foundationBlog Archives

From Bat Mitzvah to Bar Mitzvah: One Man’s Journey with Birthright Israel

by Samuel Benji • Los Angeles, CA August 29, 2019 at 7:51 am

From Bat Mitzvah to Bar Mitzvah: One Man’s Journey with Birthright Israel

by Samuel Benji • Los Angeles, CA August 29, 2019 at 7:51 am

This may be a bit cliché because everyone who goes on Birthright Israel seems to say this, but it is because it is true…Birthright was a life-changing experience. I have many memories that are going to stick with me for the rest of my life. For example, getting to know all of the amazing people on my trip, walking in the Tel-Aviv Pride March, swimming in the beautiful clear blue waters next to the beaches of Tel Aviv, climbing Masada at sunrise, hiking near the Syrian and Lebanese borders, sleeping in Bedouin-style tents, and river rafting down the Jordan River. Read More

Birthright Israel Was My First Journey In Recovery

by Rachel Kessler • New York, NY August 27, 2019 at 9:01 am
Rachel Kessler in the Dead Sea

Birthright Israel Was My First Journey In Recovery

by Rachel Kessler • New York, NY August 27, 2019 at 9:01 am

I grew up in a small Jewish community in Northern California, where I had a broken relationship with my Judaism. After my Bat Mitzvah, I didn’t see any reason to continue with the Jewish community. I knew about Birthright Israel, but it was never something that I was interested in doing. Read More

Rediscovering My Jewish Roots

by Samuel Meller • Miami, FL August 22, 2019 at 8:17 am
Samuel Meller in the Negev

Rediscovering My Jewish Roots

by Samuel Meller • Miami, FL August 22, 2019 at 8:17 am

Birthright Israel was a life-changing experience for me. I found out about this opportunity by getting more involved with my Hillel branch at Florida International University. I had never been to Israel before, so when I learned it was essentially free, I jumped on it and signed up. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to connect with their faith and expand their mind spiritually, emotionally and socially. One part of the trip that I will always remember is when we visited the Bedouin tents in the Negev desert. Read More

Event Highlights: 2019 Atlanta Leadership Celebration

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Doug Ross, Benji Sklar, Max Greenberg, Kyle Simon, and Melissa McGrath

Event Highlights: 2019 Atlanta Leadership Celebration

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm

We gathered with over 140 supporters at Ray’s on the River in Sandy Springs, GA on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 to celebrate seven years of Birthright Israel Foundation in the Atlanta community. Thank you to our amazing Atlanta leadership for your vision and dedication! During the festive evening, we had the pleasure of hearing from Birthright Israel alumni from Atlanta — Melissa McGrath, Max Greenberg and Kyle Simon — each sharing his/her unique story and closing with the powerful words, “Birthright Israel changed my life.” Read More

How Birthright Israel Helped Me Embrace My Identities

by Jordan Daniels • San Diego, CA August 20, 2019 at 8:05 am
Jordan at the Kotel

How Birthright Israel Helped Me Embrace My Identities

by Jordan Daniels • San Diego, CA August 20, 2019 at 8:05 am

My Jewish background was hidden throughout childhood but has been brought forward as I’ve stepped into adulthood. When I was a kid, I was told never to disclose my Jewishness to people. As a mixed child, my family felt that appearing both Black and Jewish would subject me to too much discrimination, therefore, I kept my Jewish observation inconspicuous. Read More

How I Roll: Birthright Israel No Limits In Motion

by Naomi Hess • Clarksville, MD August 14, 2019 at 7:06 am
Naomi and her group in Jerusalem

How I Roll: Birthright Israel No Limits In Motion

by Naomi Hess • Clarksville, MD August 14, 2019 at 7:06 am

I can’t even fully explain how amazing my Birthright Israel trip was, but I’ll do my best. Birthright Israel No Limits In Motion is a trip designed specifically for young adults with disabilities ages 18-32. This trip promises a completely free and accessible trip to Israel. Each participant gets to bring a companion with them for free, so I brought my former camp counselor Shira Schneeweiss, who knows me so well that I consider her a sister. Read More

Then & Now: KC Yasmer

by KC Yasmer • Tuscon, AZ August 13, 2019 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participant at the Western Wall

Then & Now: KC Yasmer

by KC Yasmer • Tuscon, AZ August 13, 2019 at 8:00 am

July 2000 My name is KC Yasmer and I am a junior at Stanford University. It was my good fortune to join the other hundreds of college students on the Birthright Israel 2000 trip. I was raised in Tucson, Arizona, a southwestern town with a small but cohesive Jewish community. Judaism was and is a part of my life, which included the Holidays and leading to my Bar Mitzvah and Confirmation. Read More

We Found Love in A Holy Place

by Jenna Kay List • Englewood, CO August 7, 2019 at 10:00 am
Jenna and her husband Braden

We Found Love in A Holy Place

by Jenna Kay List • Englewood, CO August 7, 2019 at 10:00 am

Back in 2013, I received a call that I could go on Birthright Israel, and of course, I took the opportunity and booked my flight to NYC. I had never traveled alone, and the anxiety and excitement were outrageous. When my peers and I arrived at the airport the morning of our trip, we did a quick introduction, got a bite to eat and settled on the plane. Read More

What are parents saying about Birthright Israel this summer?

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 1, 2019 at 3:00 pm
2019 Summer Bus Full of Participants in Haifa

What are parents saying about Birthright Israel this summer?

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 1, 2019 at 3:00 pm

“My daughter loved every minute of the Israeli people, places, food, information and experiences. She went in convinced that while the trip would offer exposure to valuable historical and cultural insights, she’d be bored. Instead, she returned in awe. The group explored from sunup to sundown daily, and my daughter felt like no sightseeing stone was left unturned. Read More