Cabinet discusses expanding Birthright program

The cabinet discussed two proposals to promote Diaspora-Israel relations and strengthen Zionist identity on Sunday.
One proposal called on the government to increase the number of Diaspora Jews visiting Israel through the Birthright program to 50,000 annually by 2013, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).  The eventual goal of increased support for the Birthright program is to ensure that one out of every two Jewish young adults has visited Israel.
The second proposal would seek to cultivate the next generation of Zionists leaders by establishing a committee chaired by the director-general of the PMO that would be tasked with awarding prizes to young adults who start projects or activities that express Zionist ideas and ideals and provide financial and other support for government ministries that encourage Zionist leadership projects.
"It is important that young Jews around the world get to know Israel and our wonderful people and heritage, with their feet.  Such an experience would strengthen the bonds between Diaspora Jews and Israel," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the meeting.