A Mega-Experiment in Jewish Education: The Impact of Birthright Israel

Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Author(s): Leonard Saxe; Charles Kadushin; Shaul Kelner; Mark I. Rosen; Erez Yereslove

Research Area: Education

Keywords: Israel Experience; Program Evaluation; Jewish Youth

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This study assesses the extent to which Birthright Israel has succeeded in affecting the lives of participants more than a year after the program’s launch in December 1999. Surveys of both participants and non-participants were analyzed to assess whether the initial positive feelings were sustained over time, and whether behavioral change occurred and was maintained. The current report summarizes these findings based on survey responses from more than 1,500 participants and more than 150 non-participants from the United States. The study found that Birthright Israel participants became more Jewishly engaged as a result of their trip to Israel. More than one year after the launch trip, participants continued to view the experience as extremely meaningful. It had a very positive impact on their Jewish identity and their attitudes toward Israel, Judaism, and the Jewish people.