Buzz: a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young adults with special needs

March 28, 2017 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Zionist Federation of Australia,  its Australian principal supporter, Gandel Philanthropy and its organisational partners, Access Inc, Flying Fox and Friendship Circle have announced the first-ever Australian Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for young adults with special needs (cognitive).

Over 500,000 young Jewish adults from around the world have enjoyed the magic of these 10 day experiences since the program’s inception in 2000.

Taglit Birthright Israel trips are free – including flights, accommodation and board and all touring.

Our group will be called “BUZZ” – in Hebrew, “זבַּ ” means “falcon” – connoting flight, strength and freedom. The group will depart Australia in late November, a beautiful and mild time of year to travel.

This initiative will enable 15 participants with special needs to experience the gift of a 10 day educational tour of Israel. The special needs trip is supported by Gandel Philanthropy, the Australian Principal Supporter of Taglit Birthright Israel for the past five years, who have generously matched the contributions of several organisations and individuals for this particular initiative – among them Friendship Circle and JNF NSW.

Laurence Joseph represents Gandel Philanthropy on the Steering Committee preparing for the program. He said: “Gandel Philanthropy and the Gandel family are very proud to be the Principal Australian supporter of the Taglit Birthright Israel Program. We are very pleased that this exciting and fantastic program is being now extended to young Jewish people with special needs and we are very proud to support this initiative.

“To be able to ensure these young people are included the same way as other young people in the Jewish community is very important to us. These young people should have the same opportunities to connect with their own Jewish identity, to experience Israel, and to connect and make friends with young Israelis. This trip will be an invaluable experience for them.”

Just like all Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, the group will tour key sites in Israel, enjoy immersive experiences and participate, first hand, in Israel’s vibrant culture.

The program will be tailored for the group in terms of pace and intensity, incorporating as many of the Birthright core elements as possible.

Ginette Searle, Executive Director of the ZFA, added: “Since the inception of Taglit Birthright Israel in 2000, over 4200 young Australians have had the benefit of the remarkable experience that is Birthright.

“Buzz” is an initiative that we are extremely proud to be able to bring to the community – to enable a group who were previously unable to participate in Birthright to do so. Experience from similar groups around the world shows a tremendous impact not only for the participants, but also for the community on their return. We’re excited about the fact that so many community organisations are working together, in a true collaborative way, to make this dream a reality”.

Information sessions will be held in Sydney on 26 April and in Melbourne on 4 May. Prospective participants, their families and prospective buddies are encouraged to come along, hear what it’s all about and how to apply to be a part of this exceptional initiative.

Members of the Buzz team will be at each session, ready to answer general questions or speak with people personally about the trip.

Over 500,000 young adults from 67 countries around the world have taken part in a Taglit-Birthright Israel program since the program’s inception in 2000. Over 4000 young Australians have, to date, enjoyed the Birthright experience – and now we’re pleased to be offering that same birthright to a group which has until now not had that chance.

INFORMATION SESSIONS:
Sydney – Wednesday 26 April, 7:30pm
Jewish Care Community Lounge, 3 Saber St, Woollahra

Melbourne – Thursday 4 May, 7:30pm

Beth Weizmann Community Centre, 306 Hawthorn Road, South Caulfield

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