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Taglit-Birthright Israel: Impact on Jewish Identity, Peoplehood, and Connection to Israel

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Publication Date: June 2006

Publisher(s): Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life; Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Author(s): Shahar Hecht; Theodore Sasson; Leonard Saxe

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Education (Study abroad)

Keywords: Program Evaluation; Youth; Israel Experience

Type: Report

Abstract:

More than 100,000 Jewish young adults from around the world have now traveled to Israel to participate in Taglit-Birthright Israel’s ten day educational experiences. The present report intends to provide a sober assessment of the program's accomplishments, describing the results of a survey conducted between April – May, 2006, of nearly 3000 Birthright Israel participants and nearly 1,000 nonparticipant applicants from cohorts in 2002/3, 2003/4 and 2005. Taken together, the data provide an extraordinarily positive assessment of the impact of Birthright Israel on North American Jewish young adults. The study highlights include the following: Positive evaluation of the trip; Experience is Jewishly meaningful; Participants express stronger Jewish identities; Participants express stronger commitment to marrying and raising children Jewishly; Participants express a greater understanding of Israeli society; Alumni on campuses are more Jewishly engaged; Keys to success and challenges.