With forty participants per bus, young adults ages 18 to 26 will attend from various states around the U.S such as Oregon, California, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Thirty percent are actual NCSY alumni and the rest are their peers who they recruited on college campuses. The feedback has shown that NCSY Birthright trips have one of the highest ratings in student satisfaction in comparison to other Birthright programs. The NCSY Alumni program is unique because of its more spiritual focus, its significant amount of hiking and the inclusion of textual learning in the natural setting of the beautiful land of Israel. It emphasizes Israel as being a homeland for the Jewish people, a place where all Jews are welcome.
Eighty eight percent of the participants are not religious, and about 11 percent go on after Birthright to learn in yeshivas in Israel. In the words of Rabbi Dave Felsenthal, Director of NCSY Alumni, “I personally go on as many trips as I can – it’s truly inspiring to see how within ten days, these young people are turned on to the beauty of Judaism. We’re currently in a war against assimilation, and the results from our NCSY trips give me hope that the Jewish people will win.”
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