“As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile.” (Shmuel Y. Agnon)
The most important component in the life of a young adult is the ability to discover. Self-discovery, encountering one’s roots and fellow Jews – all play an important role in the formation of one’s adult life. Birthright Israel offers young Jewish adults throughout the Diaspora first-time trips to Israel, helping them develop a lifelong bond with their people, the Jewish Land and their heritage.
The ten-day trips include tourist attractions and seminars, topped off with a significant mega event, in which participants meet local dignitaries and ambassadors, enjoy musical performances, and celebrate their birthright. Another component of the trip is the Mifgash encounter, during which Taglit participants meet soldiers and Israeli youngsters, with the aim of better understanding each other’s lives, world-view and identity.
Trips are free of charge, regardless of affiliation, and are organized and sponsored by various philanthropists, including Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, the State of Israel and local Jewish communities. Throughout the FSU, the Federation of Jewish Communities provides a two-year $1 million grant, compliments of its president, Lev Leviev.
To date, 4000 youths of the FSU have participated in Taglit – recruited by Jewish organizations; and FJC representatives maintain close contact with returning alumni, fostering their continued grassroots involvement in the local community, sometimes in leadership positions.