Finance Minister Yair Lapid wanted to cut government support for Taglit-Birthright and Masa but was blocked from doing so by the Prime Minister’s Office, Army Radio reported Wednesday. Birthright provides Diaspora Jewish youths with free ten day trips to Israel while Masa subsidizes participation in a variety of educational programs.
Lapid and Netanyahu agreed on an outline for the 2015 budget before Rosh Hashanah. Lapid had previously said that the costs of the summer war with Hamas would be covered by a two-percent across-the-board cut in the 2014 budget.
The government funds Birthright together with several American philanthropists, the Jewish Federations of North America, the United Israel Appeal and the Jewish Agency for Israel. In the decade following Birthright’s establishment in 2001 Israel provided one hundred million Dollars in funding.