On Aug. 5, the Birthright Israel alumni organization NEXT launched its 2013 High Holy Days initiative. It features an interactive, nationwide map of services and events — including learning opportunities, dinners and break-the-fasts — as well as a first-time offering of resources and small subsidies for people willing to host Rosh Hashanah meals and Yom Kippur break-the-fasts.
Now entering its 13th year, Taglit-Birthright Israel’s goal is to strengthen the Jewish identity of its participants and their connection to Israel. Yet the popular program also has provided a platform for untold numbers of young singles to form lasting, loving partnerships.
Registration began this week for Taglit-Birthright Israel, the program offering free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26 that was created to connect young people to their heritage. This year, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is co-sponsoring a variety of opportunities: With nine trips and room for 40 people on each, there are 360 spaces available, however many trips fill up quickly.
Since its inaugural trip in the winter of 2000, more than 340,000 participants ages 18-26 have traveled to Israel for the first time through Taglit-Birthright Israel. The 10-day excursions have attracted people from 62 countries, bringing together Jews from virtually every cultural and socio-economic background in the Diaspora.
Nearly 160,000 young Jews from North America have taken part in Taglit-Birthright Israel, a 10-day free Israel trip aimed at revving up their Jewish identities.
The candidates reach out and apologize in the Rosh Hashanah tradition, blow a shofar, interrupt, smile, joke and yell, just like your family!
Jenny Meyer was feeling guilty, and she was willing to use that guilt to get what she wanted -- a free trip to Israel for her parents
Birthright's success in awakening a connection to Jewish heritage and Israel is unprecedented in American Jewish life. The number of alumni continues to multiply and their enthusiasm is infusing new energy into American Jewry
" . . . It is wishful thinking by the writer that Obama's chance to be president has been torpedoed by his past association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. McCain and the writer want us to focus on this guilt by association nonissue, rather than on Obama's own actions and words and the terrible political and economic conditions our beloved country has fallen into under the Bush/Cheney regime . . ."
Last Sunday night in an amphitheatre outside Jerusalem, I had a flash of insight into how to get disaffected Jews excited and involved in Jewish life: Make it free!
A musical New Year's greeting from the Rosh HaShanah Girl and Taglit-birthright-israel
Here's all we know: A wacky college student on a Taglit-birthright trip to Israel found a kindred spirit at the flea market in Jaffa . . .
Birthright Israel has received many more applications for its upcoming trips than it has spaces available. Approximately 14,000 young Jews applied for 8,000 spots in the program's spring/summer trips this year in just the first 12 hours of registration Feb. 8.