From the desk of Birthright Israel Foundation

If your grandmother says “go,” you go!

by Guido Weiss • Wellington, FL March 6, 2020 at 5:33 pm
2008 Alumnus Guido Weiss in from of the American flag

If your grandmother says “go,” you go!

by Guido Weiss • Wellington, FL March 6, 2020 at 5:33 pm

My grandmother, who survived World War II hiding in Italy, has the mentality that nothing in this world should be taken for granted. She has a zero-waste policy – she is the type who brings the bread and butter home from a restaurant and when she heard about the gift of Birthright Israel, she insisted that I take advantage of it. Read More

Standing Room Only for Our Celebration in Rancho Mirage

by Birthright Israel Foundation March 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Supporters in Rancho Mirage

Standing Room Only for Our Celebration in Rancho Mirage

by Birthright Israel Foundation March 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm

On Monday, March 2, 2020, Birthright Israel Foundation continued our celebration of 20 years of Birthright Israel in Rancho Mirage, CA. It was standing room only as supporters gathered to hear amazing remarks from Dr. Zohar Raviv, International Vice President of Educational Strategy, Birthright Israel, and Shavit Rootman, former IDF soldier and Birthright Israel Mifgash Alumnus. Read More

Celebrating 20 Years in South Palm Beach County

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 27, 2020 at 9:12 pm
Andrea & Mike Leven at their home in Boca Raton

Celebrating 20 Years in South Palm Beach County

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 27, 2020 at 9:12 pm

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Birthright Israel Foundation celebrated 20 years of impact in South Palm Beach County with a private event at the home of Andrea and Mike Leven. The evening’s guests had the pleasure of hearing from local alumni, Bryan Drowos, Courtney Simmons Demri, Nicole Livadas, and Kyla Gladstone, who represent the voices of Birthright Israel’s 750,000 participants: “In Israel, I gained an intimate understanding of the Jewish people, my brothers and sisters today, and my ancestors of the past. Read More

Two Weeks in Israel and Forever in Our Hearts

by Kyla Gladstone • Boca Raton, FL February 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm
Kyla with fellow alumni in Boca Raton

Two Weeks in Israel and Forever in Our Hearts

by Kyla Gladstone • Boca Raton, FL February 27, 2020 at 5:18 pm

The two weeks I spent in Israel were nothing short of transformative and to show you how much it changed my life; I need to go back a little bit. I went to high school in Boca Raton, FL, where my mom and stepfather still live. As many people already know, Boca Raton is a very Jewish community. Read More

4 Things Participants Learned on Their Birthright Israel Trips this Year

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 26, 2020 at 7:52 am
Participants listening to a lecture from trip staff

4 Things Participants Learned on Their Birthright Israel Trips this Year

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 26, 2020 at 7:52 am

This winter, thousands of young Jews are arriving in Israel and will be shocked at how much they can learn in 10 days on a Birthright Israel trip. By not only visiting sites but gaining insights from their tour educators and Israeli peers, these moments here and there turn into lessons they’ll appreciate for a lifetime. Read More

Birthright Israel Showed Me that There’s No Right Way to Be Jewish

by Sarah Fielding • New York, NY February 24, 2020 at 4:29 am

Birthright Israel Showed Me that There’s No Right Way to Be Jewish

by Sarah Fielding • New York, NY February 24, 2020 at 4:29 am

The idea of going on Birthright Israel had been in my head long before I turned 18, but it always seemed like a hypothetical, not something I would actually do. This was due mostly in part to my upbringing in a town of very few Jewish people. No one talked about going to Israel and I couldn’t name a single person who had taken the trip through Birthright Israel. Read More

Go For Those Who Couldn’t

by Aidan Segal • Pittsburgh, PA February 20, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Aidan and his 2020 Birthright Israel group on Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem at sunset

Go For Those Who Couldn’t

by Aidan Segal • Pittsburgh, PA February 20, 2020 at 8:41 pm

“In Israel, in order to be a realist,” Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion said, “you must believe in miracles,” and for centuries in the diaspora, Jews under the oppressive arm of an undying anti-Semitism prayed for such a miracle to come into fruition –– to return to Eretz Yisrael. My ancestors of Romanian and Lithuanian descent immigrated to another land said to flow with milk and honey, and made a new life for themselves in America. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA the product of an interfaith family. Read More

Birthright Israel Love Story: Ruthie Schorr & Simon Menaker

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 14, 2020 at 7:58 am
Ruthie & Simon on the top of Masada at sunrise on their 2012 Birthright Israel trip

Birthright Israel Love Story: Ruthie Schorr & Simon Menaker

by Birthright Israel Foundation February 14, 2020 at 7:58 am

In the winter of 2012, a girl from Seattle, WA, and a boy from Charlotte, NC, both signed up for Birthright Israel hoping to get more connected to their Jewish heritage and have a fantastic experience, but little did they know they’d end up meeting their soulmate. This is the Birthright Israel Love Story of Ruthie Schorr and Simon Menaker. Ruthie and Simon say that neither of them went into the trip with the thought or intention to meet someone, but after looking back, told us, “it makes a lot of sense why people connect on the trip – there is something special being in Israel for the first time. Read More

Assimilation

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN February 13, 2020 at 7:15 am
2019 Birthright Israel participant Riley Pope with his mom in Memphis, TN

Assimilation

by Riley Pope • Memphis, TN February 13, 2020 at 7:15 am

Assimilation. A word we hear so often in the Jewish world. It’s a tragedy not quite as obvious as the many others that have plagued the Jewish people before. If you grew up Jewish, unlike me, you have likely not felt the sting of assimilation or been able to comprehend what that entails fully. Read More

It’s Just A Bus Full of Holy Souls and Me

by Shira Kaplan • New York February 4, 2020 at 9:44 am
Birthright Israel participants on their bus

It’s Just A Bus Full of Holy Souls and Me

by Shira Kaplan • New York February 4, 2020 at 9:44 am

Before I left for Birthright Israel in May of 2019, I was scared. I wasn’t nervous about the security situation, or sad about being far from my family— I was scared that I wouldn’t make the absolute most of this opportunity to make a difference. I’m glad I was scared because, as a madricha (trip staff), I had the responsibility to ensure that a bus full of holy souls would have a life-changing experience. Judaism is a huge part of my life. Read More