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Birthright Israel’s mission is to give every Jewish young adult around the world, especially the unaffiliated, the opportunity to visit Israel. Birthright Israel is the largest educational tourism organization in the world.
Founded in 1999 by a group of committed Jewish philanthropists led by Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt, Birthright Israel aims to strengthen Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and connection with Israel and its people. Birthright offers a free, life-changing trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26 and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future.
All of this is made possible through the generous support of many sources, including the State of Israel, the program’s founders and other philanthropists, the Jewish Federation system and Keren Hayesod, the Jewish Agency for Israel, parents of trip participants, alumni of the program, and thousands of individuals donors from around the world who believe in its mission.
Birthright Israel seeks to ensure the future of the Jewish people by strengthening Jewish identity, Jewish communities, and connection with Israel via a trip to Israel for the majority of Jewish young adults from around the world.
Our hope is that our trips motivate young people to continue to explore their Jewish identity and support for Israel and maintain long-lasting connections with the Israelis they meet on their trip. We encourage our alumni to take active roles in Jewish organizations and to participate in follow-up activities worldwide.
Since its inception in December 1999, Birthright Israel has sent over 500,000 Jewish young adults to Israel. They come from 66 countries, all 50 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and nearly 1,000 North American colleges and universities.
Birthright Israel programs have contributed $1 billion to the Israeli economy, including 750,000 nights booked in hotel rooms, $76 million spent on gifts and souvenirs, and the creation of 750,000 workdays for Israelis. Through the Mifgash portion of Birthright Israel trips, over 80,000 young Israelis have connected with their Jewish peers from around the world and introduced them to an even more personal side of Israel. This has proven to be the most effective and transformative element in the Birthright Israel experience