32,000 young Jewish adults from 42 countries will participate in the record-breaking 2014 summer season of Taglit-Birthright Israel. The season, opening today, brings young Jews for a free educational 10-day tour of Israel throughout the year. The young adults from North America, FSU, France, England, Germany, Argentina and Brazil, to name a few, will join more than 350 alumni who came on their own Birthright to Israel.
Over the 14 years since first launching in 2000, the project has greatly contributed to the Israeli economy and the strengthening of local tourism, bringing in an estimated 3.3 billion NIS. The research carried out by Ernst & Young found that Taglit-Birthright Israel has a direct contribution of 400 million NIS to the Israeli economy each year including overall costs of accommodations, food, transportation, historical site entrance fees, tour educators and security. Additionally, the program has an indirect contribution which includes those extending their stay, including their transportation expenses, expenditure on food and drink, gifts and souvenirs. Taglit-Birthright Israel constitutes about 5% of Israel’s tourism and 9% of bed occupancy in accommodations across the country. The upcoming season is expected to fill 350 thousand beds in Israel and entrance fees to nearly 23,000 historical sites around the country.
Gidi Mark, CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel: “The project aims to increase the number of participants who come to Israel each year. I am proud to announce a new summer season record-breaking number of participants. It is exciting to bring hundreds of thousands of Jews from around the world, many who have never stepped foot in Israel till this experience.”