Arlene | Gregory | Larisa | Reuben | Sam and Megan | Shirley

Before Shirley, 25, decided to travel on Birthright Israel this past summer, she felt a spark to learn more about our homeland.

“Now that I returned, that spark has ignited into a large flame to learn more about my Jewish identity,” says Shirley, who was one of 25 young Jewish adults ages 22 to 26 from South Florida.

In Israel, Birthright is called “Taglit,” which means “discovery” in Hebrew, and that is precisely the goal of the trip – discovery of Israel and its people, discovery of one’s own personal connection to Jewish values and tradition and discovery of the ways in which one can be a part of the larger Jewish community.

Shirley’s experience covered it all.

“Not only was this a community trip, making it easy to stay in contact with my new friends after I got home, we participated in programs that allowed us to form even tighter bonds with our Israeli friends,” she said. “I have a stronger sense of pride in my Jewish heritage, a sense of community with my Jewish friends and the incredible feeling of being welcome in Israel, which I now consider my second home.”

Shirley is now proudly involved with her local Federation, participating on committees and attending events.

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