The Taglit – Birthright Israel is the bridge to Israel for hundreds of thousands of Jewish students aged 18-26 from around the world. Participants discover Israel for the first time in their lives through an educational tour that helps them connect with Israel and with their Jewish identities.
Israeli young people, mostly soldiers and officers from elite IDF units, take part alongside participants from abroad. The collaboration with the Israeli participants creates strong bonds and understanding, forging a solid basis for the formation of a bridge between Jewish Israelis and Jews in the Diaspora.
During the ten day tour, Taglit groups visit heritage sites and national sites in Jerusalem and in the southern portion of the country (the craters, the Dead Sea and Masada) as well as Tel Aviv, the Galilee and the Golan Heights.
The arrival of Taglit participants has thus far earned the Israeli tourist industry more than NIS one billion in revenue, in part during periods of time when tourism was not flourishing, stemming from transportation, lodgings, food, guides, security, tourist site entrance fees, airline flights, etc.
More than 200,000 participants from over 50 countries have come to Israel during the project’s nine years of operation. Tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers, officers and students have joined them as partners on their journey.
After completing the tour, Taglit participants create a support network for Israel upon returning to their homes and communities. They also play an active role in promoting Israel on academic campuses throughout the world. The Taglit project has brought about a change in the viewpoints of a wide segment of the youth population who had never before come to Israel. Tens of thousands of potential participants are currently registered on waiting lists for Taglit’s educational Israel tours.
Hence, Taglit is considered the most successful educational project in the Jewish world.
Taglit is an Israeli government project, initiated and run in collaboration with Jewish donors as well as Jewish communities throughout the world. Twenty of the most prominent Jewish philanthropists from around the world and Israel are partners in the project, viewing it as a portion of their investment in Israel and its ties with the Jewish Diaspora. Among them are Charles Bronfman, Michael Steinhardt, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson and Lynn Schusterman.
From the outset, the Taglit project has received widespread support from public figures in Israel, from MK Dr. Yossi Beilin, who was among the initial formulators of the concept, through the chairmen of the project’s steering committee, MK’s and Ministers Michael Malkior, Natan Sharansky, and Yitzhak Herzog to Prime Ministers Benyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, all of whom consider Taglit to be a central factor in the strengthening of ties between Jews in the Diaspora and Israel.
Taglit - Birthright Israel