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April 28, 2015 4:01 pm

Birthright Israel Projects it Will Surpass 500,000 Trip Participants This Year

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Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The program is set to surpass 500,000 participants in May. Photo: Taglit-Birthright Israel.

JNS.org – The Taglit-Birthright Israel program said that it is on track to surpass 500,000 participants over time during its 15th year of existence, which begins in May. From May to September alone this year, Birthright projects that it will see 28,000 participants on its free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26.

“Prior to the inception of Taglit-Birthright Israel, only 1,500 young American Jewish adults visited Israel each year,” Birthright CEO Gidi Mark said in a statement. “In our first year, we brought 9,000-plus participants. Today, we have increased that number to nearly 45,000 participants annually from around the world.”

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Mark said that Birthright’s upcoming milestone of 500,000 participants “is not only inspiring, but also motivation to continue pursuing our goal to bring Jewish young adults from all corners of the diaspora to Israel each year.”

In January 2014, JNS.org was the first to report a change in Birthright’s eligibility rules that opened up the free trips to teenagers who have already taken part in educational trips to Israel during high school.

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    “For three thousand years, Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish hope and longing. No other city has played such a dominant role in the history, culture, religion and consciousness of a people as has Jerusalem in the life of Jewry and Judaism. Throughout centuries of exile, Jerusalem remained alive in the hearts of Jews everywhere as the focal point of Jewish history, the symbol of ancient glory, spiritual fulfillment and modern renewal. This heart and soul of the Jewish people engenders the thought that if you want one simple word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be ‘Jerusalem.’ ”

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    How many holidays do the Arabs-Muslims celebrate due to historical events in the land of ancient Israel and Jerusalem.
    The Jewish people celebrate most of their holidays and fast days in memory of Jerusalem and Israel and the goal and aspiration to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem – where it was before it was destroyed and desecrated by the enemies of the Jews.
    Many of the Jewish prayers for thousands of years recite the love of Israel and the Jewish aspirations to return to their ancestral land and bring back its glory and holiness.
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    P.S.
    It is time to re-institute the teaching of the Jewish Bible in all Jewish Schools as was in Israel before 1987.
    Many of the Israelis today know nothing about our Jewish Heritage and history, it is due to the termination of studying the bible at all Jewish schools in Israel which was implemented by the than Israeli education minister in 1987.

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