All Jewish Young Adults Need to go on Birthright
Religion

11 Reasons EVERY Jewish Young Adult Needs To Go On Birthright

The best experience of my life was on Birthright.

446
Hayley Garron

1. Become more connected with your Judaism

Prayer for the houseHayley Garron

You don't have to be a super religious person to go to Israel; most people in my group were not, but everyone definitely left the trip feeling more connected to being Jewish and to Israel.

2. You get super close to a new group of Jewish people around your age

Birthright group photoHayley Garron

Since I went on the trip through my university's Hillel, it was a lot easier to connect with other college students, and even several people who were out of college. Our group got very close, and I know we will all still keep in touch, and hopefully have a reunion one day.


3. Climb Masada, and check climbing a mountain off your bucket list

At the top of the mountainHayley Garron

Maybe you live somewhere with mountains, but in Florida, it is pretty flat. It was amazing to see all of the mountains and hills in Israel- especially the ones above the clouds. On one of the days, we hiked up Masada, and had the most amazing views. It was crazy looking down and seeing clouds below us.


4. Get fit and active

Hayley Garron

Birthright is definitely not for the faint of heart. Every day, we did all sorts of physical activities- such as climbing mountains and going on nature hikes. The scenery definitely made the exercise worth it. It was also amazing coming back and seeing that I dropped 5 pounds, despite all of the food I ate there!

5. The FOOD

The falafel was AMAZING! And vegan :)Hayley Garron

Speaking of food, Israel had AMAZING food. All of the hotels that we stayed at had huge buffets for every meal, and most days, we had free time during lunch to go explore restaurants, coffee shops, and souvenir shops. There was always plenty to eat- just make sure you drink a lot of water. Also, if you are vegan (like me), you'll love Tel Aviv- there were new vegan dishes at every single place we went, and it was awesome! I did get sick because the food is so different than what I was used to, so go easy, and definitely don't eat TOO much pasta for breakfast- every hotel had it on the breakfast buffet!

6. The Dead Sea

Friends in the Dead SeaHayley Garron

We were told on the trip that the Dead Sea may not be open to the public for that much longer, so definitely get there while you can! I am not a big fan of mud so I did not slather myself in it, but everyone else in our group had an awesome time nourishing their skin with the mineral-rich mud, as well as throwing it at each other. OH, and of course, floating in all of the salt was the best part.

7. You get to visit the Western Wall

The Western WallHayley Garron

While most people love Tel Aviv and I enjoyed it, Jerusalem by far was my favorite city. I loved the architecture of all of the buildings, and visiting the Western Wall was such a sacred experience. There are rows and rows of chairs with Siddurs (prayer books) for anyone who wants to pray at the wall. There was also a wait to put my note in the wall, but it was well worth it. This is the place that I remember hearing about most in Sunday school- especially the lessons on its history and importance.

8. Getting to participate in community service

At Save A Child's HeartHayley Garron

In Hebrew, we use the phrases Tikkun Olam and performing Mitzvot when talking about "making the world a better place." On one of our mornings, we went to this home called Save a Child's Heart, which houses children from all over the world with heart conditions while they get the proper medical help, and until they are strong enough to go home. Many of their moms also stay with them during their time there. During our visit, we learned how we could make an impact on the children's lives, and were given some time to play with them. It was such a heart-warming experience, and I hope to go back and visit on my next trip to Israel.

9. Spending time in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert

On a camel in the desertHayley Garron

Besides Jerusalem, my other favorite place was when we spent a (cold) night in a Bedouin tent. I remember we were on main roads, and then minutes later, we were headed into the desert- the middle of nowhere. But it was the most beautiful thing looking out the bus window and seeing nothing but miles and miles of sand, sky, and mountains all around us. We learned about the Bedouin coffee and tea rituals, had a hearty meal of middle-eastern food around a table on the ground, and also had fun around a bonfire before going to sleep in a giant (heated) tent. It was cold in the desert, but it was the most peaceful place I've ever been. I spent all night looking at constellations in the sky, and listening to the sound of animals in the distance. The whole experience was so beautiful and surreal.

10. Exploring art, markets, and shopping centers

Shopping Center in Tel AvivHayley Garron

11. You meet and become close with a group of Israeli soldiers.

Some of my new best friendsHayley Garron

I know my first point was about people, but I thought it fitting to end talking about the Israeli soldiers that were in our group. Not every birthright group gets their soldiers for 10 days like my group did- we were special, and definitely blessed for that. The seven soldiers that were with us became our closest friends, and are people that I plan on keeping in my life indefinitely. I connected so well with most of them, and still talk to several on a daily basis. Becoming friends with them has opened my eyes to a new culture, and how young adults live in this culture- going into the military directly after high school, and what their lives look like. Even though we live on different sides of the world, I found that we have more similarities than differences, and the trip was only as amazing as it was because I got close with them.

The last full day- of course was the hardest- was awesome because we went back to Tel Aviv and got to explore it alone. The minute we stepped off the bus in our groups, the biggest rainstorm I've ever been caught in hit us- yes it definitely does rain in the desert. It was so cold, and we were all wet, so the first place we ran to was a mall to buy some dry clothes. The mall was really cool though, because there was this one strip where it had dozens of different cultural food vendors to fulfill all of your food dreams. There were Asian stands, middle-eastern stands, European food stands, and more. All of them tried to catch your eye with samples- there was so much to choose from, and it was hard making a decision. After eating in the mall, we went to explore the open-air outdoor markets. These were where bartering skills were important. Wandering through the market was definitely an overwhelming experience- there were so many people everywhere, and I am so glad that we had our new Israeli friends with us to help barter and translate.


There is so much more I could write about for this trip, it was the best time of my life and I fell in love with a new place I call home. If you are thinking about going on birthright, I definitely would do it, because it is an amazing experience.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

4 Women Of Color Share How Racism Affects Their Dating Lives, And Everyone Needs To Listen

"My race is typically a factor in almost everything I do, and with dating, it's no different."

Racism affects the daily lives of people of color in the United States, and other parts of the world, in some capacity every day. When it comes to dating and relationships, this is unfortunately no different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

13 Movies And Shows On Netflix Directed By Black Men And Women You Need To Watch Now

Take the time right now to watch these fantastic films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.

Netflix

Netflix is notorious for getting us insanely addicted to watching TV and films. From documentaries, true crime, reality, and fiction, we get very sucked in.

Right now the American people are fighting for the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, so instead of watching "The Office" for the 30th time, take the time to watch these 13 films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.

Keep Reading... Show less

I love working out, it makes me feel great. It helps my mood, sleep schedule and I just feel overall healthier. Recently I wanted to focus more on my glutes than I previously had been. At the gym, I would just go to the squat bar to do my thing and call it a day. But since we have been home in quarantine I feel like squats just aren't doing it for me but even if I love doing them. Doing squats I always have felt does more for banging my thighs than it ever did for my butt. It made them so big, which I didn't mind except I felt it made my butt look pretty much the same. Straying from squats, and the fact that gyms will probably remain closed for a while, sent me on a fitness journey to see what other exercises I could do at home with no or very little equipment needed. Hopefully, these exercises will help keep your booty banging.

1. Diamond Leg Lifts

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Podcasts On Race Everyone Should Listen To In Order To Be A Better Ally

Listen and learn, because knowledge is power.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments