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How Birthright Israel Strengthened My Sons’ Relationship to Judaism and Each Other

May 10, 2019 at 8:53 am
by Stacey Cohen Birthright Israel Parent
Ben and Lenny in the Dead Sea

My two boys, Lenny and Ben, went on Birthright Israel this past winter and all I can say is THANK YOU from deep in my soul for this opportunity. This WAS the trip of a lifetime and everything I ever wished for; everything I worked hard to develop came to fruition on this trip. 

I wanted to give my kids two things in their life. One was the lifelong deep faith in G-d. I knew I was never going to be the parent that was able to leave them a small fortune when I left this earth, so I wanted to give them something that will outlast any material wishes they could ever have, and that was a deep belief in G-d. They should always feel safe and protected and turn to G-d in the good times and the bad. During their trip, they felt so secure and good about their heritage. They walked into home when they stepped foot there.

My second wish for them was that they would feel that their brother is the one who truly understands them and although they travel different journeys in life, they know this is the person who will always be there for them. Since returning home from the trip, they told me how much closer they have become and how they really are best friends. Mission accomplished. 

“My Birthright Israel trip was absolutely life-changing. I was already proud to be Jewish, but now that feeling of Jewish pride has been boosted in a way that is beyond words. I have learned so much about my heritage and the Jewish people. I have met some of the most influential Jewish people in the last 10 days- people that have been through the toughest of times and persevered through their faith. I have also been more thoroughly educated on Israeli politics and was blown away by the information I learned. This trip was outstanding, if you are Jewish, please do yourself the biggest favor of your life and go visit Israel.”

Lenny and Ben made lifelong friends with kids who echoed all of their feelings about this trip. It truly was an experience like no other. Ben says, “My Birthright Israel trip was absolutely life changing. I was already proud to be Jewish but now that feeling of Jewish pride has been boosted in a way that is beyond words. I have learned so much about my heritage and the Jewish people. I have met some of the most influential Jewish people in the last 10 days- people that have been through the toughest of times and persevered through their faith. I have also been more thoroughly educated on Israeli politics and was blown away by the information I learned. This trip was outstanding, if you are Jewish please do yourself the biggest favor of your life and go visit Israel.”

I want to thank you again for giving them the opportunity. Oh, and one more thing… Lenny called me last night to ask for my year of birth and also their late fathers’ year of birth… I asked “Why?” He said “I’m filling out some forms so I can move to Israel…”

Stacey's Cohen's boys on Birthright Israel

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Ben and Lenny in the Dead Sea
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