foundationBlog Archives

Going Home: My Birthright Israel Story

by Sara Armet • New York, NY October 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

Going Home: My Birthright Israel Story

by Sara Armet • New York, NY October 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

Birthright Israel consecrated an unrealized dream that seemed intangible for so long. I grew up as a reform Jew, a fourth-generation American, in a predominantly Irish Catholic community. Looking back, I think we were culturally Jewish out of respect for my grandmother. Both my sisters and I went to Hebrew school on Sundays and Wednesdays, which concluded with our B’nai Mitzvot (note: the backdrop of my Jewish upbringing took place at a church and a hotel, rented space where our small congregation persisted in planting roots). Read More

6 Things to Know When Visiting The Shuk

by Birthright Israel Foundation October 23, 2019 at 3:33 am
Machane Yehuda

6 Things to Know When Visiting The Shuk

by Birthright Israel Foundation October 23, 2019 at 3:33 am

Marketplaces in Israel are widely known as “Shuks.” Shuks are magical and vibrant and sell everything from fresh fruit to clothing, and spices to electronics. They can seem intimidating at first, with all the smells, flavors and sounds, but once you get the gist of it, you’ll be a pro!  Whether you’re headed to the Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) in Tel Aviv or Machane Yehuda on a crazy Friday afternoon in Jerusalem, here are six things you should keep in mind while visiting Israeli shuks. Read More

Kohelet’s Lessons For A New Year

by Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf October 21, 2019 at 5:17 am

Kohelet’s Lessons For A New Year

by Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf October 21, 2019 at 5:17 am

How do we address our challenging world through a Jewish lens? As we live in a complicated world, we look to the ancient wisdom of Jewish texts for inspiration. Preparing for the Yamim Noraim—the upcoming Days of Awe—I opened my favorite Jewish text, Kohelet (Ecclesiastes). We read this text each year during Sukkot. Read More

Birthright Israel: A Modern Day Miracle

by David-Seth Kirshner October 21, 2019 at 4:11 am

Birthright Israel: A Modern Day Miracle

by David-Seth Kirshner October 21, 2019 at 4:11 am

Every once in awhile I am reminded of the power of miracles in the world. I have yet to witness a miracle as described in lore, like streams changing their currents for example, but every time I am in Israel and see a bus-load of young adults of all backgrounds and Jewish upbringings, wearing the easily recognizable Birthright Israel nametag, in our shared homeland of Israel, I know I am witnessing a modern-day miracle. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jordana & Gregory Bel

by Jordana Kozupsky Bel • Astoria, NY October 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

Birthright Israel Love Story: Jordana & Gregory Bel

by Jordana Kozupsky Bel • Astoria, NY October 18, 2019 at 8:58 am

My husband and I met on our Birthright Israel trip in January 2011. We were a grade apart at Union College and applied for the trip through the Hillel. Greg has said that he was instantly attracted to me ever since the initial meeting in the Hillel board room (though he likely won’t admit that publicly!) We became friends on the trip but didn’t feel a romantic connection until afterward. Read More

The Importance of Zionism, The Negev & David Ben-Gurion on Birthright Israel

by Birthright Israel Foundation October 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm
David Ben-Gurion speaking to the Knesset

The Importance of Zionism, The Negev & David Ben-Gurion on Birthright Israel

by Birthright Israel Foundation October 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm

Since today is October 16, 2019, David Ben-Gurion’s birthday, we thought it only right to speak of how his visions for the Negev and Zionism impacts participants of Birthright Israel and how it plays out in our educational framework. To begin, Birthright Israel is an opportunity to discover one’s Jewish roots in a place that has been the root of the Jewish story for 3000 years. Read More