"Come to Israel for free! Do this, do that, get this, get that..."
You know the drill.
Yes, Birthright Israel trips are free, and that is amazing. However, the real key to a meaningful experience isn't what you get.
Woah, hold up. Are we about to release trade secrets? Probably.
Here it goes: It's about the people. It's about the connections you make. And this is twofold, on the one hand you connect with other American Jews, and on the other, you build a connection to Israel and its people. That's quite an achievement in 10 days if you ask me.
Now, the "connecting with other American Jews" part is easy, you already have 3 definite things in common. You all have some kind of Jewish connection, you're all of a similar age, and you're all up for an adventure. The connecting with Israelis part, takes a little more effort on our part, but that's why you travel with peer group soldiers, and why we organize volunteer activities.
You Get, You Give, You read more
It's been a whole year since we dusted off the menorah for Hanukkah, so here's a quick reminder of all the basics from why we eat doughnuts and eat chocolate money to who the Macabees were and what they were fighting for...
In the second century BCE the Maccabees recaptured the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greeks. The first thing they did was light the golden menorah. They could only find one jar of oil which is only enough to burn for one day, but it burnt miraculously for 8 days. Today we light a menorah for 8 days to recall this miracle and to be inspired by its message.
8 Quick Facts About Hanukkah
(click to download the printable PDF version)
The war of the Maccabees was the world's first ideological war fought by a small band of pious Talmudic scholars who engaged in some stealthy warfare (in Israel you can visit the caves they hid in)
Around 17 and a half million oily doughnuts (sufganiyot) are eaten every year in Israel over Hanukkah commemorating th read more
Life – It’s all about cramming in the best adventures, places, moments, and memories. First step is to write your “bucket list”. If you need a little help getting started, or feel like you haven’t got enough checks on your list, we’ve got a list of the best things to do in Israel.
10 Days To Boost Your Bucket List
We all joke about having “bucket lists” – some of us genuinely do have a “100 things to do before we die” lists – it may be that you want to travel the world or perhaps grow old with someone you love; maybe you want to fly first class or you’d like to ride an elephant? A Birthright Israel trip is a bucket lister's dream: you can ride a camel, pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, raft down the River Jordan; float in the Dead Sea, watch the sunrise atop Masada, or simply go clubbing in Tel Aviv – and it's all free – a 10 day gift from Birthright Israel to every young Jewish adult aged 18-26.
So this winter you can get your bucket lis read more