BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Young Jewish adults ages 22-26 from South Palm Beach County are invited to register for an exciting, fun and inspiring adventure of a lifetime – a free Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel with their peers departing in late June 2014. For a second year, the Community Bus is offered through a partnership of the Jewish Federations of South Palm Beach County and Palm Beach County.
Registration for the “Community Bus” opens on February 19, 2014. Those who have applied before may register a day early on February 18. And, this year, those who participated in group educational trips to Israel before they turned 18 are welcome to apply, along with others.
Since 2000, Taglit-Birthright Israel has been sending Jewish young adults on this remarkable 10-day educational trip to Israel, at no cost to them. Approximately 350,000 young people from 64 countries around the world have had this life-changing experience proven to strengthen Jewish identity as it builds lasting bonds and friendships with the land and people of Israel, and reinforces the solidarity of our Jewish family worldwide.
Taglit-Birthright Israel is a partnership between the Government of Israel, Jewish Federations and communities, as well as some 32,000 individual supporters in North America and around the world. The program has proven to strengthen Jewish identity, to build lasting bonds and friendships with the land and people of Israel, and to reinforce the solidarity of our Jewish family worldwide.
“Birthright Israel offers a special journey of Jewish self-discovery that only being in Israel with a group of peers can provide,” said Carole-Anne Levine, Director, Southeast Region, Birthright Israel Foundation. “While embracing the land and people of Israel, participants develop a passion for Jewish culture to which many had not previously been exposed.”
In addition, traveling with a group of residents from their own community strengthens their connection to and builds leadership for their Jewish community. “So many upon their return home have expressed how inspired they are by this extraordinary experience and ready to be part of their local Jewish community,” said Levine. ”Many of the young leadership boards of Jewish community organizations are comprised of enthusiastic recent Birthright Israel alumni.”
Just see how our 2013 South Palm Beach County Birthright Community Bus travelers describe their journey:
“From the moment I first stepped off the plane and arrived in Israel, to the moment that I stepped off the plane and back into the US, I had some of the greatest days of my life. The information I learned not only about my homeland, but about myself will always stay with me, as will the relationships I forged during this expedition.” (Julie Goldstein)
“My experience on Birthright allowed me to reconnect with my roots, both spiritually and emotionally. It was a period of self-discovery that made me grow personally, as well as within my own Jewish identity.” (Daniel Gross)
“It was incredible to be joined by Jewish people from all different walks of life, starting as strangers and leaving as family. Most of all, these ten short days implanted the desire to become more active in the Jewish community and do my part in helping it grow. Together, Birthright and Israel have changed my life.” (Mike Lempert)
“What I loved most was leaving behind my life at home, and immersing myself into the Israeli culture filled with wonderful people, beautiful sights, delicious food, and the ability to make new friends that will last a lifetime!” (Arielle Labiner)
And the connections last beyond the initial homecoming, according to Jason DelGrosso of Delray Beach, reflecting on his 2008 Birthright experience, “Birthright was truly the best experience of my life. I had always dreamed of going to Israel and from the moment I arrived I knew I was home. The feeling only got stronger as I connected with the land and the people I know are my extended family in our homeland. Every young Jewish person should have this life-changing opportunity to connect with their Jewish identity and people.”
For additional information, the public is invited to contact 561.852.3239 or SeymaA@bocafed.org.