April 12, 2018

Answered: Who sponsors Birthright Israel?

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Birthright Israel is a not-for-profit educational organization, and the main sponsor of Birthright trips to Israel. Birthright Israel operates separately, but in affiliation with, the trip organizers — those institutions that actually plan the trips to Israel. Confused by all of the terms and organizers involved? BirthrightGuru is here to help! Start by checking out our Ultimate Guide to Birthright Israel trips.

  • The funding for Birthright trips comes to Birthright Israel (and then to the trip organizers) from multiple sources. Key funders are:
  • The Government of Israel
  • Jewish Federations of North America
  • Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Keren Hayesod
  • The German government (as part of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany)
  • Individual philanthropists

Individual philanthropists known to give to Birthright Israel:

  • Charles Bronfman
  • Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
  • Daniel Och
  • Marlene Post
  • Lynn Schusterman
  • Sheldon Adelson
  • Michael Steinhardt

A note about Sheldon Adelson (especially for those leaning towards progressive policies and the Democratic party in the United States):
Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, are likely the largest individual donors to the Birthright Israel program. The US is certainly a polarized society when it comes to politics, and we would be surprised if seeing his name on the list is unwelcome to many potential Birthright participants due to his extreme views and controversial support for President Donald Trump. Just know this: Adelson and his family have genuine support and passion for the state of Israel, and giving young people the opportunity to step on the soil in the Land of Israel. Adelson himself is the son of a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, and learned first-hand from his father the suffering of the Jewish people and the importance of a place where Jews can be free. We don’t know of any ulterior motive the Adelson’s have for supporting Birthright Israel, beyond knowing that more travelers is in line with their general goal of supporting the state. In fact, many people who travel to Birthright and learn more, right there on the ground, about the conflicts in the reason, come back further from some of Mr. Adelson’s positions on how Israel should proceed and how best to support. Personally, we disagree with many of his opinions and are in opposition to the candidates and position he supports. But we do not let his support of this program interfere with our own steadfast support for Israel or of programs to send young people there to experience it for themselves. This is just one issue of the many affecting the country and region, so kudos for considering it seriously, and please now go on and continue to research to form your own educated perspective on the issues at hand.

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