Culture, Identity, Israel, Mishegas, Politics

Birthright "the most successful project in the Jewish world…" ?

Crossposted to the New Voices Blog
That’s right, folks. You heard it here first. (Well, actually, you heard it at JTA first.)

Birthright Israel said it has received a record-breaking number of North American applicants for its free, 10-day trips to Israel.

The organization, which provides all-expense-paid trips to Israel for Diaspora Jews aged 18 to 26, received 40,108 applicants during the seven-day registration period ending Tuesday

Israel’s Minister For Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Yuli Edelstein, called it “the most successful project in the Jewish world.”

[Emphasis mine, obviously.] JTA’s full story is here.
That’s quite a claim. I dunno how the actual founding of the state doesn’t take top honors there, but I’ll leave it to the bloviation specialists at Birthright and in the Israeli government to duke it out over that.

3 thoughts on “Birthright "the most successful project in the Jewish world…" ?

  1. Personally, it’s hard for me to see how the actual founding of the state could be seen as anything other than an unmitigated disaster, but I guess if I were a person who thought it was a good idea to send Jews on a trip called “birthright,” then yeah, I’d probably think the state-founding was a bigger deal.

  2. Israel is not a project, it is a nation state, one with 63 years of continuous political rule. I think the novelty has worn off, or should have. In contrast, Egypt is also a nation state, with 2 weeks of continuous political rule. Actually, 63 years is a long time for a political system, relatively speaking. In that sense, Israel may be older than most countries on the planet.

  3. miri, I certainly don’t agree with you 100% there, but I love the way you said it.
    Victor, OK, sure. And Birthright isn’t a project, it’s a trip, one with thousands of former and prospective participants.
    That is quite an interesting point about the longevity of various world governments. It would be interesting to see how long all current national governments have existed and then see where Israel falls. If I had more time than I did, I might look into this.

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