Yair Lapid: Birthright ‘saved a generation’ of young Jews

Participants ride camels during a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip through Hillel International. Credit: Photo courtesy of Hillel International.

(JNS.org) Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that the Taglit-Birthright Israel program, which provides free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26, “saved a generation” of young Jews.

“Taglit-Birthright saved a generation. We were on our way to losing a generation of young Jews around the world,” Lapid said Wednesday at a farewell ceremony for Birthright co-founder Michael Steinhardt, held at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported.

Steinhardt is stepping down from his position as co-chairman of Birthright, 15 years after founding the organization together with Charles Bronfman.

Present at the event were program co-founder Bronfman, Birthright CEO Gidi Mark, Argentine businessman Eduardo Edelstein, donors, Members of Knesset, Jewish community representatives, and Birthright participants from around the world.

Aside from co-founding Birthright, Steinhardt created the Birthright Israel Excel program for business leadership with philanthropists Lynn Schusterman and Paul Singer.

Posted on June 12, 2014 .