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Evaluating Birthright Israel: Long- Term Impact and Recent Findings

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Abstract:

Since Birthright Israel’s inception, the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies has conducted a systematic evaluation of the program, in particular its impact on participants from the United States and Canada. The current report summarizes two studies. Study 1 presents the findings of a long-term follow-up of early participants in the program. Data were collected from participants and non-participants both before and after trips that took place during the winters of 1999-2000 through 2001-02. This was followed by a follow-up survey beginning in November 2003 to ascertain the program’s effects after several years. Study 2 assesses the short-term effects of the Birthright Israel trips held during the winter of 2003-04. Findings are based on comparisons between pre-trip survey data from American and Canadian participants and non-participants, and data obtained several months after the program.