"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
With a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, I had two religions, but felt connected to neither. I heard about Birthright Israel and the trips they offer, but honestly didn’t feel it was for me because I wasn’t even close to being Jewish despite having Jewish blood and a Jewish last name. I was coming up on my twenty seventh year, which is the cut off to go on this trip. At the last minute, I decided to go for it without any expectation of what was going to happen or what it was going to be about. My parents are not too religious, but when I was little they still tried to pass down their religious views - according to my mom, I was not a fan of either one.
Within the last six to seven years, I did my research for my Italian ancestry and found I could become an Italian citizen, which I did. I loved the process of figuring out the missing puzzle pieces of who I am and where I came from. I was able to trace myself back to my great-grandfather in Sicily. As excited as I was t
We recently had the chance to catch up with Birthright Israel alum Cameron Alpert.
Today, Cameron runs AKIVA STRIPE, a clothing brand which brilliantly blends Pop Culture and Jewish Iconography. The brand is at the intersection of where where 'Jewishness' and 'Coolness' collide. His journey to discover his unique style is an interesting one.
The following is our interview with Cameron himself.
Sachlav: So, Cameron how you feeling today?
Cameron: Feeling excellent! I’m getting ready to do bit of traveling which is always exciting, so mostly packing.
Sachlav: Tell me more about AKIVA STRIPE. Where did the name come from?
Cameron: Akiva is a cognate of my middle name, Jacob, and also one of my favorite Hebrew names. Akiva can also mean protector, which ultimately creates the idea of a protection stripe, a very culturally relevant theme. The name suddenly came to mind one day as I was driving.
Sachlav: Do you believe that the Jewish youth in America these days are "proud" to be Je
I just got back from a trip around the US for IsraelontheHouse. The aim of my trip was to spread the word about Birthright Israel registration, and I was certain I'd be flooded by people wanting to sign up. Whoa! Was I in for a surprise?
As I visited various colleges around the United States, I was surprised at how many people have such a clear view into their futures. When asked about coming on a trip, so many people gave me an answer along the lines of, “I plan on coming in 2 years.” I don't know about you, but I wish I could plan my life so perfectly years into the future.
In all seriousness, I needed to point out to people that life doesn't always go according to plan and that it’s impossible to make such definitive plans so far in advance. There are always things which can throw your plans out of synch.
Will you have your dream internship in two years?
Will you have a new job and no vacation time?
Will you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner that’s not elig
Purim is here and it's time to shake it up and get to the party! Here are our top 3 Purim Cocktails which will definitely punch up your Party:
Purim Purple Rain
1 1/2 oz gin
1 splash Blue Curacao liqueur
1 splash sweet and sour mix
1 splash soda water
Pour gin into an ice-filled highball glass, and fill with cranberry juice. Add blue curacao, sour mix and soda. Shake gently, add more curacao (until royal-purple), and serve.
The Raspberry Hamantini
2 oz. raspberry Snapple
1 1/2 oz. vodka
2 tbsp raspberry jam simple syrup (recipe follows)
raspberry hamantasch cookie crumbs, for garnish
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake (ice, optional). Dip the rim of your cocktail glass in raspberry jam and raspberry hamantasch cookie crumbs. Pour the drink into your cocktail glass.
1 oz bourbon
1 oz simple syrup
juice of half a lemon
2 sage leaves
Combine the bourbon, simple syrup, lemon juice, an