22/04/21 - 18:58 PM


Author Topic: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?  (Read 2031 times)

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ramblinrabble

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I just realized I have to do it this or next year before I'm too old, and have no clue what I'm doing.  What organization did you go through?  Any additional tips?

Rapture Ready Blowhard

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2015, 07:48:50 AM »
Birthright doesn't make sense to me-- basically, isn't it just a free vacation to a settler colony based on ethnic identification, complete with extreme racist, right-wing indoctrination?

If I, as an Anglo-American from a Protestant family, were given a free trip to Northern Ireland by a Loyalist paramilitary in the height of the Troubles, wouldn't that be seen as an endorsement of oppression at worst and in extremely poor taste at best?

jer

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2015, 09:20:59 AM »
Becca did it and can probably give you some good info on how to do it.

She can also give you some good reading sources about how manipulative the whole trip is and the psychological tricks they play on you.
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momitsnowme

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2015, 09:24:29 AM »
Yeah, I can respond to this more later.

kw

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 11:42:21 AM »
i planned on doing it in my last year or two of eligibility, but after talking with becca a few years ago, and my sister a year before that, decided against that. i weighed the mental exhaustion of indoctrinating against a free trip to israel with an open ended return ticket and viewed my simple sanity as the winner.

ramblinrabble

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2015, 05:51:37 PM »
OK, elaboration is definitely needed.  I never really spoke with anyone who actually did it, and its just a thing my mother has been pushing me to do for years, so I'm clueless about any shady details to it.   Please, go on.

momitsnowme

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 09:53:27 PM »
So it's just a giant shady scheme of the Israeli government and wealthy american supporters to brainwash the next generation of American Jews into supporting Israel. They are expecting you to go into it trying to be critical and so their propaganda tactics are way more subtle and manipulative than you would expect them to be and even took me by surprise. Like they physically and emotionally exhaust you by having you do these hikes and go to the holocaust museum and then try to convey political ideas to you in a way that makes it seem like they are arising naturally in a reflection with your peers. And then there's more overtly shady shit like they take you to a gift shop and encourage you to spend a bunch of money and don't tell you it's in a settlement. I would read the Birthright Revisited series on the Jewcy website and the graphic novel How to Understand Israel in 60 Days.

I am still glad I went. I made some good friends and the whole experience of getting wrapped up in the propaganda and then learning about how calculated everything was actually inspired me to get way more informed and interested in it all than I would have been otherwise. And even though I know this is part of what they are going for, it was a new and pretty cool experience for me to be in a group of Jewish people my age. If I take that for what it was and not let it influence my politics, it was meaningful for me and a neat way to feel connected to my heritage.

and as for it being fucked up to go, I disagree. There are a certain number of spots on these trips and they have tons of people trying to go. Somebody is going to...I think it is better for it to be people who will think critically about it.

To answer your question, I did the Israel Outdoors program, but I've heard that they don't differ all that much except the super religious ones. They all have to cover the same landmarks in the 10 days.

ramblinrabble

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2015, 01:47:33 PM »
Thats some crazy shit, thanks for the info.   To be honest, the way my life has gone as far as my judaism is concerned, I don't expect it to be much different.   Lots of manipulation and guilt trips from that part of the family, mostly coming down on me for being a "bad jew," which, to be fair, I am.   Thanks, though.  I'll keep that in mind, and cash in on a free trip to a different country anyway.  Having that knowledge ahead of time will definitely help see through the bullshit.

kw

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2015, 07:22:35 PM »
Thats some crazy shit, thanks for the info.   To be honest, the way my life has gone as far as my judaism is concerned, I don't expect it to be much different.   Lots of manipulation and guilt trips from that part of the family, mostly coming down on me for being a "bad jew," which, to be fair, I am.   Thanks, though.  I'll keep that in mind, and cash in on a free trip to a different country anyway.  Having that knowledge ahead of time will definitely help see through the bullshit.

my family does the silent guilt trip super well. they're really into judging my "laco of jewish-ness" without saying anything, or making really passive shitty comments. ahh well.

jer

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2015, 08:17:41 AM »
I don't think the manipulation is so much about being a better/more religious jewish person, but more about convincing you of how great israel is.
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pronetoaccidents

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »
i'm in the same boat. I turn 27 in june so i think i'm fucked as far as cut offs. my friends have done it and have had nothing but amazing, life altering things to say about it.
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Aaron

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Re: Jewish board members: Anyone here ever do the birthright Isreal trip?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2015, 09:14:27 PM »
If you go with a strong, critical mind you'll be fine.  If you're insecure about getting brainwashed I'd say you have some inner work to do regardless...

That said, I grew up in a culture of zionism so it wasn't hard for me to recognize and see through the propaganda during the trip.  Zionists have subtle ways of equating Israeli nationalism with Judaism, but just don't fall for that.  If anything I'd say go and be outspoken and critical because your voice is needed during that kind of program and the other people on the trip will pay attention to you.  My trip was actually lucky enough to visit the Knesset and meet with a member who I got into a nice debate with.  The weirdest, most uncomfortable part was how it was a free trip and almost everyone except me seemed so professional and elite.  But I was a younger punk in those days....If you're at all spiritually inclined, the Western Wall is a spot with ridiculous concentrations of energy, and if you're historically or aesthetically inclined, Jerusalem is an incredible city to visit.

It's good to see the reality of a military state, and have opportunities to hangout out with local Israelis, which the trip certainly provides.  Keep an open mind.  Even if the trip helps you feel more connected to the Jewish people that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Just know what you're getting into beforehand...