Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Birthright Walkout Leaders Create GoFundMe For Canceled Flights, Lost Deposits

Eight Birthright participants who walked off their tours Sunday created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover their canceled flights and forfeited deposits.

The participants were on two separate trips, according to the GoFundMe page. Birthright didn’t approve of them deviating from their itinerary to meet with a Palestinian family that lived in East Jerusalem for more than 25 years and was being threatened with eviction, but they left anyway, after being told by their tour guide that they could be liable for the cost of their trip and their return flight.

For the first six days of the journey, the participants say they tried asking questions about the Occupation and “demanding a more detailed and accurate picture of the truth,” they say. In the statement, they wrote that a tour guide told them, “Birthright is curating a very specific truth that they want us to hear, a version of the truth that the Israeli government wants to tell and if we did not like it then we should leave the program and go find another narrative.”

Since leaving the trip, they’ve visited various families and communities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, learning about their experiences.

The group is looking to raise $10,000. Within the first 12 hours of the campaign, they had raised a little less than $1,500. The participants have been in touch with IfNotNow, an American-Jewish progressive activist group, which connected them with activists in the area and one of the families. The organization has been sharing the GoFundMe page.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.