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You Heard It Here First: What Atlantans Say About Birthright Israel

May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am
by Birthright Israel Foundation
Photo of Birthright Israel group in Jaffa, Israel

We bet you didn’t know that since Birthright Israel’s inception over 9,000 participants from Atlanta, GA have been part of this unforgettable experience. Birthright Israel Foundation and our generous supporters in Atlanta are committed to ensuring young Jews in their community grow closer to their Jewish heritage through this program. 

Doug Ross, Birthright Israel Foundation’s Board Treasurer and Chair of the Atlanta Leadership Council, told the Atlanta Jewish Times the community trips help connect young Jews in the area. “These are people who, for the most part, have finished college,” he noted. “Many of them are in the beginning or intermediate stages of starting careers, and if you go on a trip with similar young people who have decided that they’re going to stay here in Atlanta, there’s a different sense of cohesion.”

And like Doug Ross, fellow Atlanta supporter Ron Eichel has similar feelings about Birthright Israel. “I had the pleasure of witnessing the excitement of the young adults and meeting participants on their trip last year — you get a sense they are experiencing real change. They walk away affected, having had this life-changing experience, so to see it in person is heartwarming — I felt so proud. Most of all, though, Birthright Israel has reignited my Jewish identity, and I’m so thankful.”

Atlanta has such a vibrant community of participants they even have their own Birthright Israel Atlanta Alumni Network. This program is run through the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and offers alumni of the trip an opportunity to host their own events and stay connected to their new friends. 

Arden Frank, an Atlanta alumna, took the lessons of Tikkun Olam she learned on Birthright Israel and put them to good use. In the video below Arden shares with us more on her trip and her mask initiative

If you’re in Atlanta and looking to get involved, please send an email to Kate Smith, Atlanta Regional Director, at kate.smith@birthrightisrael.org. Read on to learn more about what participants from Atlanta say about their experience.

What Atlanta Participants Say About Birthright Israel

I’m grateful for my Birthright Israel trip because otherwise I may have never gotten to go to Israel and discover how much I loved it — the people, the culture and the entire country. I also think without my guides and group, I may not have experienced even 1/100th of the fun I had.
– Corbin, Atlanta, GA

What made my Birthright Israel trip so special was being able to eat Shabbat lunch with an Israeli family. I didn’t know what to expect but it ended up being truly amazing.
– Tori, Johns Creek, GA

The best part about Birthright was having the Israeli soldiers on our trip. They were having a blast just like us, and really added to the overall atmosphere. They also had great stories about each place we visited giving a new connection to the land. I grew to be close friends with all 8 of my soldiers and went to visit all of them during my extension trip. I’m still in touch with them today and plan to be for a long time.
– Rebecca, Atlanta, GA

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Photo of Birthright Israel group in Jaffa, Israel
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