For more than ten years now, Birthright Israel has succeeded in enhancing young people's Jewish identities and increasing their attachment to Israel. Like it or not, Birthright has been a silver bullet, the “it” brand in NextGen engagement, and the expectations have never been higher. Does Birthright Israel have the leadership in place to meet this new challenge?
One of the great things about our high-tech world is that — by e-mailing files back and forth, scheduling everything on Google Calendar and relying almost solely on my cell phone — I can, fairly seamlessly, work from home three days a week.
Alas however, one thing Google cannot yet remedy for me is my tendency to leave reporter’s notebooks in the wrong places, to lose them altogether and to forget which bag and which notebook I was using when.
Which is why today, as I am at the Jewish Week’s Times Square headquarters (doesn’t that make us sound all impressive?) and am supposed to be blogging about last week’s Jewish Outreach Institute "Judaism 2030" conference, my notebook from said conference is at this moment lying on the floor of my home office. (A rather grandiose description of the tiny third bedroom in our apartment, where my IKEA desk, laptop and cheap all-in-one printer/scanner/copier compete for space with an exercise bike and stacks of yet-to-be sorted laundry.)
More than half of all 18- to 26-year-old diaspora Jews expected to have a free Israel trip by 2013.
Editor And Publisher
A new landmark in the effort to strengthen Jewish identity and positive connection to Israel among diaspora youth was reached with the announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that his government has approved $100 million in funding for Birthright Israel over the next three years.
Jewish learning conference attracts 2,000 — but not chief rabbi.
Editor and Publisher
Two of the most successful efforts to strengthen Jewish identity in recent years were created, and have been sustained, in opposite ways.
Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Birthright Israel, which has provided a 10-day Israel experience to more than 250,000 young people in its first decade. A top-down creation, Birthright was conceived and funded by a small group of mega-philanthropists, offering these memorable trips as a gift, free of charge to participants ages 18 to 26.
How Zionist education, Birthright can strengthen Israel support.
Editor And Publisher
Is it true, as Peter Beinart suggested in his widely read New York Review of Books essay in June, that young American Jews are increasingly alienated from Israel because of its allegedly declining commitment to democratic ideals?
Agree with him or not, the former New Republic editor hit a raw nerve among many Jews when he wrote “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment,” setting off a discussion that continues to stir debate six months later.
The Jerusalem Post piece, written by former Jewish Week staffer (and now blogger) Sharon Udasin, notes that Kellogg, raised secular, started attending synagogue a few years ago when his non-Jewish fiancée, Hope Fargis, encouraged him to research his roots and explore his faith.