categoryBirthright Israel Alumni

Birthright Israel is Life-Changing and I’ll Keep Saying It

by Courtney Simmons Demri • South Florida December 16, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Birthright Israel is Life-Changing and I’ll Keep Saying It

by Courtney Simmons Demri • South Florida December 16, 2019 at 3:39 pm

To start, Birthright Israel changed my life. It has changed my life spiritually, mentally, romantically (which you will hear about later). I want to leave you with suspense! When I am asked to share my Birthright Israel story, it’s difficult to decide where to begin because my experience has provided me with so many different outlets and avenues that impacted my life for the better. Read More

Alumni Profile: Marissa Schwartz

by Birthright Israel Foundation December 12, 2019 at 9:18 pm

Alumni Profile: Marissa Schwartz

by Birthright Israel Foundation December 12, 2019 at 9:18 pm

In 2009, Marissa Schwartz took advantage of the gift of Birthright Israel through the Chabad of Dartmouth with close friend Jenna Pfeffer. Years later, thanks to her firsthand experience of the country and culture, she is now Director of Business Development for My Israel’s Miracle, a haircare line featuring organic ingredients from Israel with a goal to share great things about Israel. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Carly and Alex Vargas

by Carly & Alex Vargas • Boston, MA December 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Birthright Israel Love Story: Carly and Alex Vargas

by Carly & Alex Vargas • Boston, MA December 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Carly Rapaport and Alex Vargas met on their Birthright Israel trip back in the summer of 2014. Although they lived under 6 miles from each other in Boston at the time, they didn’t meet until their trip when they were over 5,000 miles from home! Carly explains, “Alex had wanted to go on a Birthright Israel trip for years, but he just couldn’t find the right time. Read More

Birthright Israel Was My First Taste Of True Community

by Kyla Sokoll-Ward • San Francisco, CA December 2, 2019 at 10:31 pm
Kyla Sokoll-Ward on the beach in Israel in 2011

Birthright Israel Was My First Taste Of True Community

by Kyla Sokoll-Ward • San Francisco, CA December 2, 2019 at 10:31 pm

I went on my Birthright Israel trip in 2011 at the ripe age of 19. Like many participants in this demographic, I was excited about the experience (who doesn’t love the rare gift of free travel?) and eager to explore my Jewish identity more. My Jewish upbringing wasn’t atypical for an American Jew; I went to synagogue on the high holidays, I went to Sunday school, I had a Bat Mitzvah, and I complained about all of it. Read More

Birthright Israel Is Crucial And Here’s Why

by Jenna Pfeffer • New York, NY December 2, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Birthright Israel Is Crucial And Here’s Why

by Jenna Pfeffer • New York, NY December 2, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Growing up, my grandparents instilled in me a strong love for Israel and for fellow Jews around the world. Each of them was a Holocaust survivor and lost countless family members in the war, including parents and even baby siblings. If only the state of Israel had been formed sooner. For my grandparents, there was nothing more admirable than being a Proud Zionist. Read More

A Hike Up Masada and Doing Yoga on a Kibbutz Can Change Your Life

by Randi Eisenshtat • Miami, FL November 28, 2019 at 4:02 am

A Hike Up Masada and Doing Yoga on a Kibbutz Can Change Your Life

by Randi Eisenshtat • Miami, FL November 28, 2019 at 4:02 am

In a short period of time, my life has really changed. I get asked the question a lot as to what happened, and I always respond with, “You know how I went to Israel this past summer…” I grew up in the Bible Belt, also known as Katy, Texas. Both my parents are Jewish, and my brother and I were raised culturally Jewish. Read More

You Gave Me the Gift of Birthright Israel, And It Gave Me the Gift of Knowing Who I Am

by Nicole Livadas • Aventura, FL November 27, 2019 at 4:58 pm

You Gave Me the Gift of Birthright Israel, And It Gave Me the Gift of Knowing Who I Am

by Nicole Livadas • Aventura, FL November 27, 2019 at 4:58 pm

When I was a little girl, I ate Matzah because I was Jewish, and my mother sent me to Hebrew school once a week to understand that I wasn’t Christian. My classmates went to day school together, and I only saw them once a week, and they had last names that included a ‘berg, a ‘stein, a ‘gold or sometimes all three! Read More

From Birthright Israel Participant to Olah Chadasha, The Journey of Nicole LaGrua

by Nicole LaGrua • Rumson, NJ November 21, 2019 at 6:59 am

From Birthright Israel Participant to Olah Chadasha, The Journey of Nicole LaGrua

by Nicole LaGrua • Rumson, NJ November 21, 2019 at 6:59 am

Where do I begin? This trip has changed my life, really. As of last December, I was a student at Penn State University, and the only reason I went on Birthright Israel was because a friend from college wanted me to come with him. So I thought, why not! I had never been to Israel before and wanted to learn more. Read More

Alumna and Chef, Alexis Sicklick hosts Birthright Israel Themed Pop-up Dinner

by Alexis Sicklick • New York, NY November 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Alumna and Chef, Alexis Sicklick hosts Birthright Israel Themed Pop-up Dinner

by Alexis Sicklick • New York, NY November 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Alexis Sicklick is a Junior Sous Chef at Aquavit in New York City and went on Birthright Israel in summer 2019 with her sister Tori. Her trip inspired her so much that she is hosting a Birthright Israel themed Pop-Dinner, Experiencing the Deliciousness of Israel, on Monday, November 18, 2019, in New York City (Sign Up Here!). Read More

Birthright Israel Through The Eyes of YouTuber, Tori Sicklick

by Tori Sicklick • Brooklyn, NY November 11, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Birthright Israel Through The Eyes of YouTuber, Tori Sicklick

by Tori Sicklick • Brooklyn, NY November 11, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Birthright Israel was a trip that I had been looking forward to and planning to go on for many, many years. My oldest sister, Morgan, went on her Birthright Israel trip when I was in high school and hearing about her experience and how much she loved it made me want to go on this trip as well. My other older sister, Alexis, and I had talked about going on Birthright together for a long time – we are pretty close and knew that we wanted to travel together to Israel. Read More