categoryAlumni Homepage

Birthright Israel Connects Long Lost Siblings to Their Jewish Heritage

by Jennalyn Samson • Portland, OR July 2, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jennalyn and her brother in Israel

Birthright Israel Connects Long Lost Siblings to Their Jewish Heritage

by Jennalyn Samson • Portland, OR July 2, 2020 at 8:00 am

Jennalyn Samson grew up not knowing much about her Jewish heritage and was inspired to go on Birthright Israel when a long lost sibling reached out. Her brother Matt, who she only found out about a few years before her trip, mentioned “this thing called Birthright.” Through the trip, Jennalyn and her brother Matt had an opportunity to spend more time with each other than they ever had, plus they got to discover Israel! Read More

Meet Birthright Israel Miami Alumnus, David Bitton

by David Bitton • Miami, FL June 30, 2020 at 10:00 am
David Bitton, 2006 Birthright Israel Alumnus, with his hand on the Western Wall next to an Israeli soldier

Meet Birthright Israel Miami Alumnus, David Bitton

by David Bitton • Miami, FL June 30, 2020 at 10:00 am

What made me love Birthright Israel is probably precisely why everyone loves it – it’s life-changing. I signed up during my sophomore year at the University of Miami, and I thought it was a dream to go to Israel on an all-inclusive trip. Little did I know how much these 10 days would influence my life in the years to come.  I can explicitly remember walking off the plane and immediately feeling a connection to the land.   My Birthright Israel trip also allowed me to experience Israel in a way I never have before. Read More

How Donating to Birthright Israel Foundation Makes Life-Changing Experiences Possible

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 24, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants

How Donating to Birthright Israel Foundation Makes Life-Changing Experiences Possible

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 24, 2020 at 8:00 am

Growing up around Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, Cole Keister often felt different because he was Jewish. The kids at his rural Oregon school called him a “kike” or a “dirty Jew.” One even gave him a bible and invited him to church to be “saved.” Upon returning from Birthright Israel in college, Keister no longer felt different. Read More

Finding Normalcy: How Birthright Israel Helped Me Feel at Home in the Homeland

by Laura Minskoff • New York, NY June 22, 2020 at 8:00 am
Laura and her Birthright Israel group

Finding Normalcy: How Birthright Israel Helped Me Feel at Home in the Homeland

by Laura Minskoff • New York, NY June 22, 2020 at 8:00 am

If you would have told me that seeing a rodent in Israel on my Birthright Israel trip would change my life, I would have thought you were out of your mind.But it did. But first, let me tell you about the events that lead up to that fateful Hedgehog moment on my trip. Read More

How A Free Trip to Israel Saved My Mental Health

by Connor Jacobson • Washington, DC June 9, 2020 at 8:00 am
Connor after his Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall

How A Free Trip to Israel Saved My Mental Health

by Connor Jacobson • Washington, DC June 9, 2020 at 8:00 am

There are many different reasons to go on Birthright Israel. However, to me, they are all secondary to the honest answer: it’s a free trip to Israel! My father always told me nothing in this world comes completely free, so I figured there was a sales pitch coming my way. I was a half-Jewish free agent of the religious world. Read More

Birthright Israel’s Impact on Israelis: Meet Adi

by Adi Wegrzyn June 4, 2020 at 8:00 am
Adi Vigrazin on his 2019 Birthright Israel trip as an Israeli participant

Birthright Israel’s Impact on Israelis: Meet Adi

by Adi Wegrzyn June 4, 2020 at 8:00 am

I participated in Birthright Israel one year ago. I remember there was something special about our group, in the connections that were created, especially in the sense of “togetherness.” So, it’s been a year now, but the magic of the tour and those special memories accompany me to this day, and I’m sure they will in the future too. The best way I can describe the feeling is through a special and slightly spontaneous activity we did a few weeks ago when we were all still stuck inside because of coronavirus. One Read More

Birthright Israel Helped Me Find My Place at Hillel

by Samantha Payab • Los Angeles, CA June 1, 2020 at 8:00 am
Samantha at Masada during Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel Helped Me Find My Place at Hillel

by Samantha Payab • Los Angeles, CA June 1, 2020 at 8:00 am

Growing up in a Jewish community, I had heard many stories from older family, friends, and acquaintances about how amazing their Birthright Israel experiences were. I always knew that this was something I wanted to do. I just was not sure whether I wanted to wait until I was done with college or go during.  By my sophomore year at the University of Oregon, I still had not found a substantial group of friends. Read More

Meet Max Seidel, a Birthright Israel Alumnus Protecting Those on the Frontlines

by Birthright Israel Foundation May 26, 2020 at 8:00 am
Max Seidel working on building face shields

Meet Max Seidel, a Birthright Israel Alumnus Protecting Those on the Frontlines

by Birthright Israel Foundation May 26, 2020 at 8:00 am

If you live in the Atlanta area then you may have already heard of Max Seidel. He’s a recent Birthright Israel alumnus who has put his engineering skills to use and founded Atlanta Face Shields. The company was set up to manufacture face shields for Atlanta hospitals but soon found itself meeting needs everywhere. Read More

6 Birthright Israel Alumni Making a Difference During the Pandemic

by Birthright Israel Foundation May 21, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants

6 Birthright Israel Alumni Making a Difference During the Pandemic

by Birthright Israel Foundation May 21, 2020 at 8:00 am

One could have never imagined in 2020 we’d be amid a pandemic, separated from friends and loved ones. Our world will be different moving forward but that is no reason to give up hope. Together, each one of us can do our part to make the world a better place, even if we are socially distanced.          Like so many of you, we at Birthright Israel Foundation look forward to the day young Jews from countries all over the world can travel to Israel.  Read More

How Birthright Israel Culturally Changed My Life

by Corey Black • Los Angeles, CA May 20, 2020 at 8:00 am
Corey at the Western Wall on his Birthright Israel trip

How Birthright Israel Culturally Changed My Life

by Corey Black • Los Angeles, CA May 20, 2020 at 8:00 am

Birthright Israel culturally changed my life. I can imagine many other young Jews in America, who are secular, feel the same. The 10-days I spent on the trip showed me there is another home for me and that I can be accepted. Birthright Israel helps you to create your own definition of what it means to be Jewish. Read More