Free Israel trip
If you’re anything like me, and chances are you’re not, you’ve probably wondered to yourself, “Self, what do you think happens when you take one world-class misanthrope and one jaded Jewish singles columnist and put them in charge of forty Jewish youths for ten days in Israel?”

Fear not. The answer to that timeless question is nigh upon us. Because tomorrow, at 7:45 AM in the morning, planeload number 2 of Jewlicious trippers will alight upon the tarmac at Ben Gurion for ten days of touring in the Moledet, recipients of a generous gift from Taglit-birthright Israel and our trip provider, Oranim.

I would say that we have a really great itinerary planned out, but I’m unfortunately not entirely sure what it is. Nobody tells me anything. But I’m confident that we’ll have a good time – and most importantly, it’ll be educational. I plan to get on the bus PA and deny the legitimacy of Reform and Conservative Judaism, which should make for rollicking fun, and then of course I’m going to do my best to inculcate in my charges the importance of supporting Greater Israel, oppressing Palestinian mothers and children, flying orange ribbons, moving to Tekoa and voting Likud, because that is of course the purpose of Birthright Israel. (NOTE TO SENSITIVE NON-ORTHODOX JEWS AND JEWSCHOOL COMMENTORS: NONE OF THE PRECEDING SENTENCE IS TRUE.) There will, of course, be all the major stops of any Birthright trip, Jerusalem Shabbat, and the famed motivational speeches of Oranim leader Momo, whose favorite smell, in case you didn’t know, is that of Jewish babies.

In all seriousness for once, I’m looking forward to sharing my deep affection for Israel with a busload of people who have never been here before. As I’m sure any other immigrant to Israel can attest to, one of the greatest pleasures of life here is being able to show a new visitor around and getting a chance to articulate what made you fall in love with Israel enough to immigrate. I don’t want, chas v’chalilah, to sound earnest or anything, but watching as someone begin to love and appreciate Israel as you do is a profoundly moving experience for any Zionist. So I hope, in between the late nights and early mornings and the Eilat beach and the discos and the blah hotels and the other less fun aspects of Birthright hadrakhah, I’ll get to experience one of those fleeting moments that remind you why you came and why it’s important to be here. That would make it totally worth it.

Just don’t tell ck and laya that I expressed sentiments towards Birthright other than whining. It’ll be our little secret.

Anyway, as always, Esther and I will be live-blogging with updates and photos of our journey. It’ll be almost like being there, except you’ll be getting more sleep (but we’ll be getting better falafel).

That reminds me. I hope I get a chance to introduce the kids to the best argument for Israel: fantastic hummus. Inshallah!

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

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  • Hi! Esther, I just texted CK with a request to pass on my number–my spare mattress is ready and waiting. Actually….not sure what you are doing the Shabbat June 30, but I will probably be doing a meal then, so if you want to have a spiritual (well, sorta) Shabbat on the beach (except dinner will be in my house), you are welcome. Lotsa food, shul time, and best of all, beach time. 🙂

  • Esther should be allowed to ride off into the sunset if she gets to have this. Then I can be the ‘pinch hitter’ as I will be over there real soon now.

  • May all your falafel be fresh, and your shwarma well cooked, may your canteen be filled with martinis, and your road paved with good intentions.

    Havea wonderful trip Ester and Michael

  • I just remembered our Ein Gedi hike. The one where you were giving me facts about Ein Gedi and then yelled at me for not asking questions and only going, “uh-huh,” and “how interesting” because I knew that you wouldn’t know the answers to the questions I ask so I asked but you didn’t know the answers. I know, that isn’t a real sentence…

  • Michael- I found a hummus restaraunt here, which no surprise is an Israeli expat hang out…i challenge your best hummus against the best Berliner Hummus. That’s right, I said it!

  • For the record, Dina is talking about Michael. Had she been on thehike with me, I would have known the answers to any of her questions, for sure.

  • Elon, that is disgusting. First of all, I make the best Chumus in the world. I do export.

  • Steves Rick- I will gladly conduct a taste test if you’d like to export some of your Chumus 🙂 I’m just sayin, these folks got some AMAZING chummus!

  • Well, ck, in Michael’s defense, here is a fake version of what happened:
    Michael: And here is where most of the water Israel consumes comes from.
    Me: How much water does the country consume annually?
    Michael: I…don’t know.
    Me: So which region in Israel consumes the most water?
    Michael: Okay fine, just say “interesting.”

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