why Jews need to experience Israel right now


“All of Israel [the Jewish people] is responsible for each other,

 - The Talmud


#1 Israel needs you

Now, more than ever, we need to show up for our family. Since October 7, Israel, like the rest of the Jewish community around the world, has been grieving. 

Half of the world’s Jews live in Israel. Many of us have friends and family there. October 7 personally affected everyone in Israel, both Jewish and non-Jewish, firsthand.

Unfortunately, much of the world has abandoned Israel. Many international NGOs have left the hostages in the dust. 

But we can’t abandon Israel. We must rally around our Jewish and Israeli family and lend our support. Israeli organizations have even adjusted their programming to help during the current situation. 

Birthright Israel is one of the organizations spearheading this effort–adding volunteer elements, opportunities to meet with those affected by recent events, a visit to Hostage Square, and more to their upcoming trips (in addition to their regular programming).


#2 The Jewish connection to the Land of Israel goes back millennia

The Land of Israel is where the Jewish people became a “people.” For thousands of years, we’ve collectively called ourselves “Am Israel,” meaning the People/Nation of Israel. 

Despite the fact that most of us were exiled from the Land of Israel for thousands of years, Israel is central to Jewish culture and Jewish identity. The Hebrew calendar, for example, follows the agricultural cycle of Israel. 

Israel holds 3,000 years of continuous Jewish history – the history of our own ancestors. From the fortress of Masada to the remains of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, in Israel, you can actually walk in your ancestors’ footsteps. 
Despite the fact that most Jews were exiled thousands of years ago, there has been a constant Jewish presence in Israel for over 3,000 years. More importantly, throughout history, the Jews in Israel always maintained close relationships with the Jews in the Diaspora, because we are one people.

Jewish history is the history of Israel, and vice versa.


#3 Our ancestors yearned to see Israel again for themselves…

…And now, you can. 

Most Jews did not leave the Land of Israel by choice. In fact, after the Babylonians deported a large swath of the Jewish population in 587 BCE, the deportees felt so much anguish over their exile that they had to come up with a new word – “galut,” translating to “diaspora” – to describe their experience. 

For thousands of years, our ancestors wrapped up each Passover Seder with the wish, “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Yearning for Israel is found everywhere in Medieval Jewish poetry. In the 11th century, for example, the renowned Sephardic poet Yehuda Halevi wrote a poem titled “My Heart is in the East,” in which he described his yearning for Zion. 

After the Holocaust, 97% of Jews in Displaced Persons camps listed Israel as their preferred destination.  

For centuries, Jews underwent arduous, treacherous, dangerous journeys to Israel. Oftentimes, these journeys ended in disaster. 

All of this to say that we are so fortunate to live at a time when it’s not only possible to go to Israel, but it’s also easy to do so.


#4 To know what’s what, you really need to experience Israel for yourself

Israel is a trending topic these days, but most of the people who have something negative to say have never actually been there. In a world of media bias and social media echo chambers, it’s hard to discern propaganda from reality. The only way to tell is to see it for yourself. 

The truth is that Israel is a unique country, unlike any other. Israel is a melting pot and a place of contradictions: Jews, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, Druze, the religious, the non-religious, and more coexist and even thrive together, despite all of the numerous challenges. 

Israel is a country where ancient history and technological innovation meet. 

Israel is a survivor country that has not only withstood wars and terrorism, but has also built a beautiful, flourishing society in spite of the hardships and threats. 

Before falling for the propaganda on social media, you should go to Israel and see it with your own eyes.

#5 We won’t give in to hate

Jews these days are under immense pressure to disavow their connection to Israel. But harassing and bullying Jews until they denounce Israel is just antisemitism by another name. 

In fact, this isn’t the first time this has happened. During the time of the Soviet Union, for example, Jews were forced to attend anti-Israel demonstrations to prove to the government that they were the “good” kind of Jews. Even so, the Jews in the Soviet Union refused to give in to hate. Instead, they fought for their right to go to Israel…and against all odds, they won that right. 

Going to Israel makes a strong statement: just like our ancestors, we refuse to be intimidated in the face of rising antisemitism and terrorism. 

We refuse to abandon our Jewish identity and our family in Israel during this time. 

We refuse to reject our ancestral connection to the Land of Israel or to revise our history to appease antisemites, terrorists, and terror supporters. 

Instead of fighting hate with hate, we must fight hate by being proudly Jewish, educating ourselves, and nothing shows more pride in our Jewish identity than visiting our ancestral homeland.


With Birthright Israel, you can experience Israel for FREE.

For a chance to meet the locals, make new friends, see the sights, and experience the culture, go to


If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, visit













The Jews of Silence by Elie Wiesel

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