May 17, 2018

Birthright Turns 18, Announces 600,000 Participants

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Lucky number חי.

It’s a big birthday year for Birthright Israel: The program just turned 18!  As part of the celebrations, Birthright Israel announced that 600,000 young Jewish adults have traveled to Israel on Birthright, hailing from 67 countries. That’s a lot of people going to Israel that might not have otherwise done so.

Of course, this occasion also brings the funders of Birthright Israel back into the spotlight, including Miriam and Sheldon Adelson. These are definitely controversial figures in US politics. We already wrote about them when sharing info about the funding of Birthright Israel in general. Now that they’re back in the news, it’s worth mentioning again. We don’t agree with the Adelson’s political positions, but do not let their support completely taint Birthright. In fact, we believe that giving people the chance to go to step foot in Israel and learn first-hand about the country and region is the best way to help them develop their own, informed views.

Celebrating 18 with a new award

As part of the 18th anniversary of the launch of the Taglit Birthright program, the Jerusalem Post awarded the organization the first-ever award for “Most Influential Jewish Organization” of the year. Hard to argue with the importance of Birthright Israel when it comes to Jewish organizations when it exposes this sheer number of people directly to life in Israel.

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