Birthright Israel is…
- The largest experiential education platform in the Jewish world.
- Unity within diversity, irrespective of personal background, ideology, political views, religious beliefs and/or practices, sexual orientation or gender identity
- Thoughtful and meaningful dialogues on Jewish concepts and values in a safe space, unlike the social media and campus landscapes
- Interaction and connection between Diaspora participants and their Israeli peers
- A profound lasting impact on identity, family, community, culture and continuity
- A stepping stone for future involvement in local Jewish communities
- A fully subsidized gift, not merely a free trip – from one generation to the next
Your gift enables the following variety of trip offerings:
Accessibility & Inclusion
Every eligible young adult should be able to visit Israel to experience their birthright. Birthright Israel is pleased to offer approximately ten Accessibility trips each year for participants with a variety of medical, developmental, and physical disabilities. There are also opportunities for young adults with disabilities to join a traditional Birthright Israel trip as an inclusion participant, accompanied by an aide or shadow.
Show Your Pride: LGBTQ2S+
Birthright Israel participants celebrate Israel’s diversity during Tel Aviv’s legendary Pride Parade and week-long Pride celebrations, as part of the international observance of Gay Pride Month in June. The trip allows participants to experience Israel with other young adults who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) and any additional orientations and gender identities. Participants travel with Israeli peers from the LGBTQ2S+ community. The trip addresses the current issues facing the LGBTQ2S+ community and also takes in the liveliness of Tel Aviv and its thriving LGBTQ2S+ population.
Participants discover Israel through intense outdoor activity incorporated with the core components of Birthright Israel’s original program. On top of touring the mystical city of Tzfat, spending Shabbat in Jerusalem and meeting some incredible Israeli soldiers, participants tour the river valleys of the Western Galilee, climb the volcanic rock of the Golan Heights, explore ancient tunnels in the Judean Hills and navigate through the Negev desert after spending a night under the stars.
Pilot Project: 27 to 32-Year-Old Trips
Recognizing the changing societal trends with young adults making life decisions — such as getting married and having children — later in life, Birthright Israel expanded eligibility for a pilot project to include participants between the ages of 27 and 32. These select pilot trips, started in the summer of 2018, have all the classic Birthright Israel elements with a tailor-made itinerary appealing to the new, older group.
After receiving feedback from past participants who expressed challenges with missing days from work and who have limited vacation time, Birthright Israel began offering shortened trips and has continued to do so since the end of 2016. The content of the program has been carefully planned and is more focused within a seven-day period, as opposed to the original 10 day trips.
The Mifgash — Hebrew word for ‘encounter’– is a unique element of the Birthright Israel experience in which Canadian and Israeli participants spend quality time together as peers. To date, more than 110,000 young Israelis have joined participants from abroad for all or half of their trip and, together, gain a greater understanding of Israel and their shared Jewish heritage. The Mifgash delivers an intimate and highly personal dynamic, providing all participants with greater awareness of complex issues, important insight into Israel’s significance to global Jewish peoplehood, a deeper connection to Israel, and long-lasting friendships that extend well beyond the trip itself. These relationships and face-to-face encounters lay the foundation for lasting bonds between Israel and Jewish communities.
All Birthright Israel groups visit a Holocaust site. The visit is complemented by preparatory sessions prior to the visit followed by post-visit discussions. In addition, BRIFC distributes an electronic copy of a Holocaust Survivor’s memoir to all Canadian participants. The memoir is a gift from the Azrieli Foundation.
Tel Aviv Days
Birthright Israel created Tel Aviv Days as a way of focusing on and exhibiting the incredible contemporary cultural side of Israel, specifically in Tel Aviv. For the time that participants spend in the modern city, they participate in different types of activities that are specific to the cosmopolitan way of life and allows participants some choice in what they wish to explore such as: fashion, culinary, visual arts, social action and much more.