March 22, 2019

A World without Birthright

“What if this generation of young Jews never had the chance to put a note in the Western Wall … never climbed Masada to watch the sunrise … never got to celebrate Shabbat in the heart of Jerusalem? What if they never took a journey with Birthright Israel?

This would be catastrophic for the future of the Jewish people.

During these challenging times, it is critical that — to ensure the longevity and stability of our people —each of our young adults develop a lifelong love of being Jewish.

According to extensive studies by Brandeis University, 74% of participants feel closer to Israel after a transformative experience with Birthright Israel. They also discover a personal, heartfelt, and important relationship with our heritage. This is not something we can afford to lose.

Birthright Israel gives young Jewish adults the chance to walk the cobblestone streets of our ancestors in Jerusalem, explore the deserts they have read about in the Torah, and embrace a profound kinship with the people of Israel. The gift of Birthright Israel is irreplaceable: It provides young Jews with a powerful connection to their Jewish identity and allows them to nurture an enduring passion for their heritage.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."

"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."

"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."

"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."

"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."

"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"

"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."

"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."

""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."

" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."