Taglit-Birthright Israel announced that it will be bringing 21,000 Jewish youth to Israel this summer, it’s tenth year. Despite successfully doubling participant numbers compared to the summer of 2009, which had just 10,500 participants, thousands remain on waiting lists.
Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel, said “We set a goal for ourselves that within the next 7-10 years, half of Jewish youth living in the Diaspora will visit Israel through our program. They will become alumni who will represent the foremost strategic asset of the State of Israel. The number of participants of the summer season of our 10th year is testimony to our ability to achieve our goals. We are increasing fund-raising around the world in order to meet the great demand and to enable short-listed participants to come to Israel and be exposed to the true reality of Israel, and then take it back home with them.”
Since its foundation in 2000, over a quarter of a million Jewish youth from more than 50 countries have participated in the Taglit-Birthright Israel program – with recent research showing it was a life-changing event for the large majority of participants. Among other benefits, the program translates to positive promotion of Israel to peer groups, families and, critically, university campuses all over the world.
The summer season will officially open with nationwide ‘bonding’ events taking place at several locations around the country during May 10-12, culminating with the “Mega-Event” in Jerusalem on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Reunification Day), May 12th.