1. What being Jewish means to you
People of all different Jewish backgrounds go on Birthright. As for me, I wasn’t raised with any religion, with my parents being from two different religious backgrounds. But going to Israel and meeting other Jews made me feel more connected to the Jewish culture and even to some of the religious aspects of Judaism, and I think I now know what being Jewish really means to me.
2. All people are truly the same
On birthright, a group of Israeli soldiers join the trip for a couple of days. In Israel, military service is mandatory for all citizens, so the soldiers are generally the same age as the participants on the trip. Meeting the soldiers was an amazing experience, and after spending a few shorts days together, I quickly realized how similar we are to them. It’s amazing to see how similar people from all around the world are and how easy it was to connect to people who live completely different lifestyles than myself.
3. You can do more than you think you can
Whether it’s hiking three miles more than you thought you could, or running on four hours of sleep and still finding energy to go out, you will push the limits you thought you had. Birthright is an intense, fully packed ten days, with little time to stop and slow down. You will get tired and probably complain, but you will push through it and have an amazing time.
4. It doesn’t take long to connect to people
Only ten days. That’s all you get with these people. But after it’s all over, you will wonder how you didn’t know them before. Some of the best people I’ve ever met, I met on birthright. Between tiring hikes, long museum visits, and drunken nights out, I shared more with these people than I thought possible, and I loved every second of it.