By Bob Raful….

In mid-June I obtained a copy of a mid-year status report from the Birthright Israel Foundation ( the backstory at the end of this note).
I have known about, and been interested in, Taglit-Birthright Israel for many years; and have explained, encouraged, gotten personal feedback from a variety of potential and actual participants.

It is well known that Taglit (Hebrew for discovery)-Birthright has been offering free 10-day trips to Israel to Jewish young people.
It is not so well known that the program, begun in 1999 and funded by a generous group of dedicated donors, has been a major influence on thousands of young Jews—who truly discovered Israel.

The status report I read covers details of the many groups who are and have been, part of the in-country experience. Another discovery (for me) is that, in addition to the United States, the groups came from Canada, France and India.

And the major discovery (again, for me) was that on June 10th, the concluding day of a Special Program, all the groups in Israel gathered at the Wohl Amphitheater, in Tel Aviv to celebrate Taglit-Birthright Israel’s 500,000 participant with honored guests and Co-Founders, Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt.

So, that is my discovery story for July.
Now, the backstory—-I got this story because, in March, a member of my immediate family joined the senior staff at the New York headquarters of the Birthright Israel Foundation. Am I proud? You bet!
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!