Birthright bringing 21,000 to Israel

Participation in Taglit-Birthright Israel trips this summer has doubled from the summer of 2009, the group said.

Some 21,000 young Jews will take the free 10-day trip to Israel this summer. Thousands remain on waiting lists, the group said in a news release.

This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Jewish educational project.

“We set a goal for ourselves that within the next 7-10 years, half of Jewish youth living in the Diaspora will visit Israel through our program,” Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel, said in a statement. “They will become alumni who will represent the foremost strategic asset of the State of Israel. The number of participants of the summer season of our 10th year is testimony to our ability to achieve our goals. We are increasing fund-raising around the world in order to meet the great demand and to enable short-listed participants to come to Israel and be exposed to the true reality of Israel, and then take it back home with them.”

More than 250,000 Jews aged 18 to 26 from over 50 countries have traveled to Israel with the Taglit-Birthright program.