Record Breaking Summer for Mayanot - Birthright Israel Participants

Recession? Not for Mayanot’s Birthright Israel division.

Mayanot, one of the most popular Birthright trip providers, has seen a breathtaking surge in participation this summer, breaking even pre-COVID records.

The numbers paint the picture. With 1,433 participants on the ground simultaneously at the end of May, Mayanot celebrated its largest participation milestone yet. If 1,433 people is too abstract, try this: 127 trip leaders were needed to guide these 41 groups. Since the beginning of May, Mayanot has guided 2,786 Jewish young adults to explore their living heritage in the holiest land in the world.

Shluchim on campuses across the US have been working overtime. Many Chabad on Campus organizations brought dozens of students on trips this spring and summer; some even brought hundreds. Five universities accounted for a whopping 647 students, in addition to the 304 students who enrolled from the University of Wisconsin, under the leadership of Rabbi Mendel Matusof. UW, represent!

There’s a major takeaway here: Birthright is bringing experiential learning back in a big way, and the Mayanot touch amplifies the life-altering power of these trips to the max.

It’s one thing to set a new record for student participation. But today’s students differ from past participants in a significant way. These are young people who have emerged from a pandemic that forced some of their most formative in-person experiences to take place behind a screen.

Graduation. School time. Social events. The students and recent graduates of the pandemic lost the face-to-face experiences that allow them to connect with the peers and mentors that solidify core elements of identity.

In a secular society obsessed with the rejection of innate identity, young Jewish people are seeking direction in a worldly vacuum. Despite the struggle, they are driven to succeed. With the investment and devotion of the Rebbe’s shluchim, Jewish young adults are asking the hard questions about their Judaism. These are the young people that have joined Birthright in waves, with a common narrative connecting them: give us authentic, multi-dimensional Yiddishkeit.

Mayanot’s Birthright Israel program is providing the head-to-toe immersive experience that Jewish young adults are craving in unprecedented numbers. These trips are no vacation - Birthright forges the neshama-deep connection that tens of thousands of young people have come to describe as life-altering.

Mayanot’s reaction to this summer’s flood of participants: “I’m inspired, and I’m powered up,” says Levi Margolin, Director of Operations at Mayanot Israel. “These students don’t have to come to Israel. They could go any number of places. But when you meet them on the first morning of their Birthright trip, you can feel a powerful need in these young adults. They don’t all know what they’re here to find, but they’re searching. And it’s such an honor and a privilege to create a portal of connection, and to accompany them on this journey. You’d never imagine each trip lasts only ten days, because we hear from our participants year after year: ‘Birthright changed my life.’”

Very few organizations can say they’ve permanently impacted the trajectory of young Jewish life. But for more than twenty years, Mayanot has done just that as a Birthright Israel trip organizer.

Keep an eye on this one. Records are fragile around Mayanot - they tend to be broken.

Check out the Birthright: Mayanot Israel website and the Mayanot learning program site to learn more about their amazing Israel trips and learning programs.