There was a fascinating piece on JTA the other day that looked at the funding for Birthright, what has become recognized as one of the most successful programs in Jewish communal life.
Over half a million young Jews have traveled to Israel on a free 10-day trip to explore the country and their identity. Concerns over rising assimilation, lower rates of Jewish affiliation, and a loosening connection to Israel are all counterbalanced by this powerful program.
But it’s not actually “free.”
Birthright is paid for by some incredibly generous philanthropists, by the Israeli government, and by you. If you’re a donor to our annual UJA Campaign, you should be proud of the impact of your dollars at work. Last year we allocated $150,000 to Birthright and helped raise an additional $350,000 in the community to send kids on these life-changing trips.
We do it because it’s a good investment in the Jewish future.
Day schools, Jewish camps, Birthright – these intensive collective Jewish experiences make it more likely to raise Jewish adults in vibrant Jewish communities. Birthright participants are much more likely to marry and raise families Jewishly. A quarter of them are likely to marry other Birthright participants!
These Birthright trips pump billions of dollars into the Israeli economy. They fill hotels, restaurants, shops, and sites with much-needed support. And more than 40 percent of the participants return to Israel at some point.
For the approximately 30,000 New Jersey participants, for our generous donors, and for our Campaign leadership… we’re grateful.
To find out more about the Birthright Israel program, click here.
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