Birthright Allows 'Second-Timers' To Join Israel Trips

Previous Programs Will No Longer Exclude Candidates

By JTA

Published January 23, 2014.
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Jewish young adults who previously visited Israel on a high school program will still be eligible for Birthright.

The Taglit-Birthright Israel steering committee approved the expansion of the free 10-day trip to Israel at a meeting on Tuesday, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry announced on Thursday.

The committee also voted to increase funding to attract more French young adults, who face escalating anti-Semitism at home, to the program. French aliyah has nearly doubled in recent years.

The decision to offer a Birthright trip for second-timers comes after operators of high school programs in Israel complained that the heavily subsidized Birthright trips for 18- to 26-year-olds have hurt enrollment in their programs, according to reports.

The trips of the second-timers will be funded solely by donors, as opposed to first-time visitors to Israel, whose trip is one-third funded by the Israeli government.

“Taglit has proven itself as a leader in strengthening Jewish identity among young people in the Diaspora and building ties with the State of Israel,” the Diaspora Affairs Ministry said in a statement. “Expanding the participation criteria will add to Taglit’s positive influence in the Jewish world.”


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