My eldest granddaughter decided on her own to "try" a birthright trip, interested in seeing Israel but wary of what she expected to be bias, propaganda, and pressure to make aliyah. She returned from her time there this summer as amazingly changed person: the strangers on the trip became deeply close friends; coming from a religiously and culturally mixed marriage, she integrated a strong sense of identity with the Jewish people, she decided to begin the study of Hebrew. Yes, the pieces had to have been there before, but they came together in a more integrating fashion than I would ever have imagined possible. It works! and I could not be more impressed or more grateful.
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Chris Christie suspends 2016 White House run (Reuters)
from the article: Can Birthright bridge the Israel-Diaspora divide?