Many Birthright participants look for ways to get back to Israel almost immediately after they return home.
"I was this little person in the middle of this desert and I kind of took a step back and thought, 'how did I get here?'"
These are Tulane University junior Alli Garner's words, describing her emotions when she looks back on her Birthright Israel
experience. So how do students get from the Negev desert to learning about the history, culture and current politics of Israel after they return from Birthright? How do they continue the odyssey from intensive experience in Israel to making a lasting impact on campus?
(For insights into how many leaders of the American Jewish community view the challenge of engaging post-Birthright students in pro-Israel campus advocacy see ICB's report from the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, held last month in Denver.)
Birthright catapults students into the world of Israel activism on and off campus. With more than 50% of last summer’s trip participants hailing from universities all over North America -- and similarly large numbers of those participating in winter break trips now -- many students seek more ways to get involved. From pro-Israel groups to studying abroad, and even moving to Israel, Birthright is a key stepping-stone to many students' lifelong activism in the pro-Israel community.