Oranim Launches Independent Trips

Haviv Rettig Gur writing in The Jerusalem Post:

Independent 10-day Israel trip launched

A private Israeli company is bringing 120 North American Jewish youth to Israel on a free 10-day trip aimed at strengthening their Jewish identity.

The Kfar Saba-based Oranim was once a major operator for trips funded by Taglit-Birthright Israel, but broke with the famous program last year to pursue a more hard-line approach.

… Whether Oranim’s program will survive remains to be seen. The pilot group is costing the company some NIS 1 million. But by demonstrating that it can implement such programs, Oranim hopes to bring the Israeli government and Jewish donors in to help fund future trips.

In creating its own version of the birthright model, Oranim is also seeking to make some changes, with possibly the most significant one being extending Birthright’s upper age limit from 26 to 35.