Feb 4, 2014  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Education,

New eligibility for Birthright participants

Birthright/Taglit has made a major announcement that changes their participation guidelines.  Birthright was designed for young Jewish people (between the ages of 18-26) who had never experienced an educational peer trip to Israel. In January, Birthright officially expanded that criteria to include even more young adults in the program.

As part of the expanded criteria for participation, “second-timers” — youth who have already participated in an Israel trip — will be eligible for the heavily subsidized Israel experience.

This is great news for anyone who previously participated on a high school teen tour and for anyone who has attended or is considering attending Alexander Muss High School in Israel

JNF offers travel to Israel on the Birthright/Shorashim program.  Participants experience Israel through the eyes of Israeli peers.  Handpicked similarly-aged Israelis become part of the group as they travel together for the 10-day adventure, forging a bond between individuals that will grow even after the experience is over.  These relationships serve to personalize Israel for the participants as well as enrich the educational process.  The learning and understanding is a two-way process, and the Israeli participants are as much as part of the educational experience as the North American participants, as both groups learn more about each other.  Everyone involved returns home with a real connection to the other through the special friendships that are formed.  For young Israelis, it is exciting to have new North American Jewish friends.  For the American Jews, their connection to new Israeli friends helps to serve as a link to the State of Israel for a lifetime.

Birthright Shorashim participants are immediately brought into the JNF family upon their return. They are often first invited to become a part of our young leadership division, JNFuture, which offers opportunities to learn more and become active in JNF's mission of preserving and supporting the land of Israel. JNFuture members participate in fundraising, event planning, in National and local conferences, meetings, and trips back to Israel. Participants have written dozens of articles, have spoken at JNF board meetings and dinners, and have taken on leadership roles within the general JNF and JNFuture structures.

Birthright Shorashim alumni are also encouraged to return to Israel with JNF's Alternative Spring Break program.  Also a unique program, JNF Alternative Spring Break offers an opportunity for Young Adults, ages 18-30, to return to Israel to volunteer for special JNF projects throughout the country, strengthening their ties to individual Israelis, the land of Israel and to supporting the State.  Participants must raise a minimum of $1100 for Jewish National Fund and the rest of their trip is subsidized.  It is the logical next step for Birthright Shorashim alumni to return to Israel.

Through JNF programs, participants can look forward to a lifetime of opportunities to travel to and support Israel!