Birthright Israel Trips Are Back – Here's How to Apply and What to Know

For more than two decades, Birthright Israel has brought young Jewish adults for an in-depth educational tour into their ancestors' homeland. But, like the rest of the world, the program had to shutter its doors in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. But, on Monday, the organization announced its return, with birthright trips resuming in just a few weeks.

According to the organization, trips will resume in May, allowing eligible adults between the ages of 18 and 32 from the United States to apply. The organization is currently planning dozens of trips over the coming months, with more than 400 tour groups planned for July, August, and October.

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"When the first Birthright Israel groups took off in December of 1999, we could never have imagined all of the incredible milestones we would hit in just 20 years," Charles Bronfman, co-founder of Birthright Israel, shared. "The pandemic has been heartbreaking for all of us. Needless to say, the pause in our program was so sad, but I'm thrilled to know that our participants will soon be back in Israel. The magic continues."

There are, however, a few changes to the program's requirements. As the organization explained, in order to attend a Birthright Israel trip, both fully vaccinated or recovered participants will be required to provide a negative PCR test before boarding a flight. Upon arrival, travelers with the program will also take an antibody test at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport.

On the trip, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and adherence to social distancing policies will be based on local government guidelines. Groups will also be limited to just 20 participants, compared to 40 in the pre-pandemic world.

"Two values we've always prioritized are our impeccable safety record and our commitment to innovation in ways that meet the needs of our participants and the demands of our changing world," Birthright Israel CEO, Gidi Mark, shared in a statement. "With the input of Israel's Health Ministry, we're confident that 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. The last year has been hard, but we never lost hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Now, the wait is over and it is time to come back to Israel on Birthright Israel."

Ready to join the trips? Apply on Birthright Israel's website now.

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