A little right; a little left - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Birthright participant 2010
    • 30.04.11 | 01:27 (IDT)

    I attended a birthright group last year. As a then 25 year old who had been raised Jewish (conservative), I didn't know what to expect. What I saw was a group of ba'al teshuvim trying to brainwash a bunch of young, gullible kids to become religious, marry Jews, make Aliyah, and have lots of babies. Literally, that's it. Now - I have been to Israel twice since that trip on my own (I am a professional and pay my own fare), and the real Israel is quite different than the illusion that they provide. I love Israel and am a proud Zionist, but Birthright is an absolute waste. The 39 other 19-26 year old men and women on my trip had no clue what was going on 90% of the time, and yes- there was quite a few sexual encounters between (especially) American women and Israeli soldiers. The fact that birthright organizers have become a money chasing, student "assembly line" is the biggest sin. Many of the trip organizers (especially the religious based trips who falsely advertise themselves) do not spend their allotted money on programming, but rather pocket significant portions of the funding. As a result, birthright programs spend a lot of time in hotel bomb shelters learning useless (and sometimes erroneous) information about "Jews" and "Israel". I'm glad I got the free trip - without it I may not have desired to go back to Israel and see what the real deal is... but my positions and interest are in spite of Birthright, not due to it. Signed, A former Birthright participant who knows Europe is a continent, not a country.

    from the article: Birthright Israel tours are insulting young Jews' intelligence
    First published 01:56 29.04.11 | Last updated 01:56 29.04.11
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