Birthright Israel Summer 2015 kicks off this month, and The Jewish Federation’s LA Way community program is receiving more interest than ever before from Jewish young adults seeking to meet like-minded young Jews here in Los Angeles through this incredible Israel experience.
Our summer officially began on April 30th with the first of four orientations. In an effort to reach out to the wider L.A. Jewish community and impact young adults beyond our own LA Way trips, we welcomed 100 Jews ages 18-26 to answer questions ranging from cell phone usage abroad to how they can extend their time in Israel.
After the first orientation, we quickly picked up speed with the USC Hillel orientation for their two LA Way/USC Hillel trips departing May 17th.
The orientation is when the trip begins to feel real and, to leverage that excitement and curiosity, our Federation’s NuRoots Fellows are present to make connections that will ultimately turn into coffee dates following the Israel experience. These varying touch points aim to build the connection between Jewish young adults and their experience, the community, and our Federation.
This summer, our Federation is sending 360 young Jews on LA Way trips, plus 18 madrichim (bus staff), who will guide their experience and model what it looks like to have a proud, integrated Jewish identity. Our summer trips include:
- USC Trojans ages 18-22, in partnership with USC Hillel
- Bruin Birthright for ages 18-22, in partnership with Hillel at UCLA
- Entertainment Professionals ages 22-29
- Five “classic” Birthright Israel trips with IsraelExperts, Israel Outdoors, and Sachlav
Leading these experiences is a diverse selection of madrichim, including Federation staff and lay leaders, Jewish educators, Hillel and other nonprofit professionals, journalists, nonprofit professionals, and a lone soldier.
LA Way trip participants will see everything from Masada and the Dead Sea to the Kotel (Western Wall) and Tel Aviv nightlife. They will come face-to-face with our Federation’s work in Israel through meetings with Moishe House residents from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, visits to Ayalim youth villages, tours of South Tel Aviv with Bina, and more!
We’re wishing all of the participants a nesiya tova, a safe journey, as they depart on the experience of a lifetime! We look forward to hearing from them throughout the summer and welcoming them back to L.A. with open arms, where they can engage in a variety of programs and opportunities to build on their Birthright Israel LA Way experience.
To learn more about the Federation’s Birthright Israel Experience and LA Way or to get information for upcoming seasons, please contact BirthrightLA@JewishLA.org or call (323) 761-8088.