Taglit-Birthright Israel Expands Eligibility For Free Trips To Eretz Yisroel


birthright-israel-elalThe Taglit-Birthright Israel program has expanded eligibility for its free 10-day trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18-26, JNS.org has learned. Teenagers who went on an educational trip to Israel during high school were previously not eligible for Birthright trips, but can now participate, confirmed Noa Bauer, Birthright’s vice president of international marketing.

Birthright’s eligibility guidelines previously stated, “If you have been to Israel before but only with your family or on other personal business, you are still eligible. However, if you have been to Israel as part of a touring group, educational program, study program or an organized extended residential program since you were 12 years old, you are not eligible.”

While those who have taken educational trips to Israel after turning 18 are still not eligible for Birthright, youths who took such trips before 18 can now go on Birthright from ages 18-26, Bauer told JNS.org.

“I think everybody thought about [the change in the eligibility guidelines] for many years, and everybody wanted to have it,” Bauer said. “It was a matter of funding, and I think today you see more anti-Israel things on campus, and we realized over the years that people that have been to Israel again have more confidence for talking about Israel, and geopolitics, and anything pertaining to Israel after visiting with Birthright Israel. I think we’re one of the best platforms to do that for college students.”

In the 13-plus years since philanthropists Charles Bronfman and Michael Steinhardt joined forces with the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency for Israel, global Jewish communities, and other philanthropists to fund Birthright, the program has taken about 350,000 young Jews to Israel.


{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. As a parent who has had a child on such a trip I would like to say that the experience for my child was so positve that words can’t explain how grateful I am that she went.

  2. More hope for the child’s imagination to go to Israel at a young age. Maybe they get more Jewish Identity and maybe they just got a free trip by which they socialize and experience a favorable positive energy. Ultimately, we are bound to be more religious if we are true to ourselves in Torah. But I do wonder if we are going too far to send every child to Israel before his 26th birthday as in many cases, there is no true faith based experience overall other than Saturday smiles and a few more bricks in the bed set of life. Torah is not an existential remediation of limited access. If you wanted to bring these children to Judaism, you would have them learn how to become more charitable, more well read and more personally involved in the issues that are going on in the Jewish world. I do not think that a walk and see tour is really the most remote visage of true justice for a jew and do they really learn how to become safe as a Jew in Torah?