Can you trip like I do

Birthright Blog
Esther D. Kustanowitz

The Jewish Week

It’s time for Jews ages 18-26 to claim a most Jewlicious birthright.

The free Israel trip program birthright israel is partnering with the sometimes irreverent and usually free-form Weblog Jewlicious to offer the first-ever Israel trip based on a blog.

Tour operators IsraelExperts has worked with birthright israel since its third season, operating campus and niche trips. But “this looks like an entirely new kind of audience, not necessarily affiliated with institutional Jewish life,” managing director Joe Perlov says excitedly.

Programming will be planned by birthright israel and IsraelExperts; two Jewlicious contributors, David Abitbol and Laya Millman, experienced birthright madrichim, will lead the group.

Abitbol, the head of a digital media firm who claims a “never-ending fascination with Judaism,” was born in Ashdod and now lives in Montreal. Millman, a Chicago-born Jerusalem resident, credits her birthright israel trip with inspiring her to move to Israel. “Being in love with Israel is like being in love with a person; it defies all reason and logic. But it’s the only place that ever felt like home.”

The experiences of the Jewlicious madrichim will help shape the itinerary. Abitbol, who was born to Moroccan parents, identified a lack of Sephardic programming and is working on a mifgash, or encounter, that will provide participants with a sense of the history of Moroccan Jews in Israel.

The trip promises wireless Internet access and will be live-blogged on

Registration begins March 3 at

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • I’d go, but alas, I’m too old. And my fiancee would be none to pleased with me going without her…

  • I love the subtitle in the ad — “We can’t believe they’re letting us do this. . .”

    Well, why not? It’s smart marketing. Kol hakovod to you both, ck & laya! (and props to Esther for getting it into the Jewish Week)

  • Can non-Jews go?
    I’m kidding, but on a more serious note, I’m curious as to how one would determine whether someone is a Jew. Checking the age thing seems pretty straightforward.

  • I know, Esther totally rocks. As far as our disbelief goes, well, it’s a gutsy and unprecedented move on the part of both birthright israel and IsraelExperts. We ARE a tad irreverent and a bit unpredictable. WE don’t even know how this trip is going to pan out, the details are still a bit fuzzy.

    We DO however know that we are very committed to making sure that this trip will be ground breaking in both deed and content. And it’s got nothing to do with marketing, it’s just going to be an amazing experience for 42 lucky trippers.

    And to think! You’ll be able to follow along every step of the way as if you’re actually there with us, along for the ride. How fun!

  • Safiyyah: Good question! birthright israel sets the standard for that and it’s a pretty liberal one. What it boils down to is that if any major stream of Judaism considers you Jewish, then you qualify for a birthright israel experience!

  • Do you need a ultra-qualified Australian Madrich to lead the programme?

  • Next thing you know the’ll be planning something in Long Beach.

  • Birthright Trip by and for Bloggers

    Our friends at Jewlicious are sponsoring a Birthright Israel trip (via the tour group Israel Experts). The Birthright, for those who’ve been living under a rock, is a program of American and Canadian Jewry to bring young Jews (18-26) to Israel fo…