A Father’s (and Birthright Israel alumnus’) Words of Inspiration

By David Goodman

In celebration of Father’s Day, here are the impressions from one of our very own alumni (and, of no less significance, proud dad of twin boys), David Goodman. Goodman, or ‘Goody’ as many affectionately call him, was first a participant in 2006 and then led a handful of Birthright Israel trips from Canada. He has been working in the Jewish community his entire career and currently serves as the Executive Director of Schulich Leader Scholarships – Canada and Israel’s largest undergraduate awards for entrepreneurial-minded students enrolling in STEM areas of study.

“Birthright Israel (BRI) provided me with a life-changing experience as I entered my mid-twenties. For me, there had been a large gap in participating in the Jewish community or acknowledging my Jewish identity since travelling to Israel for my Bar Mitzvah as a kid. BRI was able to uncover the significance of Israel and my connectivity to my Jewish roots as an adult. It was amazingly unique to forge special bonds with young Israelis and Jewish Canadians who shared the same values and culture, despite such different life paths and family history. Part of what makes BRI so effective, is that it sets in motion the desire to go back home and realize you are part of something bigger. It also gives you a confidence and resolve that there are Jews that care about our well-being, halfway across the globe.

In today’s climate, where anti-Israel propaganda is all too often a cover for anti-Semitic views, it is my hope that my kids will understand why Israel is so vital for the safety and vibrancy of the Jewish people. Like Judaism, Israel is beautiful, yet complex – as the word Israel translates to “the struggle”. It is my hope that BRI can help my kids understand why Israel is a bright light for the world, much like us Jews living in the diaspora are also a light for Canada and beyond.”