Jewish Futures Project: The Impact of Birthright Israel

 The Impact of Birthright Israel: 2012 Update

Published by: Brandeis University, Maurice & Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Authors: Leonard Saxe, Michelle Shain, Graham Wright, Shahar Hecht, Shira Fishman, and Theodore Sasson

Abstract: This report examines the impact of Birthright Israel on its alumni five to nine years after their visits to Israel.

Key findings:
  • Participants were 42 percent more likely to feel very much connected to Israel compared to individuals who did not go on the program.
  • Participants were 22 percent more likely to indicate that they are at least “somewhat confident” in explaining the current situation in Israel as compared to those who did not go on Taglit.
  • Participants were 45 percent more likely than nonparticipants to be married to someone Jewish. Taglit’s impact on inmarriage was constant across all levels of childhood Jewish education.
  • Taglit’s influence extends beyond participants themselves: seven percent of nonparticipants are married to Taglit alumni, while 25 percent of participants are married to other participants (who they did not necessarily meet on the trip).
  • Among respondents whose spouses were not raised by Jews, participants’ spouses were over three times more likely to have formally converted to Judaism at the time of the survey than nonparticipants’ spouses.