I have written before about Taglit-Birthright Israel , a beautiful program that sends young Jews from all over the world to visit Israel for the first time for free. Yes, free! There are no strings attached, and no hidden agendas: the goal of the program is posted on its website: “to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and to strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people.”
I am not sure people need much persuasion to get a free 10 day trip, but if you do you can check out this video, summarizing an evening of solo performances of monologues, spoken word and hip-hop inspired and performed by past participants, and directed by Vanessa Hidary, a.k.a. The Hebrew Mamita, of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam:
Make sure you check out the schedule for upcoming performances.
I know we aren’t that close. I admit I don’t keep myself as well informed about your goings-on as I should, but I do hear about you around town. You’ve got quite a reputation, you know that?
It’s hard to know what to make of you being 60 years old. Some 60 year olds are grandmothers, and sometimes you feel like my grandmother. Like when you paid for my 10 day trip to come visit you, and then lectured me about marrying a nice Jewish boy the whole time.
Click here to read the rest of this letter, beautifully written by Leah, my friend from the 2004 Birthright Israel trip.
Just came back from an amazing experience – a ten day guided tour of Israel. I was one of five Israelis who joined a group of 42 young American Jews, in a free trip organized by a foundation called Taglit-Birthright Israel . They provide first time, peer group, educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26. Taglit-Birthright Israel’s founders created this program to send thousands of young Jewish adults from all over the world to Israel as a gift in order to diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world; to strengthen the sense of solidarity among world Jewry; and to strengthen participants’ personal Jewish identity and connection to the Jewish people.
300,000 people have already participated, so click here if you want to learn more.