Everyone is talking about how millennials are changing the world. They are also changing how organizations are structured, do business, and engage communities. Over the past year, Birthright Israel has focused heavily on several new initiatives designed to engage millennial Jews from across the world.
Here are several things they’ve done right and what we can learn from them.
Millennials refuse to subscribe to the “one size fits all” model. They expect everything to be personalized and tailored to their each and every interest. It’s no surprise that Birthright’s “Niche Trips” are among the most popular of trip options. There are hundreds of special interest trips to choose from, including cycling, SCUBA, lacrosse, street-art, digital media, LGBTQ and everything in between. Participants experience a new country while making 40 new friends from across the world while sharing their interests, passions, and hobbies.
Millennials are laser-focused on rapidly advancing their careers by “life-hacking” their way to success. They challenge workplace norms, disrupt industries from their dorm rooms, and they are just getting started. They also keep themselves very, very, busy – and value the productive use of their time. That’s why Birthright Israel just launched “Birthright Israel Academic” – a 13 day program in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, offering up to 3 college credits in business and entrepreneurship or international affairs.
For some Millennials, spring break is the best time of year to travel abroad, meet new people, and “unwind” after midterms. For others, it’s a week that can be used to better communities and make a difference. Why not have both?! Next March, eligible students will have the opportunity to be part of an alternative Spring Break experience through Birthright Israel, building their networks and expanding their knowledge of geo politics and contemporary Israel. During this 7-8 day trip, participants will develop leadership skills and create lifelong friendships with peers from around the world.
Studies show that millennials now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. They’ve grown up in an on-demand world where they can get what they want, when they want, at the speed of a swipe. This presented a challenge for Birthright Israel’s time-sensitive registration process. Last month, the organization introduced pre-registration for the upcoming two rounds of registration, where applicants can plan in advance, beat the registration season rush and automatically get invited back to select a specific trip once trip dates are available. Now you can register from anywhere, anytime!
Millennials are digital and social natives. They live life at the speed of the Internet, and post, share, and stream their entire lives. Last year, Birthright began to focus heavily on social media and user-generated content, inspiring participants to share their stories from Israel for the world to see. Their Facebook page is highly engaged and their Instagram features incredible shots taken by the participants. Doubling down on social media has made it one of the most effective drivers of advocacy and applications for the trip. If you aren’t already following, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see the strategy in action!
This most recent summer marked Birthright Israel’s 500,000th participant and their biggest season ever, with more than 30,000 participants this summer alone! Their hope is that with these adjustments in place, next year will be even bigger than the last.
Winter Registration is now open! Share the gift of a free 10 day trip to Israel with your friends, family and Jewish community.