for the Jews of Spain centuries ago, that was until they were forced to convert or flee. Read More

Finding My Place and My Voice

by Cole Keister • Portland, OR December 30, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Finding My Place and My Voice

by Cole Keister • Portland, OR December 30, 2019 at 4:57 pm

Where I grew up in rural Oregon people denied the Holocaust. I experienced a lot of antisemitism from people who really had never met Jewish people. I don’t identify as being religious, but being Jewish is an important part of who I am. I remember that starting around when I was just about 7, other kids would tell me I was going to hell for being Jewish, I would be gifted the bible or asked to come to church so that I could be “saved”, and I became very aware that I was different. “…I would be gifted the bible or asked to come to church so that I could be “saved”, and I became very aware that I was different.” When I got to Middle School the antisemitism became more intense, I was called a kike, a dirty Jew, swastikas would show up on my things, and again every day I was reminded I was different for being Jewish. Read More

Birthright Israel, Day by Day

by Eren Niederhoffer • Atlanta, GA December 28, 2019 at 8:56 am

Birthright Israel, Day by Day

by Eren Niederhoffer • Atlanta, GA December 28, 2019 at 8:56 am

Nine years ago, Eren Niederhoffer of Atlanta, GA, met 15 other people who also have Autism as he boarded a 747 to Israel. He had the pleasure to highlight pivotal moments on Birthright Israel in an article in The Jewish Georgian in 2011. However, most importantly, in the years to come after his Birthright Israel trip, Eren’s experience will never leave him. Read More

Young Leadership Spotlight: Corey Dicker

by Corey Dicker • New York, NY December 24, 2019 at 10:01 am

Young Leadership Spotlight: Corey Dicker

by Corey Dicker • New York, NY December 24, 2019 at 10:01 am

Judaism has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and attended a Jewish day school my entire life. The significance of Israel was something I’ve been learning about since first grade and my family and many childhood friends travelled to Israel with their families at least once before college. Read More

Reunited After 10 Years Because of a Craving for Falafel

by Alix Roberts • Dallas, TX December 18, 2019 at 9:09 pm

Reunited After 10 Years Because of a Craving for Falafel

by Alix Roberts • Dallas, TX December 18, 2019 at 9:09 pm

Walking on the streets of Tel Aviv a few months ago on my way to get the best falafel in the city at HaKosem, I noticed a familiar face. A woman was picking something up off the street. Something about her seemed so familiar. Her face took me back nearly 10 years ago to my Birthright Israel trip. Read More