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 â€œthis looks like an entirely new kind of audience, not necessarily affiliated with institutional Jewish life,â€ 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 â€œnever-ending fascination with Judaism,â€ 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. â€œBeing 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.â€
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 Jewlicious.com.
Registration begins March 3 at myisraeltrip.com.