Our latest crop of Birthright Israel adventurers had an incredible time over winter break. Here’s what participant Jeremy Comer had to say:

I never felt connected to Israel before through prayer and custom, but I for certain feel like I will need to go back to Israel. I would love to eventually race the Israman triathlon, learn the language more intensively, explore the Israeli National Trail and most importantly, visit and continue to learn from the incredible friends I have made in Israel.

Registration is now open for our next Birthright trip, August 1-12, 2018. So if you’re 22 to 26 years old; are Jewish or of Jewish heritage; and would like a FREE trip to Israel, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and Shorashim encourage you to apply now! Meanwhile, take a look at our Winter Break highlights:

While hiking in Ein Ovdat we were dazzled by the beauty of the Negev. Prime Minister David Ben Gurion lived nearby for most of his life, and we learned about his dedication to making the desert bloom.

Sunset in the ancient port city of Jaffa.

We volunteered at our partner agency, Latet, the largest food bank in Israel. We packed over 280 boxes of food, to be delivered to impoverished families across the country, and also packaged enough baby formula for 3,600 bottles!

At the Bedouin tents we rode camels, slept under the stars and played games around a bonfire with our Israeli friends.


Sunrise at Masada. Having woken up at 3:30 a.m. to climb the Snake Path (no easy feat!), every member of our group felt so accomplished having made it to the top.

We discovered that the Dead Sea is actually a unique and sensitive ecosystem — and that due to environmental changes, its waters are drying up. After learning about the preservation efforts underway, we felt lucky to be able to experience the waters in lowest place on Earth.

In Jerusalem we came across this street art, with a poem that touched us:

“To Jerusalem my city/ I wanted to say out loud/ Words that I whisper/ To her heart/ So my ears/ may also hear/ What my heart feels for her” — Amir Gilboa

After exploring the Old City and learning about the destruction of the Second Temple, we gathered at the Western Wall to reflect.

Yerushalayim Shel Zahav. Jerusalem of Gold.