OU Taglit-Birthright Free Spirit Trip Opens Registration February 15; Video Contest Underway

11 Feb 2011


“In complete honesty, it was not only the trip of a lifetime, it was an inspirational trip that’s changed my life for the rest of my lifetime. More than just a trip: the OU Israel Free Spirit is a journey and an opportunity to fall in love… with Israel!”
From Skylar Siminovsky, Coral Springs, FL, 22

Registration for the OU Israel Free Spirit (IFS) summer 2011 trips will open on Tuesday, February 15. Last summer, the Orthodox Union, in partnership with the Taglit-Birthright Israel Foundation, brought an OU record 22 buses of young adults, 18-26, to Israel from May through August for the Israel Free Spirit experience. And the trip is completely free.

That record is about to be broken.

To register, visit the IFS website at www.israelfreespirit.com.

Building off of the excitement and camaraderie built on past trips, IFS launched a kick-off to summer registration with a contest for past and future IFS participants to create an original promotional video, with $2,500 in total cash prizes. Video submissions came from across the country, and online ballots can currently be cast to determine the winners. To vote for your favorite IFS promotional video, visit contest.israelfreespirit.com.

As in past summers, for ten invigorating days, young men and women are whisked around Israel with hands-on opportunities to learn their Jewish heritage, eat cultural foods, hike nature’s beauty, carve out their own bonds within their Jewish homeland, and meet Israelis their own ages while bonding with new friends from all around the country – experiences that remain with them their entire lives.

In his article on the OU website Shabbat Shalom, “Catching Israel’s Free Spirit; What’s the Catch?” Skylar Siminovsky, wrote, “Just imagine walking in the same footsteps as Judah and the Maccabees; standing in front of the Kotel and leaving your own personnel message; being at the Kotel on Shabbat where it seems the whole world has stopped; floating in the Dead Sea; meeting Israeli soldiers; and camping out in the middle of the Negev Desert, the site where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob tended their herds. These are just a few of the many reasons Birthright and Israel Free Spirit are so amazing.”

“Not everyone will return to Israel after their Birthright experience, but what everyone will return with is a profound love and pride for a country that represents our heritage, our religion, and our people.”

Online sign-up lists are available to receive the most up-to-date pre-registration instructions for Summer 2011 and Winter/Spring 2011-12 Taglit-Birthright Israel trips with Israel Free Spirit. For more information, visit www.israelfreespirit.com.

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