A quick thought on birthright

A rare chilly and overcast day in the Negev

Chill hump day in the Negev

As long as you have at least one Jewish grandparent, you get ten days in Israel for free. I had already been to Israel twice before, including one experience when I spent two months living in Tel Aviv. Taglit birthright still paid for me to enjoy the gift of a free trip to Israel.

Only two other members of our birthright group had ever been to Israel. Josh and I were basically the only people with any connection to Judaism or the Jewish state. I know that birthright is very successful at making people fall in love with Israel, but I was curious to find out how they accomplish such a goal. And before I go on to say what the method is, let me first make it clear that birthright works. Everyone on our trip became obsessed with Israel. They love the land, the food, and the people. They understand the sacrifice necessary to maintain our safety in such a volatile region. It became obvious that the people of Israel have a connection to their country far superior to any connection we have with ours.

With that said, the birthright method was amazingly simple. Our group leaders just showed us the country. Zionist propaganda was never shoved down our throats. We hiked the green mountains of the north and painfully floated on the Dead Sea in the south. At the Western Wall, people in the group with no Jewish background started sobbing; overcome by the power of the moment and place. It was beautiful to watch everyone fall in love with Israel for the first time, much like I did years ago.

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