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October 23, 2019

Answered: Does Birthright make age exceptions?

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Simple answer is “no.” We’ve never met or heard of anyone who was able to participate on an official Birthright trip who was younger than 18 or older than 32. Birthright Israel age requirements are strict, and not likely to be adjusted for individuals.

Here are the official eligible requirements from the Birthright Israel Foundation:

What are the eligibility requirements?

The Birthright Israel gift is open to all Jewish young adults, ages 18 to 26* who have not participated on an educational trip since they turned 18 nor lived in Israel past the age of 12. Eligible individuals are those who identify as Jewish and are recognized as such by their local community or by one of the recognized denominations of Judaism. Applicants must also have at least one Jewish birth parent or have completed Jewish conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination.

Note: Birthright Israel is currently offering the gift to 27-32-year-olds with limited availability as a pilot program.

Remember, the Birthright Israel Foundation is the organization that oversees and funds all Birthright trips and as part of that work sets the requirements that all participants and providers must adhere to…but they are not the actual trip organizers. There are over 500 trip options to choose from — read our Birthright Trip guide to find the right one for you.

If you’re younger than 18, check out trips offered through local organizations such as your synagogue and youth groups. Many people go on trips in middle school or high school and then still go on Birthright later (yes, they’re eligible unless they were 18 or older on the educational trip). If you’re older than 32, there are organizations that run trips with similar motivation to Birthright Israel, often focused on forging connections between Jewish communities in Israel and other countries or between representatives from specific industries. And of course you can always plan a family or friends trip to Israel and tour the country either on your own or with a paid tour company. It’s a small and welcoming country with incredible sites, from ancient Roman ruins to pulsing, modern nightlife in Tel Aviv!

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