birthright israel
Not going to Israel this summer? Don’t be sad. Neither am I. But join me and we can follow all the whacky adventures on!

That’s right – there’s 2 weeks to go before the first birthright israel trip based on a blog departs from New York. Laya and I, as well as the good folks at IsraelExperts are working hard at finishing up the final details to what we’re all certain is going to be one heckuva trip. As you know, we’ll be posting pics and stuff from the trip here. For those of you who wish to experience this trip with us vicariously – you may already visit the message boards at where some of the folks going have already started pre-trip chatting.

We’re all looking forward to writing good bloggage too. This isn’t going to be a puff piece series of posts. These trips can be harrowing and tumultuous and we won’t be sparing anything – think of it as Road Rules and The Real World meets Survivor. Anyhow, I just hope you all enjoy reading about it as much as we enjoy blogging it.

And I still can’t believe they let us do this.

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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 always thought they should do a Survivor: West Bank Hilltop. No more of this white sand beach paradise without toothpaste nonsense, lets see who can survive another Uprising. We’ll even give em caravans for a head start.

  • It’s spelled wacky. 😉

    By the way, are you guys planning to take your participants on, uh, detours?

  • yeah, i was on birthright. If they were smart enough to put a film crew on a bus, they would have more than enough material after ten days for a birthright gone wrong season 1, 2 and 3

  • You know what could have added immensely to this trip and ensured that no puff pieces made it to blog-publication? Having an official Jewlicious journalist on board. Too bad no one thought of that ahead of time.

  • detours?? detours to where? we can’t go anywhere not birthright israel approved. Am I missing something here? Because I would never do anything like stop off for hummus at Abu Gosh. Twice. Without telling anyone. Never.

  • Uh, you may wish to edit that comment soon. Anyway, good to know. AND I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW QUICKLY TIME HAS GONE BY SINCE YOU FIRST ANNOUNCED THE TRIP!

  • Esther. You underestimate me. I was all up birthright israel’s PR department months ago about that. MONTHS AGO. They noted that most publications they are intrerested in have local correspondents. What can I say? I really tried. And with you in mind too!

  • I underesthermated no one. I know you tried. And realistically, I never expected it to work out. But especially after Jewlicious at the Beach, I just can’t bear being left out of Jewlicious adventures…the bitterness and sarcasm had to go somewhere. Don’t feel targeted. K?

  • In the famous uttering of Napoleon Dynamite…. Luuckkkeeeeeeee!

    I’m on the email list for Israelexperts winter trip so i can get my stuff in ASAP and i am just going to be really..TO’d if i don’t get in on a trip. Are you guys going to be running a bus for the winter?
    I’ve also been looking at Livnot as a second option…any thoughts on the Livnot program?

  • Ck,

    Let me know if you still want me to carry an ad for the trip, free of charge, on my blog…or is it way too late for someone to sign up?


  • Esther, you and Muffti can do commentary from NY/NJ on the bloggage posted from Israel. That might make you feel better. Maybe just a little?

  • Dr J, that just makes Muffti feel worse. To find out that Eshter and Muffti (and TM) are jewlicious’ bitches, resigned to documenting CK and Laya’s fun from afar.

  • Hey!
    Muffti – you’ve always been my little bitch, why are you complaining NOW all of a sudden? You gettin uppity on me? Don’t make me cut you …

  • Esther: And YOU got to go to Long Beach!

    Let me calm everyone down a bit by describing a madrich’s typical day during this 10 day adventure…

    You are the first one up – usually 6-7 am and the last one to sleep. You have to run around and make sure everyone gets up on time and doesn’t wander off. On top of that you have to always be “on” – spouting deep, meaningful sound bites about Israel and Judaism on command. And then there’s the daily room assignments. People can get really angry when it turns out that three to a room assignments preclude their ability to spend the rest of the trip kanoodeling every night with the hottie they just hooked up with.

    Don’t get me started about those. Finally there are the inevitable difficult cases – people get ill, forget to take their meds, are unhappy about room arrangements, simply hate you etc. Those can take up more of your time than anything else.

    Don’t get me wrong – It’s a fabulous experience. But it is physically and emotionally draining. Not at all the happy go lucky vacation people seem to think it is.

  • I’m not ungrateful for Long Beach: I’m just greedy for more Jewlicious adventure.

    You do of course understand that this is coming from a place of jealousy, not criticism or resentment, right? And to be clear, I envy no one who is “the first person awake,” anywhere.

    But in the interim, I’m happy to announce the newest Jewlicious initiative: Birthright Atlantic City. No schedules, no alarm clocks. Nothin’ but boardwalk, baby.

    Unfortunately, all that gambling (throwing dice and pigeon-racing) will make me ineligible to give testimony in a court of Jewish law. But wait! As a woman, I’m already ineligible! Hooray!

  • Muffti is complaining because Esther is. he finally feels some solidarity. Your reign of terror is ending, beeyatch.

  • CK, I’m just miffed that I won’t get to see your sexy ass pop into the office for a while. It’s a highlight for me and anyone else who knows what’s good for them. The only thing that might make up for not seeing you here is a pic of you on the Temple Mount in a banana-hammock.

  • I see noting dis-honorable about doing commentary. It’s a fine profession! Joan and Melissa Rivers do it, why can’t Esther and Muffti? And you guys wouldn’t have to get all dressed up, unless Muffti wanted to, of course.

  • on the off-chance… Anyone know a decent street guide for Tel Aviv? We’re going to have about 2 days in Tel Aviv, most likely family will be there, but just in case I’d like to know our way around and do more than hang at the beach. And of course so we can actually meet up with said family!

  • Nothing wrong with commentary. What does that pay? Muffti and I would probably be much more entertaining, intellectual and acerbic than the Riverses. And if Muffti wears couture, so will I.

  • lynn: walk into the lobby of any decent hotel in Tel Aviv and pick up a copy of Time Out Tel Aviv. That’ll have all the info on what’s going on. Haaretz also has a decent events listing. As for a street guide, probably any Israel Travel book will be fine….

  • i can’t find a single freakin’ tour guide that was researched past 2000 (i think there’s a J’lem out, but not gonna do me much good). Sigh, would someone kindly mention to the Tourism Ministry that if they want people to come, they need to publish lots of up to date city and country tourbooks?

    But, I’ve got the newest one on the market (researched 2000, published 2003), some internet maps (none of the Israel maps at Borders had a drill down of anything other than J’lem. weird) and the train schedule printed out.

  • Lynn, here’s a weird idea. Use the blogosphere to find your way. Try reading Lisa ( and drop her a line to see if she can point you to some online and in-real-life resources…

    Good luck!!

  • One final whine: I wanna go! Can’t I be someone’s lacky? More whine would occur, but sundown is creeping upon me—-shabbat creep! Aaaaah! Hahahahahahaha.

  • Oh Esther, been there and done that. You should see the piles of paper I have to bring. But, alas, without access to the net built in to me, ala Otherworld, I’d rather have something small and compact to do my research from. Is that so much to ask? (oh, and was my irony button not pressed? must check that, it sticks sometimes)

  • Hello, My name is Danielle and I live in Haifa. I was at jerusalem yesterday hearing about the program because I am one of the soilders that will be joining you for 5 out of the 10 days of your trip. I am really looking forward to it and I hope you enjoy your trip!