Source: eJewish Philanthropy
Jason Lansner writes how in Washington, DC, the Birthright Israel alumni community was reunited in October 2012 through the Reverse Mifgash – a program offering ten days of social, educational, cultural and religious programming for Israeli and American alumni of DC Community Taglit-Birthright Israel Trips sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
Twelve Israeli soldiers and students were welcomed to DC by over 50 volunteers of The Jewish Federation and hundreds of area young professionals who joined them at events over the 10 day visit – including DC’s own Birthright bar mitzvah at the DC JCC.
Over the ten day visit to America participants visited the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, local synagogues, Federation partner agencies, Hillels, and more. They shared their experiences in Israel and what going on Birthright and meeting Jewish Americans meant to their own Jewish identity.
Over 100 young DC professionals attended an event at The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, nearly 300 the Birthright Bar Mitzvah at the JCC, and over 100 an inter-generational weekend leadership retreat at Capital Camps.
The 50 volunteers who hosted the Reverse Mifgash fundraised over $20,000 this year to help sponsor the event. Twenty four of them additionally opened up their homes to give the Israelis a more authentic place to live during their time in America than if they were in a hotel.
"No matter whether it was bringing a family together, volunteering at the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, discussing Jewish identity with school children and retirees, or reconnecting hundreds of Taglit-Birthright alumni – the Reverse Mifgash has become much more than a reverse-Birthright. It has become a symbol of one Jewish community that extends far beyond the geographical borders of the District and its suburbs and exurbs in Maryland and Virginia. It is a symbol of a community that goes to sleep at night blessed that tomorrow it will wake up with young leaders with a deep connection to Israel that are impassioned to take programs such as this beyond the next 10 days."
Read the entire post on eJewish Philanthropy.