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Birthright Israel and OpenDor Media Announce Joint Effort

Birthright Israel and OpenDor Media announced on April 1 that they are combining forces to expand educational outreach on Jewish Israel-related content.
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April 10, 2024

Birthright Israel and OpenDor Media announced on April 1 that they are combining forces to expand educational outreach on Jewish Israel-related content.

“In times like these, when the need for connection and understanding is more crucial than ever, we’re proud to take a leading role alongside Birthright Israel,” OpenDor Media CEO Andrew Savage said in a press release. “Providing their alumni with direct and continuous access to balanced educational content promises to strengthen the bonds between young Jews and Israel.”

Both organizations see this as the right time to combine forces and take the Jewish and Israel education content to a higher level. 

Both organizations boast impressive numbers. Birthright Israel says that they’ve given over 850,000 tours of Israel since its founding 25 years ago. In that time, the mere usage of the word “Birthright” has become synonymous — at least within the Jewish community — with the gift of an educational visit to Israel. Thousands of alumni can trace their first visit to Israel — and in many cases, first travel overseas — to Birthright Israel.

OpenDor Media has been producing Jewish content since 2009. Their YouTube page, part of their “UNPACKED” division, has over 43 million views since its first post in 2011. Their five most-viewed YouTube videos are “5 Mind-Blowing Differences Between Sephardic & Ashkenazi Jews,” (3 million views), “The Wonder Women of the Israel Defense Force” (1.3 million views), “The Munich Massacre” (1.24 million views), “The Untold Origins of Black Jews in America”  (1.22 million views) and “Ashkenazi Jews and Khazar Theory” (1.1 million views). Their content is succinct, well-researched, loaded with infographics and archival footage and makes powerful points in a typical span of 6-11 minutes. Their podcast and TikTok views are in the millions as well. 

Both organizations see this as the right time to combine forces and take the Jewish and Israel education content to a higher level. 

“In the wake of the harrowing events of Oct. 7, and amidst a rising tide of global antisemitism, we’re proud to partner with the premiere source of Jewish and Israel related educational content to support the continued growth of the next generation of Jewish leaders,” Birthright CEO Gidi Mark said in a press release. 

While the specifics of what the partnership will look like are to be determined, Birthright Israel and OpenDor said that “Participants will gain immediate access through the Beyond Birthright Israel app, with further resources available post-trip and to the rest of the alumni base. This ensures that the participants’ journey of discovery and connection extends well beyond their Birthright experience in Israel.” As of this writing, the app is only a portal to the Birthright Israel website. Still, they know they have their work cut out for them. 

“We are Davids to Al Jazeera’s Goliath,” OpenDor Executive Vice President Noam Weissman said in the Journal’s Feb. 1 cover story.

The long-term aim isn’t just for educating Birthright alumni. The press release specifies that the most crucial aspect of this partnership is aiding young Jews to “facilitate meaningful conversations with their peers.” 

In the same cover story, OpenDor founder Raphael Shore said that this year, they aim to reach elementary school-age audiences in Arabic, French and Spanish to “create a seamless pipeline for Israel education from early grades to 12th grade.”

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