80 young Aussies to head for Israel trip

June 28, 2016 by Hayley Hadassin
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The Zionist Federation of Australia  is to send 80 young Australians on a 10-day trip to Israel.


Taglit-Birthright Israel is a visionary program that provides a gift of a 10-day educational tour of Israel for young Jewish adults aged 18-26. The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) represents the Australian Jewish community as the local partner in this unique project.

This Israeli summer season, three groups of 40 participants each will enjoy this incredible experience. Two of these groups, run through ZFA itself, have been generously supported by Gandel Philanthropy, the principal Australian supporter of Taglit-Birthright Israel. The generosity of Gandel Philanthropy enables young adults, many of whom are unaffiliated with the Australian Jewish community and have never visited Israel to experience this life-changing program. Pre-departure sessions have been held in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Nicole Brittain, Grant Manager – Jewish and Israel Programs, Gandel Philanthropy was present at the Melbourne pre-departure session. She said:  “Gandel Philanthropy and the Gandel family are very proud to continue supporting the Taglit Birthright Israel Program, a program that fosters and enhances Jewish life, Jewish continuity and Jewish identity.   The evaluation of the Taglit Birthright Israel Program clearly indicates that it delivers outstanding results in these key areas which are so important to the Jewish Community globally, but of particular interest to us, in Australia. This program not only provides the participants with an opportunity to connect with their own Jewish identity and Israel, but also to connect and make friends with other young Jewish people. It is great to see that some of the participants have become Very close friends and even life partners.”

Taglit Birthright Israel trips provide participants with an opportunity to learn about their Jewish heritage, connecting them to Israel in a real and meaningful way and fostering their Jewish identity and connection to their own communities.  Each of our groups will include 40 Australian participants and 8 Israeli participants of similar ages, adding connections on a deep and personal level.

Molly Bulman is 26 and will be on the Hagshama Taglit-Birthright bus. She says: – “It’s been years since I felt a connection to Judaism, but I know that will all change once I’m surrounded by a land rich in culture, in personality, and rich in history.  I can’t wait for this trip.  I’m so looking forward to 10 days devoted to rediscovering my connection to Judaism and to Israel.”

Molly is not the only one. In the multiple studies conducted by the Cohen Center of Brandies University, it was indicated that 71% of Taglit-Birthright participants marry someone Jewish as opposed to 49% of non-participants, Taglit participants are also 35% more likely than non-participants to feel confident in explaining the situation in Israel. It is remarkable that a 10 day trip to Israel can change not only a person’s future but that of the Jewish people.

Birthrighter Lauren Mass says: -“I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to embark on this incredible journey. I’m looking forward to furthering my knowledge as well as learning more about my heritage. I am excited to experience all that Israel has to offer, from the holy sites, to the nightlife, delicious food and incredible landscapes, and to be able to share it with other people my own age. Can’t wait!! “

ZFA President Dr Danny Lamm added:  “Gandel Philanthropy has underpinned our Australian Taglit-Birthright program thus affording 120 young Australian adults per year the unique opportunity of visiting Israel and seeing what Israel has to offer. We are delighted that Gandel Philanthropy see this as the marquee program for both encouraging the support of Israel and Jewish education. They have distinguished themselves as leaders of Jewish philanthropy.”

Since its inception in 2000, more than 500,000 young Jews from 66 countries around the world and more than 75.000 young Israelis have taken part in the Taglit-Birthright Israel program.

The ZFA works together with several local program organisers to operate Taglit-Birthright Israel. By the end of 2016, more than 4260 Australians will have participated in this program.

In December 2016 – January 2017, we will be sending 5 Australian Taglit Birthright Israel groups – 200 participants – working with local organisers AUJS, Chavaya (Chabad on Campus) and our own Kangarusski – with a group dedicated for 18 – 26 year olds with a Russian speaking background.

Applications for the December Taglit-Birthright trip will open in August.

Please email israelprograms@zfa.com.au to be added to the expression of interest list.

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