Welcome to Taglit-Birthright Israel - Israel Free Spirit! Maximum Experience. Less Fluff.
We believe your Israel experience should be as exciting and meaningful as possible. The Israel Free Spirit trip is a hands-on journey where you'll gain a rich appreciation for the beauty of Israel and a deeper connection to your global Jewish community and vibrant and enduring Jewish Homeland.
Our program is designed for people of all Jewish backgrounds and affiliations and promises to be an adventure you'll cherish forever. Most importantly, you'll form a lifetime of new friendships with fellow travelers and Israeli peers who will accompany and enrich our experience. Assuredly, there’s no better way to experience Israel than with Israelis by your side.
For summer 2013, in addition to our universal Israel Free Spirit program, we present Israel Give & Tech for innovation and technology, Tour D'Israel for bikers and nature enthusiasts, and Israel: Your Story for media and journalism. We'll also be offering multiple community trips, our Yachad and JACS program, and our single gender trips.
OU presents the "Israel Free Spirit" trip as a ten day Taglit Birthright-Israel experience which emphasizes the spiritual connection between the land of Israel, the people of Israel, contemporary Israel and our vibrant Jewish tradition. We know you have a lot of choices and we take your “Free Gift” as seriously as you do by maximizing every moment of your experience.
Our vision is to share the magic of Israel with young Jewish adults of all backgrounds and interests. We believe that intimate encounters with the People of Israel in their communities and the land of Israel through activities such as volunteering, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. present unique opportunities. Through these active learning experiences, our participants are able to appreciate the complexities of Israel while forming lasting bonds of friendship as a group.
On an Israel Free Spirit trip you’ll hike Israel’s lush landscapes, spend time with Israelis and Israeli soldiers, see artistic and archeological treasures and journey to the Kotel, “The Wall” the sacred remnant from our Holy Temple built by King Solomon thousands of years ago.
The OU “Israel Free Spirit” trip is a collaboration of NCSY, JSU (Jewish Student Union), Aish, Yachad/NJCD, Yeladim, JACS, MEOR, and many other allied agencies that have pooled their resources to provide you with the experience of a lifetime.
Israel Free Spirit offers different types of 10-day trips to accommodate participants of varying backgrounds. Most of our trips are designed for participants with an interest in experiencing Israel to its fullest. Some of our trips offer unique opportunities for Developmentally Disabled, 12 Step Participants, Single Gender, Religious and more. What unifies all of these Israel Free Spirit programs is our basic philosophy of providing an active, spiritual and meaningful encounter in Israel.
The OU. Each and every day, countless Jewish individuals around the world are positively impacted by the work of the OU, with its array of religious, youth, social action, educational, public policy and community development services, programs and activities. The mission of the OU is to advance, strengthen, and lead the Orthodox Jewish Community, and inspire the greater Jewish community.
The OU seeks to nurture thinking, knowledgeable, impassioned Jews, and empower institutions which serve the spiritual, educational and social needs of the Jewish community. During the past century, the Orthodox world has been guided and enriched by the OU, an organization that is today the world's foremost leader in kashrut supervision, Jewish outreach, advocacy for the disabled, synagogue services, adult education and political action. As the face of Orthodoxy continues to change, the OU is ever-committed to its original goals of unifying, representing and strengthening traditional Jewry.
The Trip Staff Team
The staff on OU: Israel Free Spirit trips are comprised of JSU & NCSY staff, College Jewish Education Professionals and Taglit-Birthright Israel alumni who share a passion for Israel and bring extensive background in informal Jewish education. In line with our mission of maximizing your trip we go beyond the required two staff per trip and usually add a third staff member who is a dynamic educational expert (a campus rabbi or similar) so you get more one on one attention.
IFS has a pool of experienced Israeli tour educators that have led many trips for us in the past and only the best are asked to return. We also add on an Israeli specialist called a ‘Madrich Chevrati’ on many of our trips to give that added authentic Israeli flavor.