Despite rocket fire from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, six thousand young Jews including several from Poland who are searching for their Jewish roots, have arrived in Israel in the last several weeks to be part of a ten day ‘summer in Israel’ experience.
“Seven groups arrived on July 24 just from from North America” said Gail Hyman of Birthright; the organization which has sent almost 400,000 Jews ages 18 to 26 on free, 10-day educational trips to Israel.
“We’ve sent 6,000 in the period since the conflict began, and only 10 people left early,” Hyman said.
She said the Birthright program has made adjustments to ensure the safety of participants. Flights were switched to Israel’s national airline, El Al, and itineraries are being adjusted based on consultations with Israeli security officials.
Of course, about 30% of the people who had signed up for the trip dropped out and postponed coming to Israel because of the fighting; but the 70% who did come will return home with a much greater feeling of commitment to Israel, as a result of being there in a time of tension.