(JNS.org) The Taglit-Birthright Israel program has contributed more than $825 million to the Israeli economy over its 14-year existence, according to a new study released by the global accounting firm Ernst & Young.
According to the report, the largest portion of the total was from “direct contributions such as travel, admissions and tour guides in Israel,” amounting to $565 million. Other indirect contributions came from local spending and other areas such as extensions and return trips, totaling $260 million.
"For years we have conducted research showing our program's effectiveness in promoting Jewish continuity. With this study, we validate the important contribution we make to the Israeli economy," Taglit-Birthright Chief Executive Office Gidi Mark said in a statement.
Founded in 2000 as a joint venture between the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency and American donors, Taglit Birthright has brought over 350,000 young Jews from 54 countries to Israel on 10-day tours.