Menachem Mendel

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Birthright has been infiltrated

This morning Galei Tzahal, Israel Army Radio, broadcast a segment that described how some non-Jews have managed to participate, or “infiltrate” as the original report described, on Birthright trips to Israel. These weren’t people who may not be halakhically Jewish but have a Jewish identity or affiliation, rather, 100% Gentile. The segment criticized how Birthright in North America doesn’t ask for official documents in order to prove someone’s Jewishness, while in Eastern Europe more official proof is needed. It seems as if Galei Tzahal wants Birthright to check people’s Jewishness to the same extant as the Chief Rabbinate. The segment emphasized that Israeli taxpayers are partially subsidizing Birthright trips seemed to be part of the criticism, although I wonder if it may actually be a good way of promoting Israel among young people.

I thought that the report was ridiculous.  It made it seem as if thousands of non-Jews are getting free trips to Israel at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer, whose government funds approximately half of Birthright costs.  As Israeli satirical website Nonews wrote, “לאחר חשיפת הגויים בפרויקט ‘תגלית’ מותר לגלות: גויים הסתננו גם למכבי תל אביב” (“After the discovery of goyim on Birthright it is possible to reveal: Goyim have also infiltrated Maccabi Tel Aviv.”)

4 Responses to “Birthright has been infiltrated”

  1. 1
    DF:

    Come now. There is a HUGE distinction between hiring foregin athletes to play for maccabi, and subsidizing free trips to Israel for non-Jews. And the fact that as of now they are not huge numbers doing it is irrelvant. It would be the easy thing just to look the other way, and grandstand to boot in the name of egalitarianim and anti sectarianism and humanism. It takes guts to stand up for Jewish pride.

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    There is a difference, but I think that it was still funny. The GZ report didn’t even give an estimate as to how many people it was talking about. The requirements that are acceptable in Eastern Europe wouldn’t be acceptable in America. Not everyone is affiliated, knows a rabbi, etc.

  3. 3
    David:

    Yes, Birthright is geared to Jews and funded for that purpose, but I choose to look at the bright side of the story: If the 10-day trip has the same effect on the non-Jews as it does on Jews, we’re certainly turning a bunch of apathetic goyim into friends.

  4. 4
    Abul Bannat:

    מחר בני (כן יש לי בן על אף הכינוי) נוסע לישראל במסגרת פרויקט תגלית .
    עד כמה שידוע לי, לא נערכו אצלו כל בדיקות באשר ליהדותו מלבד שאלות על
    גבי השאלון בטופס ההרשמה.
    אני מקווה שעל אף הסקנדל כביכול של כמה מסתננים, עיקר
    מאמציהם וסדרי העדיפות של מתכנני הפרויקט ומבצעיו, מכוונים ליצירת
    חויה משמעותית וחיובית עבור המשתתפים ולא בחקירה של רקעם הדתי
    העדתי, האטני או הלאומי.

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