Quantcast

Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

January 27, 2000

Hillel Students Return From Israel 2000 Trip

http://www.jewishjournal.com/old_stories/article/hillel_students_return_from_israel_2000_trip_20000128

When Jessica Wolf arrived in Eretz Yisrael, she dutifully kissed the ground. Still, she didn't feel all that impressed. Says the UCLA sophomore, "It looked to me a lot like Santa Barbara when I first got off the plane." For the next 10 days, as part of Hillel's Israel 2000, she and her fellow students toured the country, climbing Masada, arguing policy atop the Golan Heights, trading views with Israeli soldiers and Arab children, probing their own Jewish connections. Now Wolf feels that Israel is an integral part of her life: she's planning to return for her junior year of college. For her, a trip that was absolutely free of charge has turned out to be a priceless experience.

Last year, when philanthropists Michael Steinhardt and Charles Bronfman decided to give the gift of Israel to thousands of young Jews, skeptics wondered whether there would be any takers. But Steinhardt and Bronfman's Birthright Israel is off to a roaring start. Through Birthright Israel funding, Hillel has recently sent 3,000 American Jewish college students on 10-day study tours of the Jewish homeland. (Another 1,000 students traveled under Canadian auspices, and 2,000 young adults took Birthright trips through a host of organizations in the U.S. and worldwide.)

Hillel (formally known as Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life) called its program Israel 2000. Students traveled in groups from their home campuses, with trips being timed to coincide with their winter breaks. Everyone is back now, and the massive logistical undertaking is meeting with rave reviews.

Jeff Rubin, director of communications at Hillel's national headquarters, says that Israel 2000 has "far exceeded our expectations. Every student had a strong Jewish experience. A lot of them had transforming experiences."

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2014 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.2563 / 37