Jonathan Lipnicki on Birthright, Summer 2017..
(photo credit: COURTESTY OF JONATHAN LIPNICKI)
Millions around the world know Jonathan Lipnicki as the adorable kid from 1996's Jerry Maguire.
But Lipnicki is now all grown up, and he is fresh off a whirlwind 10-day Taglit-Birthright trip that he says has changed his life.
"The Western Wall was the most incredible spiritual experience I have ever had," Lipnicki, 26, wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of him at the Kotel. "I have never felt this close to my roots. I am home."
The former child star, also known for his role in Stuart Little
, was actively posting online throughout his journey - from riding camels to applying Dead Sea mud and inhaling hummus and kubbe.
He posted a photo of himself donning tefillin in Safed, and watching the sunrise at Masada.
"Sunrise at Masada was unreal!" he wrote. "Standing in a place where so much history has taken place, at such a beautiful time was truly inspiring.
Birthright Israel honored Lipnicki as its 600,000th participant, a distinction he took in stride.
Before heading to the airport, the actor showed off his swag, and said that the trip was "something I've been wanting to do for a while." Indeed Lipnicki has never shied away from his Jewish faith, even tattooing a large Magen David on his torso several years ago.
Upon his return to New York, he told The New York Post
's Page Six that the trip left him with an even stronger connection to Judaism.
"There’s nothing quite like the feeling of when you walk down the stairs that are above the Western Wall and the sun’s going down, and you see all these people dancing and praying," he said. "It was one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had... I was just overcome with emotion, and I was totally not crying," he joked.