Free Israel trip

…and then some.
That’s got to be some kind of record. After 24 hours, all Taglit-birthright israel trips run by Oranim are sold out. That means if you want to go to Israel with Jewlicious, well, the best we can do is maybe wait list you. I don’t even know if we can do that – I swear my head is spinning at how fast those Israel trips filled up. Now for those of you who have registered – duuuudes. You have no idea! Prepare for a mind bending 10 days. We’ll be issuing updates regarding itineraries and stuff like that in the days and weeks leading up to the actual trip. Those of you who have questions, well, feel free to ask!

Seriously though. I am still stunned.

birthright israel
this trip is a gift from Taglit-birthright israel

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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.


  • Hey start a third bus, put Middle on it. Seriously, I am very happy for your success. Word of mouth no doubt.

    How bout doing something for the rest of us?

  • This is unbelievable. I guess that means Michael and I are definitely a go. If only we knew exactly when in June…I’m sure we’ll find out in time.

    Shabbat shalom from San Francisco…

  • Every time you post this link I feel old. I am 27, and I’ve never gone to Israel. I had a study-abroad planned just before the intefada started… That was back before I had a serious job and whatnot. Now I feel like I’ll never get to go.
    /le sigh

  • So just go! Nothing is stopping you, go during the spring when it is quite cheap, you can get a ticket for $700-$800. You have a serious job… use your vacation days!

  • How did the IE trip not “sell out”?

    This and I can’t make it to JOTB2…double grrr.

  • To be sure.. you can’t sell out a free trip. Oranim took more registrants then they could offer trips and will be turning away several thousands. IE was hacked/attacked on opening day and the site was shut down for the better part of the day. They also offer, “sell”, a very different program that has a different appeal.

  • You’re right, of course. I have quite a bit of vacation each year, I have no excuse to not use some.

    -Yehuda Labe

  • How does it work for religious kids? Are there any separate busses, or all mixed?

    In general what is the day composed of, if you could give a general outline.

    1. Where do the participants live? Always at the same place or more than one?

    2. Do all the bus participants live at same place?

    3. Where are meals located?

    4. What do you do in the evenings, is there programs or touring each evening?

  • Jobber – Are you asking about this trip in particular or birthright trips in general?

  • Jobber, have you considered going to one of the organizations sponsoring Birthright and asking them all these questions? Who knows, maybe if you do, they’ll see how committed you are and give you a bus to lead.

  • shalom from Israel !!!

    I am the president of Oranim and I am very proud that 6500 young people registered to our program on Taglit birthright israel in 36 hours.
    This # was a little bit of a surprise even for me, I was expecting around 3000-4000.
    we opened pre registration for winter 2006-7 and already have over 100 young people who puts thier name here.
    i want to thank all our alumni who turn to be Oranim ambassadors and to all those who showed trust in what we are doing- spreading love for the Jewish people and to the state of Israel by building the worldwide Jewish family.
    I am looking forward to see you all in Israel very soon.
    All the best from home-Israel.

  • Hey is it true that its going to be a bus of 18 year olds looking for a spring break trip?? I also heard that you guys are making $50 bucks a person off us. i thought it was a free trip and you get $50..not cool. btw I know oranim doesn’t pay staff, my brother staffed once and its not paid.

  • Jobber its more shady than you thought. they are getting $50 aperson, no one really signed up, and the staff don’t get paid, but it should be funny becasue its all oranim kids.

  • T-berg: I don’t know where you get your information from but I can tell you this – I have already met several of the trip participants, none of whom were 18 year olds looking for a spring break experience. One was a 21 yr old west coast based film student, another is a NY based 25 yr old NY healthcare student. But hey, don’t take my word for it. We will be live blogging the trip, so you can look and see how many 18 year old drunks get on the bus. I don’t know what it means when you say no one really signed up – maybe you can’t read – we’re over booked so i am assuming someone signed up. As far as the staff not getting paid – we are the staff and having staffed birthright israel trips before, I can assure you, we don’t do it for the money. that whole $50 a head thing? Again – I don’t know where you get your info from but we do not get paid for staffing the trip. Call birthright or Oranim if you like. By the way, what’s this “you guys are making $50 bucks a person off us” tripe? You’re in Israel – how is it that you’re involved?

    But that’s all neither here nor there. All I can say is if ya can’t be a playa, don’t be a playa hata! I mean what would possess you to write two back to back comments full of such unconfirmed innuendo? Why not simply celebrate the fact that 80 young Jews will have the experience of their lives in Israel, with us? Shady my ass …

  • can you give us who did get into the registration and are at the interview stage a heads-up on how we ensure we get into the jewlicious trips (like the dates, or perhaps, a “don’t worry, it’ll be labeled when they finally get the dates up”) and not any of the other 30? definitely excited to meet you.

  • As a side line observer (from Bulgaria where i am working with the camp counselors from Bulgarian jewish community..) it’d be a great article if you like) to all the pieces about bri. I can offer some insight that might be helpful, or not. israelexperts is the only bri provider that actually gives its staff stipends. all others go on the notion of free trip. Its out of thier budgets and not bri’s demands. as to the 50 bucks a head this is also not a bri policy, but indiidual organizers can make relationships as they set fit. whatever Jlish and oranim have agreed to is thier business…

  • yeah whatever, maybe israel experts is the only organizer to pay thier staff, but I don’t know what good that does. All my madrach did was hit on the girls on our trip and goof off. Maybe a little staff training would go further than giving them a stipend. Still, everyone should go.

  • Blusie, I hear your concern. I guarantee that I will not hit on the girls on our trip this June. You can take that to the bank.

  • Thanks for your comments blusie. If people gave us feedback as we seek, the person was not brought back. we look to have staff who bring an experience of jewwish education and experience have been to israel. For sure we make a msitake everynow and then. Just like the staff person who carried a bottle of Vdka ( maybe whiskey) pouring shots for folks. i’d think you’d agree that wasn’t appropriate either…

  • Oy Bill. That was me (but you knew that). And it was vodka. And I was brought back to lead another trip. What can I say, no one’s perfect. Many BI rules have been bent or even shattered in the past, and the people that did that are still involved. My “lack of judgement” did not result in any drunkeness at all and if I recall correctly, the post-trip reviews I received were pretty good. I have nothing to hide.

    Bulgaria huh? How interesting is that? I always make it a point, whenever Bulgaria is mentioned, to note that during WWII, Bulgarians rallied behind their Jews and not a single Bulgarian Jew was deported to the Death camps by the Nazis. It’s nice to know that there are still Jews in Bulgaria and that you’re helping them out. How many jews do you figure are left there? When I was last in Sofia, the synagogue was pretty much closed.

  • Wow, what is going on in this discussion? Why are the bitter, ignorant trolls receiving a response. $50? $50/person? Who cares? The trip is full; young people are going in large numbers!!

    I’m not on Birthright and have no affiliation with this program but I want to say that I am very impressed with Birthright and the dedication of the benefactors, organizations running the show and leaders who I’ve met who are guiding the young ADULTS who participate. This is a great program and very worthwhile. Period.

    And vodka shots? As long as they’re over drinking age, why does that even matter? People – young adults – drank a little whiskey while getting a torah drash from an observant Jew on a shabbat at Jewlicious @ The Beach and they consider that evening to be one of the most eye-opening, positive Jewish religious experiences of their lives.

    So please just ignore the trolls or wacky people and take pride in a great program. Sheesh!

  • I’ll refrain from saying what I’m tempted to say and only suggest to those who live in glass houses not to throw stones.

    The success of the Jewlicious trip is going to be determined by the people who run and staff it and, based on that, my money’s on it being the experience of a lifetime.

  • I heard a certain Mr. Sadaat was the first to get the free trip to Israel. He waited in the VIP lounge