Birthright Booms for Staples Grads


Birthright Israel is a well-known program among the Staples Community. Many students go the summer after their first year in college to travel across Israel and be a part of the program.

Birthright Israel gives the gift to any Jewish student of visiting Israel on a 10-day educational trip. The program is open to all Jewish young adults, ages 18 to 26 who have not participated on a peer educational trip since they turned 18, and they can’t have lived in Israel past the age of 12.

Many students at Staples hope to participate in this trip, like Cayne Mandell ‘17 and Ben Harizman ‘17. Harizman plans on going any time after he turns 18, “It’s such a good way to connect with fellow Jews across the nation. I also really am excited about building lifelong friendships in an incredible Jewish nation.”

Mandell says that he’s excited to go because “It just seems like such a fun trip to another country. I can meet all these new people as well who are Jewish, and I’ve heard such great things about it from past students.”

The purpose of the free trips is to “motivate young people to continue to explore their Jewish identity, support for Israel, and to maintain long-lasting connections with Israelis after their trip has ended”.

Zoe Brown ‘15 recently went on Birthright Israel, and says, “It was such an amazing experience. I was able to connect with my Jewish roots in an adventurous and interactive way. It was also awesome because my group was so much fun and everyone got along so well. We did so much.”

Brown says that she spent a night in the Bedouin tents, rode camels, hiked Masada, visited the Ein Gedi oasis and floated in the Dead Sea all within 24 hours. And it doesn’t stop there.

They also went to the beach and did scavenger hunts around Tel Aviv, stayed in a kibbutz, went rafting in the Jordan River and so much more.

“We also had a great time at the bars in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem (the drinking age is 18 there so I’m allowed to say that). It was crazy; we barely slept more than 3 or 4 hours each night but we were having too much fun to even fully realize how tired we were,” says Brown.

Students who have already been to Israel still think it is important to go back, and experience the wonderful country in different and new light, “My family lives in Israel so I’ve already been there twice, but I want to be able to go with kids my age. I want to learn about Judaism, and learn about all the different popular destinations people love to go to,” says Hallie Spear ’18.

Birthright Israel is such a great way to connect to a student’s love for Judaism, meet new people that can become lifelong friends, and travel across the wonderful country of Israel, all without paying a single dollar.