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June 12, 2014 4:18 pm

Yair Lapid: Birthright ‘Saved a Generation’ of Young Jews

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Participants ride camels during a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip through Hillel International. Photo: Photo courtesy of Hillel International.

JNS.orgIsraeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that the Taglit-Birthright Israel program, which provides free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26, “saved a generation” of young Jews.

“Taglit-Birthright saved a generation. We were on our way to losing a generation of young Jews around on the world,” Lapid said Wednesday at a farewell ceremony for Birthright co-founder Michael Steinhardt, held at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported.

Steinhardt is stepping down from his position as co-chairman of Birthright, 15 years after founding the organization together with Charles Bronfman.

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Present at the event were program co-founder Bronfman, Birthright CEO Gidi Mark, Argentine businessman Eduardo Edelstein, donors, Members of Knesset, Jewish community representatives, and Birthright participants from around the world.

Aside from co-founding Birthright, Steinhardt created the Birthright Israel Excel program for business leadership with philanthropists Lynn Schusterman and Paul Singer.

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