Birthright & Israel
Taglit - Birthright
The 10 days that I spent on Birthright were incredible. The people, the sights, the stories, the connection to Judaism truly made this trip an experience that I will never forget.
The most amazing part of the trip for me was meeting the Israeli soldiers. In Israel, military service is mandated at age 18. Every birthright trip welcomes 8 or so soldiers to join and share the experience. This is done not only to give them a break from duty, but also to emphasize our cultural differences. These people are our age and while we are here on vacation enjoying ourselves, they are in the army, fighting for their country. Despite all the differences that we had, there was one similarity that was remarkably powerful- we were all Jewish
The trip wasn’t all Jewish history and sightseeing though. There was plenty of time for bars, clubs, goldstar (really good Israeli beer), dancing and having fun. It was the perfect balance, and I got to share the experience with 40 of the coolest people I’ve ever met. It’s hard for me to voice in my writing just how big of an impact Birthright had on me, but I highly, highly encourage you all to go and see for yourself. If you have any questions, or need any more encouragement, please contact me.
- Jeff Rabinowitz
Class of 2012
Ways to Go Back to Israel
Through hevruta study (partner learning) under the guidance of dynamic teachers, Pardes aims to provide skills for in-depth Jewish learning, encourages students to grapple with the relevance of ancient texts and the modern world, and increases students’ knowledge of their Jewish heritage. Pardes offers year-long programs for university graduates as well as a summer program for both university students and grads. (Note that they have a “Hillel Leaders” Scholarship)
Additional Immersion Experiences
With over 70 programs to offer, this is a clearinghouse for service immersion experiences of all types--in the US and abroad, long-term and short-term.
Limmud is a multi-day, multi-generational, interdenominational, and volunteer-led festival of Jewish learning. Participants will find art, worship, culture, study, film, the outdoors, music, dance, humor, texts, history, networking, and fun. It’s part conference, part festival, and part learn-in.
The JDC Entwine Multi-Week Jewish Service Corps (JSC) is an incredible opportunity for Jewish students to perform meaningful volunteer work this winter break with the largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).