From the desk of Birthright Israel Foundation

Birthright Israel Love Story: Ruthie Schorr & Simon Menaker

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 14, 2020 at 7:58 am
Ruthie & Simon on the top of Masada at sunrise on their 2012 Birthright Israel trip

Birthright Israel Love Story: Ruthie Schorr & Simon Menaker

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 14, 2020 at 7:58 am

In the winter of 2012, a girl from Seattle, WA, and a boy from Charlotte, NC, both signed up for Birthright Israel hoping to get more connected to their Jewish heritage and have a fantastic experience, but little did they know they’d end up meeting their soulmate. This is the Birthright Israel Love Story of Ruthie Schorr and Simon Menaker. Ruthie and Simon say that neither of them went into the trip with the thought or intention to meet someone, but after looking back, told us, “it makes a lot of sense why people connect on the trip – there is something special being in Israel for the first time. Read More

Assimilation

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN February 13, 2020 at 7:15 am
2019 Birthright Israel participant Riley Pope with his mom in Memphis, TN

Assimilation

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN February 13, 2020 at 7:15 am

Assimilation. A word we hear so often in the Jewish world. It’s a tragedy not quite as obvious as the many others that have plagued the Jewish people before. If you grew up Jewish, unlike me, you have likely not felt the sting of assimilation or been able to comprehend what that entails fully. Read More

It’s Just A Bus Full of Holy Souls and Me

by Shira Kaplan • New York February 4, 2020 at 9:44 am
Birthright Israel participants on their bus

It’s Just A Bus Full of Holy Souls and Me

by Shira Kaplan • New York February 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

Before I left for Birthright Israel in May of 2019, I was scared. I wasn’t nervous about the security situation, or sad about being far from my family— I was scared that I wouldn’t make the absolute most of this opportunity to make a difference. I’m glad I was scared because, as a madricha (trip staff), I had the responsibility to ensure that a bus full of holy souls would have a life-changing experience. Judaism is a huge part of my life. Read More

I Wandered for 20 Years Until You Found Me

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN January 30, 2020 at 7:00 am
Riley Pope in Tel Aviv during Birthright Israel

I Wandered for 20 Years Until You Found Me

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN January 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

I wandered for twenty years until Birthright Israel found me. This is how happened. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, the most Jewish thing we did at my house was on Christmas, when we’d leave rugelach out for Santa. And to make things even more ironic, my last name is Pope. My mom’s parents are Jewish but did not raise her with any Judaism. Read More

Birthright Israel Gave My Son What I Couldn’t

by Daniela Filmer • Delmar, New York January 28, 2020 at 7:49 am
Jacob visiting the Bedouin tents in Israel

Birthright Israel Gave My Son What I Couldn’t

by Daniela Filmer • Delmar, New York January 28, 2020 at 7:49 am

The Birthright Israel trip was an amazing experience for my son Jacob, he literally came back a changed person with a more insightful view on history, current events and learned so much about the people of his rich heritage. Jacob was amazed by the things he saw and, most importantly, was challenged by the activities he participated in. Read More

Young Leadership Spotlight: Neil St. Clair

by Neil St. Clair • New York, New York January 28, 2020 at 3:14 am
Neil St. Clair with his wife at Birthright Israel Foundation's Young Leadership Event in NYC

Young Leadership Spotlight: Neil St. Clair

by Neil St. Clair • New York, New York January 28, 2020 at 3:14 am

My last name might confuse you, but I am, in fact, an American Jew through my mother. My mother’s maiden name is Robin and she was born and raised in Pittsburgh a few generations after our ancestors fled the pogroms of Czarist Russia. And my father came from an Episcopalian background. Read More

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