Birthright

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Illuminated, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. Illuminated macrumors 6502a

    Illuminated

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #1
    So me being Jewish (secular), I registered to try to get onto a trip to Israel.

    Birthright is a government funded program from Israel, and allows young Jewish adults (usually secular, but religious as well), aged from 18-26, to go on a free 10-day trip to Israel.

    Normally people signing up for the first time get wait listed, but I was lucky to get on a trip. So I'm going in the end of December.

    I'm so stoked! I am trying to extend my stay and stay with my cousins who are living in Jerusalem. So this 10 day trip will turn into a 21 day trip. :)

    Anyone here go on their Birthright? Enjoy it? Or is anyone planning to go soon?
     
  2. mobilehaathi, Oct 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2011

    mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #2
    To the OP: I've known a few people who have gone. Their reactions have ranged from "one of the best experiences of my life" to "what an outrageous push of propaganda."

    Have fun!
     
  3. Surely, Oct 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2011

    Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    Many of my friends went on birthright trips and absolutely loved it. It's a great program.

    Soak it in, have fun, and take lots of pictures.:)
     
  4. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #4
    I went on a free birth-right trip to Wales once (to find out about my heritage), but the B&B was awful and I returned more annoyed than when I left.
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    Some of my friends went on it and loved it. I have yet to go on it though :(
     
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #6
    Been to Israel a couple of times (on my own, not birthright).... one of my favourite "tricks" is to find a guided tour that is nearby, and just tag along at the back. (Don't get in front of any of the paying clients, that would be rude! But just close enough to hear the guide.) Then when the tour moves on you have time to go back and get a close look, and time to soak it in. Then when the next tour group arrives, still at this same spot.... listen in again. You will likely be amazed at how even a small change in emphasis can alter what you thought you understood about the that site. And sometimes one guide's interpretation can be very different from another's. Do this 3 or 4 times if you have the patience and time.

    The whole point of this is: Everything in Israel is old, really really old, and historical sites are important to 3, 5, 7, current "groups" and were critical in the development of another dozen. The best way to "get" this is, imho, to either take a course (expensive and time consuming) or - listen to 2, 3, 4 different tour guides (for free) who are each bringing their own background filter to how they explain the significance of the site. To my mind, it's the layering of history in Israel that boggles the mind.

    Note that Israelis of your age are among the most attractive I've ever seen - so hang out on the beach.

    Israelis don't believe in "being quiet and polite" - it's the person who shouts the loudest that gets things done. At least this was true 25 years ago... but I don't think it's changed much.

    The Jordan River; it ain't deep and it ain't wide.

    You have to go to Masada. Go on your own, and hang out on top for a long time, tagging along on the groups. If you "get" Masada, you will start to "get" Israel. Or at least the young Israel of 60s and 70s.

    Do not, under any circumstances, leave any luggage unattended for even a second. When I was there, I got to watch the bomb disposal unit blow somebody's underwear to smithereens at least once a week. They clear the area, bring up a robot with a shotgun, and blast the suspected bomb. It's almost always some tourist's backpack that had been left "for just a minute". Now with a giant blackened shotgun blast right through it. No apologies given.

    It used to be that you could show up at a Kibbutz and volunteer. It's a great way to stay for an extended period of time for free. They used to even give you pocket money, so you had some money to tour the country on your day off.

    Israel is small. It is really really really tiny small if you are used to North American/Australian distances. Just a little small if you are used to European distances. If an Israeli starts to tell you it's too far to get there easily.... make sure you get the actual distance before deciding whether to go.

    Watch out for traffic. Assuming things have not changed much since I was there, you are more likely to die of a traffic accident than a war or a bombing. Much more likely. I was in a car there, as a passenger. We were 3rd in line, with the 1st vehicle going very slow (i.e. going the speed limit). The 2nd car found a gap in the oncoming traffic and started to pass. Not quickly enough for my driver, who slipped between the 1st and 2nd cars while the 2nd car was next to the lead car. When I checked my mirror to see if there were flying cars behind us, all I could see was the grill of the bus that had been tailgating us before this maneuver had started.

    Luck.
     
  7. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #7
    I went to Israel this summer. I missed the Birthright trips so I went to an Aviv trip instead. That involved visiting Holocaust sites in Poland including Auschwitz as well as Israel.

    Concentration camp part was by far more interesting than Israel. Sure it was very sad but it was worth it. I was always curious how people were able to purchase a German car after visiting usch places. If I didn't want to buy one before I certainly would not now.

    As for Israel I didn't like it much. Jerusalem is a city filled to the brim with Orthodox Jews which I started really disliking even more by the end of the trip. Tel Aviv was by far more interesting and pleasant to look at with beaches and bitches both very nice. And yes, I've been to Mossada. It was interesting to look at once. But not much more than that.

    I recommend going once. At least then you'll know if you want to go back or not. I most likely won't.
     
  8. Illuminated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Illuminated

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #8
    Since I'm going with a group, there is no time for me to do other things on my own, and we have our own set of tour guides so I'll be listening intently.

    I am actually going to extend my stay, its now been planned and set up for the most part, so I'll hit up the beach for a day or 2 during my extended stay, maybe I can meet someone a lady :)

    Thanks for the tips! I really really appreciate it, and i will definitely revert back to your post for information closer to the trip!
     
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #9
    Was that really necessary?
     
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #10
    Have a great time... and do remember that my tips are at least 25 years old (ack!) so things may have changed....

    I forgot to mention Falafels.... become a Falafel connoisseur. Every stand has a distinctive flavour. Yum.

    Don't make the mistake of ordering bacon or lobster. I'm secular as well, so the mistake is easy enough to make.....

    One of my strongest memories was taking the bus to the bus stop right in front of the kibbutz to the north of Caesarea, and then walking along the beach towards the ruins. This is the beach with the aqueduct used in many "visit Israel" ads. Anyway, I would walk along the beach, on the pebbly part marvelling at the number of perfectly square small pebbles.... until it struck me that they weren't pebbles, they were mosaic tiles that had come loose from the countless Roman villas that used to line the shore. I was gob-smacked that I was walking on 2000 year old Roman mosaics, on a beach. I'm a little sorry now that I didn't smuggle any out.... but of course it's a big no-no (and they take this sort of thing very seriously) - and if you get a chance to walk the beach, and the tiles are still there - then it's because people like me left them there. But still, just one --- sigh.....
     
  11. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #11
    And here he goes again with the anti-german holocaust guilt crap once again...
     
  12. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #12
    What seems to be the problem? You're not going to give me a feminist speech now are you?

    I hate to be Captain Obvious here but Holocaust (capital letter, btw) is a part of recent Jewish history. Should I be apologetic for bringing it up in a thread about Israel? I think not.
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #13
    Do they try to sell you a time-share in a kibbutz when you are there? ;)
     
  14. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #14
    To Wales, UK? no wonder you left more annoyed that when you arrived... I'd shoot myself if I went to Wales :p
    Other than VW which was basically built by the Führer and slave labour, why should that prevent someone (Jew or not) from buying a German car?

    Tbh there are a lot of companies that were big back in the 1930's/40's had connections of some kind to a concentration camp, why not boycott Germany completely, a nation that has virtually no Nazi survivors left in the country and an apologetic youth :/
     
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #15
    You know that answer already. Because hating Germany is still useful, to some. :rolleyes:
     
  16. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #16
    I have the opportunity for a birthright trip, being a Jew between the ages of 18-26, but I refuse to go. There are many other places in the world I'd rather visit even if I have to pay for it.
     
  17. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #17
    Mercedes and BMW also used slave labor. Porsche grew from VW (both were conceived by Ferdinand Porsche who built military machines for the Reich). In general I don't buy German altogether. Cars were used as an example because that seems to be the most common good people buy in this country.

    As for Nazi survivors, there are still quite a few left and I don't see the "apologetic youth" doing anything about it. On top of that, I don't believe for a second that Germany stopped being antisemitic. I think they just hide it better now. Imho, it's definitely not a coincidence that National Socialism happened in Germany and not some other country.

    That was my attitude a few years ago. I now regret it. You should go at least once since it's free. If you don't like it then you don't have to come back but it's definitely worth it to see at least one time. It really blows paying for a trip like this later when you realize you could've had it for free.
     
  18. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    Seriously.....this thread was started by Illuminated in order to ask people about Birthright. Stop hijacking the ****ing thread and turning it into a PRSI thread. There's already a thread where you can be anti-German car all you want....go use it and stop ruining this one.:rolleyes:

    And yeah, your "beaches and bitches" comment was in poor taste.
     
  19. Illuminated thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Illuminated

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #19
    So It's pretty much official that I'm extending my stay with my dads cousins in Jerusalem. We skype'd yesterday about it and they want me to be there with them. I'm sooooo excited for this trip. I need to get away for a while and meet new people!


    And Thanks Surely. Let's get this thread back on track!!
     
  20. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Anthropocene
    #20
    Given how much you seem to hate women, it would be a waste of energy.
     
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #21
    Actually, it doesn't really matter what you end up doing .... you are not going to have enough time to do everything you want, and whatever you end up doing is going to be great! Just wandering the Old City aimlessly is wonderful. Something to keep in mind - if you are interested in buying something in the Souk - you are expected to haggle. The 1st price you hear is way more than what the vendor wants, and he/she expects you know that the 1st price is so inflated it's almost laughable.

    He's putting 3 kids through college, you're a poor student. He's got 12 mouths to feed at home, you need to save some money to buy the dinner groceries for tonight. It's fun, at least for some people. Just understand that you will never ever make them sell at a loss .... despite what they're telling you. Except - if you've been so much fun to haggle with, and you've attracted a crowd around his shop who also want to buy stuff. But don't ever feel guilty about the price you paid.... they've been doing this for a 1000 years at least, and know what they're doing. These shop owners are sharp!
     
  22. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #22
    I am well aware of who used slave labour, I pointed VW out specifically as they were born and bred from Hitler and his slaves... the others took advantage of a situation which they have since come out against.

    Don't buy German at all? so do you check every product that you buy for German parts? :rolleyes:

    Quite a few left... in Germany? personally I don't even care if there are any as it has no relevance on todays world.

    Oh it is not a coincidence that National Socialism happened in Germany, not at all is it....
     
  23. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #23
    Take the free trip...be aware of and filter out the propaganda. I worked for a middle east news organization for years and saw both sides of the conflict...nobody there has their head on straight politically.
     
  24. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #24
    I'm curious as to your reasoning here. Is it a lack of interest? Or is it more complicated than that.

    I for one have been on the trip and enjoyed it immensely. If I were to move out of the country, I feel strongly that Israel is the place I would go. You get a sense of community and oneness there that you just can't find here in the US.
     
  25. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #25
    And nevermind the fact that you don't have to look too hard to find anti-Semitism in the US. It seems silly to criticize Germany for it when what hate groups like the KKK legally practice here on a daily basis is illegal in Germany. Of course, whether that sort of crap should be legal or not is another argument.

    Absolutely no desire to visit Israel combined with a strong contempt for all things related to organized religion.
     

Share This Page