100,000 jews!

As we await the news with bated breath…
This Wednesday, 10:30 am at the Israeli Consulate in New York, Taglit-birthright israel will reveal to the world who the 100,000th participant on their free 10-day trips to Israel will be. All they are saying is that she is 26 and works for the communications department at NASDAQ. There to introduce Erika Farber, oops, I mean the mystery woman, will be Michael “PD” Steinhardt, one of the main driving forces behind Taglit-birthright israel. Having no previous affiliation to any Jewish organization, Erika, I mean the mystery woman, seems to be the ideal birthright candidate. She will undoubtedly benefit greatly from her 10-day trip and return home with a newfound love for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. As a PR professional, she will also undoubtedly be possessed of a not insignificant measure of media savvy.

I can’t help but think that our mystery 100,000th participant was specifically chosen because of her professional credentials. I think it would have been way cooler to simply lie in wait at Ben Gurion Airport, and as soon as the 100,000th actual participant cleared customs, whamo! You let loose with a torrent of banners and confetti! That would have been so neat – and the actual 100,000th participant could have been anyone, from anywhere. They would have been clueless and wide eyed as they enjoyed their trip followed by a gaggle of reporters and birthright staff people.

But I understand. This is a great PR opportunity for a fantastic program and it’s best not to leave anything to chance. Erika, I mean the participant, will surely do a great job representing birthright, and I for one look forward to hearing all about her trip. This milestone is truly remarkable and underscores the unprecedented nature of birthright israel. Later in the summer we will experience the impact birthright israel has had on an entire generation of Jews from around the world at the ROI120 conference. But till then, let’s try and good naturedly enjoy the shenanigans cooked up by birthright israel’s PR department. So… welcome to Israel Miss whoever you are! Enjoy your trip!

In other birthright news, the participants of the last Taglit-birthright israel/Oranim/Jewlicious Israel trip have completed their travels. They all had a great time and I learnt a few things myself. Photos and a wrap up post coming soon. Also, the birthright israel Web site has reproduced one of our posts. Oh and I am only guessing at the name of the 100,000th participant. She simply had the most Jewish sounding name at NASDAQ’s communications office. I got the name after a 3-minute Google search. I could be totally wrong.

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About the author

ck

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.

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