Gearing up for Birthright Israel


The calendar says winter, but at Jewish Life at Duke we’re already thinking spring. Jewish Life at Duke’s annual Birthright Israel trip begins on May 17 and recruitment is already under way.
As many of you know, Jewish Life at Duke's Birthright Israel trip is an international program that offers young Jews ages 18 to 26 the opportunity to visit Israel free of charge on a 10-day peer group trip. Jewish Life Duke has been organizing its own trip for several years, and it is always an amazing experience for participants. Duke’s trip is geared toward Jewish students of all backgrounds, regardless of upbringing, level of religious observance, and political leanings. Led by Jewish Life at Duke staff members, students travel throughout the country exploring historic, cultural, and religious landmarks. It’s an incredible opportunity to get a close-up look at a rich and complex culture and meet Israelis from all walks of life, from soldiers to kibbutzniks. What makes the Jewish Life at Duke Birthright Israel experience even more special is the way it builds life-long friendships with other Dukies. “I had no idea how close I would get with the people on the trip,” is a sentiment we hear over and over again. To accommodate the ambitious schedule of a typical Dukie, we ensure that the trip departs shorty after graduation so students can return home by Memorial Day, in time to start their internships or summer jobs.

Over the next few months, we’ll be in full Birthright Israel-recruitment mode here at JLD. Leading the trip will be Jenn Handel, our Program Coordinator, and Chen Agiv, our Israel Fellow; they are currently tabling at the Bryan Center, gearing up for the beginning of registration on February 6. Interested students will be able to attend information sessions with Jenn and Chen, who are also hosting a special phone call for parents. With plenty of pre-orientation and post-trip follow-up, going on Jewish Life at Duke's Birthright Israel trip is an experience that spans beyond just the 10 days abroad, and continues to enrich the lives of students for years to come.