categoryTrip Highlights

How Birthright Israel Has Been Preserving Jewish Heritage for Decades

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 10, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participant in a bus

How Birthright Israel Has Been Preserving Jewish Heritage for Decades

by Birthright Israel Foundation July 10, 2020 at 8:00 am

Ashley Horine was taught about Israel and claiming her birthright by her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor she affectionately refers to as Poppy. Even so, for much of her life, she considered her Jewish heritage a “thing” without meaning. After Poppy passed away, however, Horine spoke with his rabbi who reiterated Poppy’s desire to see his granddaughter go to Israel, sharing the words he often repeated: “One day, my motek will go, and her soul will be fulfilled.” 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. Let me tell you about my Birthright Israel journey… Throughout my whole life, I heard about this free trip to Israel. Read More

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

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

My Birthright Israel Story Is Still Alive, 13 Years Later

by Rachel Barnehama • Great Neck, NY June 18, 2020 at 8:35 am
Rachel staffing Birthright Israel

My Birthright Israel Story Is Still Alive, 13 Years Later

by Rachel Barnehama • Great Neck, NY June 18, 2020 at 8:35 am

No matter how many times I have heard the flight attendant announce “Baruch Habayim L’yisrael (Welcome to Israel),” over the loudspeaker, a chill radiates throughout my body. Each Birthright Israel trip I have had the opportunity to partake in, whether it be as a participant or as a Madricha (staff), brings me an overwhelming sense of excitement and adventure. Read More

7 Facts About Birthright Israel, and the Foundation That Keeps It Going

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 12, 2020 at 8:00 am
Birthright Israel participants

7 Facts About Birthright Israel, and the Foundation That Keeps It Going

by Birthright Israel Foundation June 12, 2020 at 8:00 am

Did you recently learn that your child or grandchild is interested in a group trip to Israel? You’re likely thrilled that someone you love is eager to embrace their heritage, but you may also wonder if they’re in safe and suitable hands. When the trip is organized through Birthright Israel, there’s no need to worry. 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

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