Search results for: Birthright Israel
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Some 2,000 young adults who thought they had missed the chance to travel on Taglit-Birthright Israel when they turned 27 – the regular program is for individuals 18 to 26 – are getting a chance to experience the touted 10-day free trip to Israel. This summer, and again in October and November, Birthright is piloting a series of trips for people between the ages of 27 and 32. The organization opened these missions up to its 25,000 past applicants who had not participated in a Birthright experience for one reason or another.
Updated: Jul. 11, 2018
Nearly 18 years and 400,000 North American Birthright participants later, our latest research confirms that the skeptics were wrong. Participation in Birthright has a transformative impact that extends far beyond young Jews’ time in Israel. Birthright’s alumni, compared to similar young Jews who did not participate in the program, are more highly connected to Israel, more likely to have a Jewish spouse and raise Jewish children, and more likely to be engaged in Jewish life.
Updated: Feb. 12, 2018
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett Advancing Plan to Bring Families of Lone Soldiers to Israel
Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett is promoting a government decision to bring the parents and families of lone soldiers serving in the IDF to Israel to visit their children during their service. More than 2,900 lone soldiers whose parents live abroad are currently serving in the IDF. While there are organizations that facilitate parental visits to Israel, not all parents of serving lone soldiers can afford such an expense. As such, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs—in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense— will formulate and implement a unique program for organized visits.
Updated: Aug. 30, 2017
The article examines the attitudes of young adult American Jews towards Israel and their views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Drawing on the Pew Research Center’s 2013 survey of American Jews, the largest in more than a decade, as well as other empirical data, the article rejects the popular claim that young American Jews are emotionally detached and disconnected from Israel.
Updated: Jul. 19, 2017
‘I Wish They Had Birthright for Adults!’: The Effect of Birthright Israel on Jewish Parents’ Interest in Visiting Israel
This study assesses the impact of the Taglit-Birthright Israel travel program on parents of participants—in particular, on the ways in which parents’ indirect exposure to their adult children’s experiences in the program affect those parents’ connections to Israel. Birthright Israel is a large-scale, successful, educational travel program that provides a gift of 10-day trips to Israel to Jewish young adults. A substantial body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of Birthright Israel in strengthening the Jewish identity of young diaspora Jews. Anecdotal evidence suggests that participants whose interest in Israel is enhanced by their Birthright Israel experience share what they have learned with their parents, and that this results in an increase in Israel interest for the parents.
Updated: Jun. 05, 2017
The study of diaspora policies in political science, international relations, and political geography has moved away from conceiving diasporas as bounded entities to conceptualizing diasporas as a process to be made. One body of literature maps different strategies employed to bond diasporas to their country of origin, while another body of literature pays specific attention to diasporic identities and the ways such identities are reproduced and constructed abroad. This article seeks to bring these two literatures together by focusing on homeland tourism as a diasporization strategy, i.e. the construction, reproduction, and transmission of diasporic identity. Through the case of Taglit-Birthright – a free educational trip to Israel offered to young Jewish adults – the article identifies the specific mechanisms and micro-practices used in order to transform Israeli territory into a Jewish homeland, reproduce the narrative of dispersion, and demarcate group boundaries.
Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
An event last week marked the end of the sixth year of the Birthright Israel Excel Fellowship Program. “The Jewish world’s business leadership community built in recent years by Birthright Israel is a project of significant importance, bearing many fruits to be harvested in years to come. Through the program, Jewish students receive an unparalleled opportunity to get to know the country and intern in its leading companies. We have already witnessed the cultivation of strong ties between future business leaders of the American Jewish community and Israel’s business sector. These bonds result in far reaching and extensive international collaborations” said Gidi Mark, International CEO of Birthright Israel, at the closing event.
Updated: Aug. 31, 2016
As the newest cohort of Birthright Israel Fellows convenes this week in San Diego, the program continues to evolve as it seeks to raise the overall level and quality of the Birthright Israel trip experience. To help affect this change, Birthright Israel has hired a full-time Director of the Birthright Israel Fellows program to engage with the nearly 400 current fellows, as well as the continually growing cadre of specially-trained Birthright Israel staff that will participate in the program in the coming years. During the four-day seminar in San Diego, run in partnership with the iCenter for Israel Education, the latest cohort will learn from experts in Jewish, Israel, and experiential education. The participants will begin staffing trips this summer.
Updated: Apr. 07, 2016
Most Birthright Applicants Functionally Illiterate about Israel according to New Brandeis University Study
A new Brandeis University study finds that among surveyed Birthright candidates, over 50% couldn’t correctly answer even half of the basic questions requiring minimal knowledge of the Jewish state. In a continuing multi-year project, researchers from Brandeis University’s Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies are working together with a broad team of experts to understand and assess Israel literacy. According to the authors, Israel literacy is “the requisite knowledge to participate in productive conversations about Israel.” Dismally, the team found that regardless of their Jewish background and the ranking of their universities, relatively few students are Israel literate.
Updated: Dec. 02, 2015
Demystifying a Black Box: A Grounded Theory of How Travel Experiences Impact the Jewish Identity Development of Jewish Emerging Adults
The positive impact on the Jewish Identity Development of Jewish Emerging Adults of both the 10 day trips to Israel popularly known as Birthright trips and the service learning trips commonly known as Alternative Spring Breaks has been well-documented. However, the mechanics of how this positive impact occurs has not been well-understood. This grounded theory study interviewed participants from both trips and found that there is an observable and ongoing cognitive processing of their trip experience by the participants that organically influences identity development. This process can be modeled and utilized to develop more effective staff training and program content for Jewish experiential education travel programs.
Updated: Dec. 02, 2015