This week, the Jerusalem Post has an op-ed by a former Birthright Israel participant entitled, “What Now?” Struggling with how to stay engaged with Israel after the trip, this person went on a Livnot U’Lehibanot Galilee Fellowship, to help rebuild the northern part of Israel devastated last summer.
While the piece is a nice story, it raises is a larger issue. Is the best way to keep former Birthright participants involved in Jewish life to send them back to Israel again? Where does one draw the line with too many free trips to Israel?
As someone who’s been on a few of those trips, I wonder if some of these programs are partially creating a dependency on further visits to Israel, instead of building a lifelong commitment to Judaism stateside.