At a meeting held in Jerusalem yesterday, the Steering Committee of Taglit Birthright-Israel ratified the Israeli government’s request to expand the program to include individuals who previously visited Israel on educational trips while in high school.
The chairman of the steering committee, Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett, raised the proposal saying that expanding the program would strengthen both Jewish students’ understanding of Israel as well as their Jewish identity. The changes will take effect this coming summer.
“Taglit has proven itself as a leader in strengthening Jewish identity amongst young people in the Diaspora and building ties with the State of Israel” Bennett said, “expanding the participation criteria will add to Taglit’s positive influence in the Jewish world.”
The founding Chairman of Taglit, Mr. Charles Bronfman, praised the move calling it a return to the basic concept of Taglit – to give every young Jewish adult the chance to get an educational tour of Israel.
Additionally, the steering committee decided to significantly increase the number of participants coming from France in light of the increasing difficulties the French Jewish community is facing. Both internal and external financial sources will be tapped for this expansion.