In sign of pandemic’s waning, first Birthright trip in a year lands in Israel

In yet another sign of the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Birthright Israel group lands in Tel Aviv this afternoon for the first time in a year.

The participants are all vaccinated college students from the United States, the group says.

They will take part in the organization’s signature 10-day educational tour of Israel offered to all college-age Jews by the foundation.

“Dozens of trips are expected during May and June, with many more tour groups planned for July, August, and October,” the organization says in a statement.

Participants in the first post-COVID Birthright Israel trip, after landing in Israel after a year-long hiatus for the organization, on May 24, 2021. (Erez Uzir/Courtesy)

“I am extremely excited that we are renewing the connection between the young Diaspora” and Israel, the group’s CEO Gidi Mark says.

“We’ve developed the best plan to safely and efficiently resume our trips, which play such a critical part in strengthening the Jewish identity of hundreds of thousands of young people around the world and connect them with the State of Israel,” Mark says. “Following the rise of antisemitism over the past weeks, this is now more important than ever before.”

In 2019, Birthright brought over 44,000 young Jewish adults to visit Israel. It has seen some 750,000 participants since its founding in 1999.

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