/AJT/

EXPANDING ELIGIBILITY FOR FREE TRIPS TO ISRAEL

Taglit-Birthright Israel announced that it was expanding its program eligibility to now include those young adults who had previously visited Israel as part of a peer trip when they were younger.

The organization said the reason for the change in policy was based on an educational assessment that those who may have visited as a teenager would gain a significantly greater understanding and attachment to Israel through the Taglit-Birthright experience as a young adult.

Beginning with the Summer 2014 registration that opens on Feb. 19, appli- cants between the ages of 18-26 who had made a prior visit to Israel on an orga- nized peer trip, before they reached the age of 18, may now apply.

The organization estimates that the expansion will allow thousands more to benefit from the Taglit-Birthright Israel’s program.

“I am delighted that the Taglit-Birthright Israel steering committee supports the decision that every young Jew is entitled to an educational tour of Israel,” said Taglit-Birthright Israel CEO Gidi Mark. “I believe that the decision will strengthen the ties between Israel and the Diaspora and will provide tens of thousands of young Jews the knowledge needed in their efforts to present a posi- tive image of Israel to the world.”

Taglit-Birthright Israel offers the gift of a free, 10-day trip to Israel for Jewish adults between the ages of 18 to 26.

Taglit-Birthright Israel has sent more than 350,000 young Jewish adults to Israel from more than 64 countries and from all 50 U.S. states, including stu- dents from nearly 1,000 North American college campuses.

Editor’s note: to register, visit www.BirthrightIsrael.com.