In bid to strengthen Israel-Diaspora ties, President Rivlin says a ‘Reverse Birthright’ will facilitate truly honest conversations between Israelis and the Jewish diaspora communities worldwide, “We need to talk, we have to talk, and we need to listen. We are not ‘strategic allies’; we are family.”
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin at JFNA GA, 22. October 2018 – Photo: Mark Neiman (GPO) the establishment of a ‘Reverse Taglit-Birthright’ program during his address to the General Assembly (GA) of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) on Monday, in what appeared to be an effort to bolster ties with Jewish diaspora communities abroad. Continue Reading »
For the first time in the history of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, and in honor of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Birthright Israel for their significant work and contribution to the connection between Israel and world Jewry.
By Susanna Bargman
Birthright Israel was announced as one of 2018’s recipients of the Jerusalem Unity Prize, chosen from among hundreds of candidates.
For the first time in the history of the award and in honor of the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Birthright Israel for their significant work and contribution to the connection between Israel and world Jewry. Continue Reading »
WATCH The group’s 19 Birthright participants hailing from various areas of India take Jerusalem by surprise with their flash mob rendition of a Bollywood production.
– “I got goosebumps,” admired Hebron Bamnolkar, 22, from Mumbai, when telling of his visit to the Western Wall.
By TAMARA ZIEVE
Bollywood flash mobs are not a feature of your average Birthright group, but the annual Indian group that traveled to Israel this month made sure to share part of their culture with the locals, as well as soaking up Israeli culture and having meaningful first-time experiences of the Holy Land.
Birthright participants from India dancing the night away in Jerusalem. Continue Reading »
Around 33,000 Jewish youngsters from over 30 countries are expected to visit Israel this summer, with 131 groups expected to arrive this week.
• Birthright CEO Gidi Mark, “This summer we will celebrate 600,000 participants.”
By Yori Yalon
The Taglit-Birthright Israel program is launching the largest season in its history, with 33,000 Jewish youngsters from 33 countries expected to visit Israel this summer.
20 year old Birthright students visit a border outpost to meet Israelis their age – Photo: IsraelandStuff PP
The program offers free 10-day trips to Israel in an effort to strengthen the connection between young Diaspora Jews and Israel. Continue Reading »
In Birthright’s 13 years, the program brought more than 350,000 participants to Israel from 64 different countries & infused $825 million into Israel’s economy.
Since it was launched in 2000, the Taglit-Birthright program has injected more than $825 million into the Israeli economy, according to the findings of an independent study conducted by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young, which were published on Wednesday.
A Birthright Mega Event in Jerusalem, May 9, 2012. – Photo: Emil Salman
The State of Israel contributes $35 million a year to the program’s $110 million budget. The rest of the funding comes from private philanthropists, most prominently casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish federations of North America, Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency. Continue Reading »
The Foreign Ministry has already learned that the far majority of those who actually visit Israel turn out to be Israel’s greatest advocates.
Israel, as I noted last week, is blessed with many staunch supporters overseas. But given its legion of detractors, it has an obvious interest in expanding this support base; the question is how to do so.
Irish filmmaker, Nicky Larkin – Photo: Deborah Danan
Some factors that contribute to pro-Israel sentiment aren’t in Israel’s power to influence. For instance, evangelical Christianity often correlates with support for Israel, but Christian belief is beyond Israel’s purview. Continue Reading »
Spending $7,000 – $8,000 on a 2-week trip for your teen child, or nothing for a 10-day trip a year or two down the road “it’s a no-brainer.”
By Gil Shefler
NEW YORK (JTA) — With the summer travel season fast approaching, providers of Israel programs for teenagers are bracing themselves for what several say could be a season of historically low travel in a year unaffected by major security concerns.
Over the past decade, Israel travel among those aged 13 to 18 has seen a dramatic falloff. Though exact figures are difficult to come by, leaders of several leading North American teen programs say they have seen drops of 30 percent to 50 percent in participation in their Israel trips since 2000. Continue Reading »
No data exists on exactly how many participants have met their spouses on a trip. Birthright knows of several dozen marriages, although anecdotal evidence suggests the number could be much larger.
By Gil Shefler ·
NEW YORK (JTA) — Meredith Ross will never forget when she first laid eyes on Lior, her partner for the past seven years.
Birthright visiting a border outpost – IsraelandStuff/PP
Lior, an infantryman in the Israel Defense Forces, was escorting Ross’ Birthright Israel group on a free tour of the Jewish state when his friend, a fellow soldier, was killed. Lior was leaving to attend his funeral and had come to say goodbye. Continue Reading »
Makor Rishon: NGOs take Birthright groups to Palestinian Authority villages and providing an anti-“occupation” narrative.
Pro-Arab NGOs have been taking advantage of the Taglit-Birthright program that brings young Jewish people on tours of Israel – to take the tourists on their own tours and provide them with a pro-Arab perspective on Israel, according to the Makor Rishon newspaper.
Birthright group arrives in Israel
Israel news photo: Birthright PR
Taglit-Birthright brings thousands of young Jews to Israel every year, for 10-day tours in which they learn about Israel, meet Israelis and strengthen their Jewish identity. Many of the participants choose to lengthen their stay in Israel and use the time to visit relatives, hike or just have fun before they take the free flight home. Continue Reading »