From the desk of Birthright Israel Foundation

How Birthright Israel Has Been Preserving Jewish Heritage for Decades

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participant in a bus

How Birthright Israel Has Been Preserving Jewish Heritage for Decades

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

Ashley Horine was taught about Israel and claiming her birthright by her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor she affectionately refers to as Poppy. Even so, for much of her life, she considered her Jewish heritage a “thing” without meaning. After Poppy passed away, however, Horine spoke with his rabbi who reiterated Poppy’s desire to see his granddaughter go to Israel, sharing the words he often repeated: “One day, my motek will go, and her soul will be fulfilled.” Read More

Why Birthright Israel Prepared Me For Seminary

by Sheyna Ryvkin • Brooklyn, NY July 9, 2020 at 8:00 am
2019 Birthright Israel alumna Sheyna Ryvkin at the Kotel with her group

Why Birthright Israel Prepared Me For Seminary

by Sheyna Ryvkin • Brooklyn, NY July 9, 2020 at 8:00 am

Before I went on Birthright Israel, the organization seemed just like any other Israel travel company. To me, Israel was Israel and just the country of the Jewish people. However, this all changed after my trip. I can now say, Birthright Israel was an incredible experience, and Israel is home. It also prepared me for my year in seminary, which I started right after. Let me tell you about my Birthright Israel journey… Throughout my whole life, I heard about this free trip to Israel. Read More

How Birthright Israel Foundation Changes Lives…Tens of Thousands at a Time

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 6, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants at Masada

How Birthright Israel Foundation Changes Lives…Tens of Thousands at a Time

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 6, 2020 at 8:00 am

Every year, tens of thousands* of Jewish young adults are gifted with a life-changing journey to Israel. Before their enlightening Birthright Israel expedition, they tend to take Israel for granted. Like the generation before them and the generations to come, these individuals have little concept of a world without a Jewish homeland. Everything changes, however, once they accept their birthright. Read More

Israeli BBQ Recipes, Just in Time for Summer

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm
Israelis grilling

Israeli BBQ Recipes, Just in Time for Summer

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm

You don’t have to be a seasoned professional to capture the grilling spirit of an Israeli BBQ here in the U.S. this summer. Israelis are known for their delicious charred shashlik (shish kabobs) and steakim (steaks). Our homeland’s Independence Day is commemorated in Spring with massive celebratory barbecues at the national parks (although this year’s celebration was a little different). Whether it’s a patriotic 4th of July celebration or a family Shabbat dinner, there’s plenty of time to add some Israeli flavor to your epic summer barbecue. American and Israeli BBQ From Mexican barbacoa to the tandoori of India, cooking with fire plays a central role in cultural celebrations and feasts around the globe. Read More

Birthright Israel Connects Long Lost Siblings to Their Jewish Heritage

by Jennalyn Samson • Portland, OR July 2, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jennalyn and her brother in Israel

Birthright Israel Connects Long Lost Siblings to Their Jewish Heritage

by Jennalyn Samson • Portland, OR July 2, 2020 at 8:00 am

Jennalyn Samson grew up not knowing much about her Jewish heritage and was inspired to go on Birthright Israel when a long lost sibling reached out. Her brother Matt, who she only found out about a few years before her trip, mentioned “this thing called Birthright.” Through the trip, Jennalyn and her brother Matt had an opportunity to spend more time with each other than they ever had, plus they got to discover Israel! Read More

The Cost of a Priceless Trip to Israel for Jewish Young Adults

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 2, 2020 at 8:00 am
Two winter 2020 Birthright Israel alumni forming a heart with their hands

The Cost of a Priceless Trip to Israel for Jewish Young Adults

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

It’s been 20 years since Birthright Israel alumnus Daniel Samoohi was gifted with a trip to Israel, and he still remembers every moment. Not only was he able to feel “the mystique and history of Israel,” but he also felt close to his grandfather, an Israeli citizen who had passed away. “As I prayed on the Kotel, I could feel my grandfather communicating with me, and it’s a feeling I will never forget,” wrote Samoohi in a letter to Birthright Israel Foundation following his 2000 trip. Read More

Meet Birthright Israel Miami Alumnus, David Bitton

by David Bitton • Miami, FL June 30, 2020 at 10:00 am
David Bitton, 2006 Birthright Israel Alumnus, with his hand on the Western Wall next to an Israeli soldier

Meet Birthright Israel Miami Alumnus, David Bitton

by David Bitton • Miami, FL June 30, 2020 at 10:00 am

What made me love Birthright Israel is probably precisely why everyone loves it – it’s life-changing. I signed up during my sophomore year at the University of Miami, and I thought it was a dream to go to Israel on an all-inclusive trip. Little did I know how much these 10 days would influence my life in the years to come.  I can explicitly remember walking off the plane and immediately feeling a connection to the land.   My Birthright Israel trip also allowed me to experience Israel in a way I never have before. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jane & Vitaly

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 30, 2020 at 8:42 am
Jane and Vitaly who met on Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jane & Vitaly

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 30, 2020 at 8:42 am

Growing up in Kiev, Ukraine, I knew absolutely nothing about Israel, Jewish culture, and I definitely had no sense of belonging to the Jewish people. As a post-Soviet Jewish girl, you can imagine all of these were things my family never spoke about. So, when I signed up for Birthright Israel, I never dreamed I’d meet my husband. Of course, I’m sure you’re wondering how it all happened! Read More

How Donating to Birthright Israel Foundation Makes Life-Changing Experiences Possible

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 24, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants

How Donating to Birthright Israel Foundation Makes Life-Changing Experiences Possible

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 24, 2020 at 8:00 am

Growing up around Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, Cole Keister often felt different because he was Jewish. The kids at his rural Oregon school called him a “kike” or a “dirty Jew.” One even gave him a bible and invited him to church to be “saved.” Upon returning from Birthright Israel in college, Keister no longer felt different. Read More

Finding Normalcy: How Birthright Israel Helped Me Feel at Home in the Homeland

by Laura Minskoff • New York, NY June 22, 2020 at 8:00 am
Laura and her Birthright Israel group

Finding Normalcy: How Birthright Israel Helped Me Feel at Home in the Homeland

by Laura Minskoff • New York, NY June 22, 2020 at 8:00 am

If you would have told me that seeing a rodent in Israel on my Birthright Israel trip would change my life, I would have thought you were out of your mind.But it did. But first, let me tell you about the events that lead up to that fateful Hedgehog moment on my trip. Read More