About the Campaign
For more than two decades, going on Birthright has been seen as a rite of passage for young Jews. But, as the Israeli Occupation deepens and the Trump and Netanyahu grow closer, we can no longer allow a free trip that hides the truth be synonymous with being a young Jew in America.
Birthright offers us a free trip to connect to other young Jews and to a really important place in our tradition. But more important than what participants are shown are what they are not shown. We know that Birthright — which desperately wants us to see it simply as an apolitical, free trip — is hiding the truth about Israel from us.
It curates an experience that deliberately obscures the Occupation and the truth about Israel from view, both literally — participants often drive through the West Bank while skipping over the brutality of checkpoints and the Palestinians who live there — and figuratively — failing to honestly educate about the daily nightmare of Occupation for Palestinians and ignoring the discrimination of Bedouin and Mizrachi Jews living inside of the Green Line.
Our generation will no longer allow ourselves to be manipulated by right-wing donors and the radical Israeli government who tell us a story about Israel and Judaism that legitimizes, justifies, or simply ignores the Occupation.
We demand the truth.
As young Jews committed to building a Jewish community grounded in the values of freedom and dignity for all, we want the educational institutions that are creating opportunities for us to engage with Israel to do so in a way that is based in truth. Especially this summer — just weeks after the Israeli army’s unconscionable violence against Palestinian protesters in Gaza and Trump’s reckless Embassy move — we must do all that we can to transform what our generation is taught about Israel. It has never been acceptable to leave out honest education about Israeli military rule over another people or Palestinian narratives, but the recent violence reminds us the urgency of real, lasting change.
This summer young American Jews will be making sure that our peers know that Birthright is not just a free trip. Using a diversity of methods, we will give our generation — those who will be on Birthright trips this summer, those who are alumni of Birthright, and those that are planning on going in the future — a chance at seeing the full picture that we didn't have, so they can process the 10-day experience with resources to help them better understand what the Occupation really means for Palestinians, Israelis, and our Jewish community, and to reject Birthright's attempt to narrowly limit our access to the complex truths of life in Israel/Palestine.
This free trip comes with high costs, and we refuse to be fed a political agenda any longer.