categoryBirthright Israel Alumni

Event Highlights: Israeli Food Tasting at HaSalon NYC

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm

Event Highlights: Israeli Food Tasting at HaSalon NYC

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm

On Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Birthright Israel Foundation and Birthright Israel Excel hosted over 150 alumni for an Israeli Food Tasting at NYC’s HaSalon! We were excited to be in company with Birthright Israel Foundation’s NYC Young Leadership Council and Fellows from Birthright Israel Excel. Guests had the opportunity to learn more about the Foundation and their work with the 35,000 donors who made their Birthright Israel trips possible. Read More

VIDEO: A Sneak Peek Of My Birthright Israel Journey

by Natalie Leinbach • Bowie, MD September 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

VIDEO: A Sneak Peek Of My Birthright Israel Journey

by Natalie Leinbach • Bowie, MD September 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

Natalie Leinbach is a 2019 Birthright Israel Alumna currently studying Communications and Economics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Below is a personal video she made to remember her Birthright Israel trip and showcase her favorite moments. You can scroll down to read our interview with Natalie as well! What type of Birthright Israel trip did you choose to go on? I chose to go with Maryland Hillel, The Center for Jewish Life at the University of Maryland. Read More

Community, Acceptance, and Self‑Discovery

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 16, 2019 at 8:05 am

Community, Acceptance, and Self‑Discovery

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 16, 2019 at 8:05 am

When most people hear the words “Birthright Israel,” they usually think “free trip,” and while Birthright Israel technically is a “free trip,” it is so much more than that. Birthright Israel is a unique partnership between the Israeli government, various Jewish communities and Jewish philanthropists. The founders of Birthright Israel created this project to send hundreds of thousands of young Jewish adults to Israel as a gift, in order to connect with themselves, the Jewish people, Jewish history and their future. Read More

One-on-One with Birthright Israel Madrich Alan Avitan

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 9, 2019 at 7:54 am

One-on-One with Birthright Israel Madrich Alan Avitan

by Birthright Israel Foundation September 9, 2019 at 7:54 am

Outside of the favorite Hebrew words Birthright Israel participants learn, like Sababa (cool), Yalla (let’s go!), and Ma’Kore (what’s up), they also learn the word, Madrichim (leaders/staff/guide).  Madrichim are often staff members from the participants’ home country who accompany them on their Birthright Israel journey. The Madrichim are an essential element to the educational components of the program, which are based on a person-centered learning approach.  Our Madrichim must be passionate, dedicated, and share an inclusive vision of Jewish peoplehood – making each participant’s experience life-changing. Those who choose to become Madrichim are usually alumni of the program or are young Jewish adults who believe in the power of Birthright Israel. Read More

VIDEO: My Birthright Israel Trip Explained

by Lindsay Nathanson • Philadelphia, PA September 6, 2019 at 7:18 am

VIDEO: My Birthright Israel Trip Explained

by Lindsay Nathanson • Philadelphia, PA September 6, 2019 at 7:18 am

Lindsay Nathanson is a 2019 Birthright Israel alumna from Philadelphia, PA. She is currently studying History at the University of Tampa, Florida and is an intern at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Lindsay has her own YouTube channel, auxcord, where she makes history “as little of a bore as possible.” We spoke with Lindsay about her Birthright Israel experience and here’s what she had to say! When did you go on Birthright Israel and what kind of trip did you choose? I went on Birthright in December/January and chose to go without a campus group so I could make friends and explore Israel myself. What is your Jewish background? Upon marrying my dad, my mom converted to Judaism. Read More

Why I’ll Never Forget Jerusalem

by Chloe Meinert • Westfield, IN September 3, 2019 at 8:17 am
Chloe with her Birthright Israel group

Why I’ll Never Forget Jerusalem

by Chloe Meinert • Westfield, IN September 3, 2019 at 8:17 am

I want to start this blog off by saying thank you to the people who made my trip all it was. I’d like to thank all the donors who made my trip to Israel possible. I’m truly blessed to have had this experience. Without the donations, I wouldn’t have had the most memorable experience I’ve had in my life. Read More

From Bat Mitzvah to Bar Mitzvah: One Man’s Journey with Birthright Israel

by Samuel Benji • Los Angeles, CA August 29, 2019 at 7:51 am

From Bat Mitzvah to Bar Mitzvah: One Man’s Journey with Birthright Israel

by Samuel Benji • Los Angeles, CA August 29, 2019 at 7:51 am

This may be a bit cliché because everyone who goes on Birthright Israel seems to say this, but it is because it is true…Birthright was a life-changing experience. I have many memories that are going to stick with me for the rest of my life. For example, getting to know all of the amazing people on my trip, walking in the Tel-Aviv Pride March, swimming in the beautiful clear blue waters next to the beaches of Tel Aviv, climbing Masada at sunrise, hiking near the Syrian and Lebanese borders, sleeping in Bedouin-style tents, and river rafting down the Jordan River. Read More

Birthright Israel Was My First Journey In Recovery

by Rachel Kessler • New York, NY August 27, 2019 at 9:01 am
Rachel Kessler in the Dead Sea

Birthright Israel Was My First Journey In Recovery

by Rachel Kessler • New York, NY August 27, 2019 at 9:01 am

I grew up in a small Jewish community in Northern California, where I had a broken relationship with my Judaism. After my Bat Mitzvah, I didn’t see any reason to continue with the Jewish community. I knew about Birthright Israel, but it was never something that I was interested in doing. Read More

Rediscovering My Jewish Roots

by Samuel Meller • Miami, FL August 22, 2019 at 8:17 am
Samuel Meller in the Negev

Rediscovering My Jewish Roots

by Samuel Meller • Miami, FL August 22, 2019 at 8:17 am

Birthright Israel was a life-changing experience for me. I found out about this opportunity by getting more involved with my Hillel branch at Florida International University. I had never been to Israel before, so when I learned it was essentially free, I jumped on it and signed up. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to connect with their faith and expand their mind spiritually, emotionally and socially. One part of the trip that I will always remember is when we visited the Bedouin tents in the Negev desert. Read More

How Birthright Israel Helped Me Embrace My Identities

by Jordan Daniels • San Diego, CA August 20, 2019 at 8:05 am
Jordan at the Kotel

How Birthright Israel Helped Me Embrace My Identities

by Jordan Daniels • San Diego, CA August 20, 2019 at 8:05 am

My Jewish background was hidden throughout childhood but has been brought forward as I’ve stepped into adulthood. When I was a kid, I was told never to disclose my Jewishness to people. As a mixed child, my family felt that appearing both Black and Jewish would subject me to too much discrimination, therefore, I kept my Jewish observation inconspicuous. Read More