NEW YORK – Birthright Israel, which gifts trips to Israel for Jewish young adults, has created a new age category for the first time since the organization’s founding in 1999.
Birthright Israel trip options for 27 to 32-year-olds are to be introduced this summer, in addition to the standard programming available for 18 to 26-year-olds.
The increase in Birthright Israel’s maximum eligible age reflects changing societal trends with young adults making life decisions – such as getting married and having children – later in life, according to a news release from Birthright Israel.
Building off of Birthright Israel’s most successful year in history with nearly 48,000 participants, this change will enable more Jewish young adults to develop connections with their heritage, the larger diaspora community and the State of Israel, according to the release.
“We are proud that Birthright Israel has become an important rite of passage for Jews around the world, but have heard from many older Jewish adults who feel that they missed their opportunity to attend a trip and explore Israel,” said Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark. “Given the impact our trips have on participants personally and professionally, we want to ensure that those who choose to begin the next phase of their lives at a later age are able to have this meaningful experience.”
“When Birthright Israel was founded in 1999, we never imagined the extent to which these trips would impact young adults globally. I am proud to watch the organization transform over time while continuing to offer high-quality cultural experiences that allow young adults to be proud of their Jewish identity and develop strong connections with the Jewish diaspora, Israelis and the State of Israel,” said Birthright Israel Co-Founder Charles Bronfman.
After 18 years in operation and after having sent over 600,000 Jewish young adults on trips, this change reflects Birthright Israel’s commitment to constantly evaluating programming to match the needs of its participants, according to the release. Birthright Israel has grown over the years in terms of total overseas participants annually:
- 2000: 9,462 participants
- 2005: 17,943 participants
- 2010: 31,137 participants
- 2015: 43,806 participants
- 2017: 48,000 participants
For more information, visit BirthrightIsrael.com.