Birthright guarantees funding through March

Birthright israel informed trip operators on Thursday that it had the means to finance all birthright trips planned through the end of March. The move came a day after a report in The Jerusalem Post that the organization was approving new trips later and more carefully than in previous years due to fears that the worldwide financial crunch would affect its donations. "There won't be a single cancellation [due to insufficient funds] in the winter trips," birthright CEO Gidi Mark told the Post hours after the announcement was made to the operators. The relatively late confirmation - birthright informed operators last week that it had yet to confirm funding for the February and March trips - is appropriate, considering the circumstances, Mark insisted. "This year we're confirming new trips more carefully [than in the past], because we don't want to have to cancel any. We wait until the money is in the bank," he said. Planning for summer trips, which would already have been under way in previous years, "will start after December 31. For financial reasons, many donations only arrive in the last week of the year, and we want to wait to see what we will have available," he said.