Feb 11, 2013

Registration Continues for First South Palm Beach County Birthright Israel Community Bus

Young Jewish adults ages 22-26 from South Palm Beach County are being sought for the fun and exciting adventure of a lifetime – a free Taglit-Birthright Israel trip to Israel with their local peers late in June 2013. Registration for our community’s first dedicated Birthright bus opens February 13, 2013 at 10:00 am ET, at www.absolutelyisrael.com. Those who have applied before may register early, from February 11 at noon. Local applicants are directed to use the referral code SPalm28 to receive priority for the community bus when they register.

“Birthright was truly the best experience of my life,” said Jason DelGrosso, a 2008 Birthright alum from Delray Beach. “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.”

Since 2000, Taglit-Birthright Israel has been sending Jewish young adults on a remarkable 10-day educational trip to Israel at no cost to them. Approximately 300,000 young people nationwide have had this life-changing experience 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. The program is a partnership between the Government of Israel, Jewish Federations and communities, as well as some 25,000 individual supporters in North America and around the world.

“Birthright Israel offers a special journey of Jewish self-discovery that only being in Israel with a group of peers can provide,” said Carol-Anne Levine, Birthright Senior Director South East, and USA. “While embracing the land and people of Israel, participants develop a passion for Jewish culture that many had not previously been exposed to. 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. Many of the young leadership boards of local organizations are comprised of enthusiastic recent Birthright Israel alumni.”

“Now, South Palm Beach County is building and strengthening our own Jewish community with our very first Birthright Israel community bus,” said Rani Garfinkle, South Palm Beach County Chair of the South Florida Committee for Birthright. “The community bus creates a feeling of ruach (spirit) among those on board and their families back home. We are staffing the bus locally and helping shape the itinerary. Our young adults will share a life-changing experience that will connect them to our Jewish community and the greater community of the Jewish people.”

“Over the years, Birthright has continually proven to be a transformative experience, and it’s been so for four of my grandchildren so far,” continued Garfinkle. “Going to Israel is the best way to connect our young adults with their Jewish identity and the Jewish people. They also form strong bonds with their Israeli peers and return ready and prepared to stand up for our homeland. Unfortunately, each year there is a waiting list of thousands who cannot participate. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to help – parents, grandparents and former participants – should pay it forward.”