Trouble in Birthright Land

The rumors have been floating around Jerusalem for days; Taglit had canceled buses for spring break trips; summer 2009 might be suspended. A knowledgeable individual told me, “I don’t think anything has been decided, but I know that suspending the programs was one option…They have the funds to proceed over the summer, but there’s also logic to suspending and coming up with a new financial plan.” To all who heard Taglit’s CEO Gidi Mark speak during the recent GA, something was not adding up.

I commented to a colleague late last night that I was surprised this has not made the Israeli papers. The economic impact alone would have justified the story. eJP had every intention of sitting on this until after next week’s Taglit meetings. As it turns out, The Jerusalem Post was going to press as we spoke.

Funding crisis threatens winter birthright trips

Birthright israel has notified trip operators that it cannot guarantee funding for trips scheduled for later this winter, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

In a letter to the operators, the organization assured them the trips in December and January were fully funded, but said the organization was “presently working to ensure we can run our February and March trips.”

“We are aware that some of you have already informed your applicants they have a spot during this month,” the letter stated. “Should we have to cancel these trips, we will assist you in dealing with this situation.”

The letter also tells operators to hold off on making summer plans.