(photo credit: LEAH GRAFF)
What if this generation of young Jews never had the chance to put a note in the Western Wall … never climbed Masada to watch the sunrise … never got to celebrate Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem? What if they never took a journey with Birthright Israel?
This would be catastrophic for the future of the Jewish people.
During these challenging times, it is critical that — to ensure the longevity and stability of our people —each of our young adults develop a lifelong love of being Jewish.
According to extensive studies by Brandeis University, 74% of participants feel closer to Israel after a transformative experience with Birthright Israel. They also discover a personal, heartfelt, and important relationship with our heritage. This is not something we can afford to lose.
Birthright Israel gives young Jewish adults the chance to walk the cobblestone streets of our ancestors in Jerusalem, explore the deserts they have read about in the Torah, and embrace a profound kinship with the people of Israel. The gift of Birthright Israel is irreplaceable: It provides young Jews with a powerful connection to their Jewish identity and allows them to nurture an enduring passion for their heritage.
It is the birthright of every Jew to travel to Israel. It is the foundation for raising a generation that is full of Jewish pride. And it is the mission of Birthright Israel Foundation.
About one quarter of American Jews are currently eligible to take a journey with Birthright Israel. That means that there are 1.4 million eligible young Jews between 18 and 32 who may never otherwise set foot in the land of our ancestors without Birthright Israel Foundation.
Studies from Brandeis University show that Birthright Israel participants feel an increased level of commitment to marrying a Jewish partner, celebrating Jewish holidays, raising a family in the Jewish tradition, and nurturing a stronger relationship with the State of Israel. Now more than ever, we are counting on young Jews to embolden the Jewish tomorrow with their commitment to our heritage today.
Our very survival as a people is dependent on one thing: The next generation’s relationship with their Jewish identity. It is our responsibility to nurture this relationship in order to ensure a strong and secure future for the Jewish people.
Birthright Israel provides this extraordinary trip to each participant as a gift — with help from generous supporters. If you want to help young Jewish adults discover a deeply personal connection with their Jewish heritage and the state of Israel, please make a gift to Birthright Israel Foundation. When you give right now, your support will be TRIPLED thanks to a special matching gift campaign!
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Lisa Brown is a writer and a mom to a young child. She looks forward to her son taking a journey with Birthright Israel when he is of age.
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