categoryBirthright Israel Alumni

Say It Forward: Spreading the Word in the Jewish Community

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 13, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants hanging a heart sculpture

Say It Forward: Spreading the Word in the Jewish Community

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 13, 2020 at 8:00 am

Have you ever performed a mitzvah and told the recipient to “pay it forward”? A common saying in popular culture, the term was likely coined during the early 20th century, though the concept dates back to ancient literature. The idea is simple: Rather than repaying an act of kindness, do something kind for someone else. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Tatiana & Haley

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 11, 2020 at 8:00 am
Tatiana Lundstrom and Haley Harris-Bloom down on one knee

Birthright Israel Love Story: Tatiana & Haley

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 11, 2020 at 8:00 am

In summer 2017, Tatiana Lundstrom and Haley Harris-Bloom thought Birthright Israel would be a great opportunity to get in touch with their Jewish heritage. Hours into their trip, the two were sitting together on the bus and within days had fallen in love. Check out our interview with the couple to see how their Birthright Israel love story unfolds. Read More

Israel Taught Me to Commit to My Jewish Heritage and Be My Best Self

by Haley Albin • Long Island, NY August 9, 2020 at 8:00 am
Haley Albin in front of a mural in Tzfat on her Birthright Israel trip in the winter of 2020

Israel Taught Me to Commit to My Jewish Heritage and Be My Best Self

by Haley Albin • Long Island, NY August 9, 2020 at 8:00 am

I was raised in an interfaith family. My mother is Jewish, and my father is Catholic. Religion wasn’t an important aspect of my life. I didn’t grow up going to synagogue, temple, or church. My parents wanted us to believe whatever was best for my older brother and me. However, to understand my Jewish heritage and the Christian cultural aspects, we did recognize both Hanukkah and Christmas. Read More

Birthright Israel Connected Me to My Jewish Heritage

by Jordyn Landau • Chicago, IL August 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm
Jordyn Landau eating falafel with her 2017 Birthright Israel group

Birthright Israel Connected Me to My Jewish Heritage

by Jordyn Landau • Chicago, IL August 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

It has always been my dream to visit Israel. And when my parents decided they would not hold my two younger sisters’ B’not Mitzvah in Israel, I knew I had to find another way. Birthright Israel was the way I fulfilled that promise.  Early on in the trip, our group toured the Golan Heights. Read More

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Birthright Israel Foundation

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 4, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants holding an Israeli flag.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Birthright Israel Foundation

by Birthright Israel Foundation August 4, 2020 at 8:00 am

It began 20 years ago with a bold idea from Jewish philanthropists: A trip to the Holy Land will enhance and strengthen the Jewish Diaspora for generations to come.  Thus, Birthright Israel was born, and Birthright Israel Foundation came soon after. You may have heard about Birthright Israel from friends, family, or media, but you’re likely less familiar with the foundation that supports it. Read More

Birthright Israel’s Impact On Israelis: Meet Michael Soloveitchik

by Michael Soloveitchik August 3, 2020 at 8:00 am
Michael Soloveitchik, Birthright Israel Mifgash Alumnus

Birthright Israel’s Impact On Israelis: Meet Michael Soloveitchik

by Michael Soloveitchik August 3, 2020 at 8:00 am

The first time I attended Birthright Israel was towards the end of my army service. It was an amazing five days of tours, activities, the sea, Masada, camels, and guitar singing until the wee hours of the night, both in our rooms and sitting by the side of the bonfire. But one thing was not clear to me, “who are the people I joined on their tour, and thanks to them I have five days off from the Army?”  Read More

Orthodox Jews Can Benefit From Birthright Israel

by Meira Shleifer • Waterbury, CT July 30, 2020 at 8:00 am
Meira Shleifer at Mount Herzl on her Birthright Israel trip in 2020

Orthodox Jews Can Benefit From Birthright Israel

by Meira Shleifer • Waterbury, CT July 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

When I was born, my father wanted to name me Sunshine. My mother compromised and named Meira Shleifer, which translates to illuminate. I grew up in a small Orthodox Jewish community in Waterbury, CT, attended a religious Jewish day school through eighth grade, and an all-girls Orthodox Yeshiva high school. Traditionally, after high school, Yeshiva students go to Israel for a gap year before going to college, getting married, and starting adult life. Read More

Finding My Jewish Identity Through Birthright Israel Excel

by Alex Levitt • Miami, FL July 24, 2020 at 8:00 am
Alex Levitt, 2012 Birthright Israel Excel Fellow

Finding My Jewish Identity Through Birthright Israel Excel

by Alex Levitt • Miami, FL July 24, 2020 at 8:00 am

As a child, being Jewish was easy– mostly because it was gently forced upon me by my loving parents and grandparents. However, what really did not come easy to me was figuring out what my Jewish identity meant to me once I flew out of the nest and later on in my professional career. Read More

Birthright Israel to Atlanta: How I’m Still Reaping the Benefits of My Trip

by Jordan Shipowtiz • Atlanta, GA July 20, 2020 at 8:00 am
Jordan Shipowitz on his Birthright Israel trip in 2014

Birthright Israel to Atlanta: How I’m Still Reaping the Benefits of My Trip

by Jordan Shipowtiz • Atlanta, GA July 20, 2020 at 8:00 am

In summer 2014, there was ongoing rocket fire from Hamas into Israel, and like many Jewish people, this was weighing heavily on my heart. Sure, being in the US as this was happening, it’s easy to sort of tune it out since quickly, these situations in Israel can become like any other news cycle. Read More

Why Birthright Israel Prepared Me For Seminary

by Sheyna Ryvkin • Brooklyn, NY July 9, 2020 at 8:00 am
2019 Birthright Israel alumna Sheyna Ryvkin at the Kotel with her group

Why Birthright Israel Prepared Me For Seminary

by Sheyna Ryvkin • Brooklyn, NY July 9, 2020 at 8:00 am

Before I went on Birthright Israel, the organization seemed just like any other Israel travel company. To me, Israel was Israel and just the country of the Jewish people. However, this all changed after my trip. I can now say, Birthright Israel was an incredible experience, and Israel is home. It also prepared me for my year in seminary, which I started right after. Read More