Birthright winter season begins as thousands of young Jews arrive in Israel

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Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Taglit-Birthright Israel.

Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Taglit-Birthright Israel.

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Thousands of young Jews from the U.S. and around the world landed in Israel on Tuesday as part of the start of the Taglit-Birthright Israel program’s winter season.

The 20 groups that landed on Tuesday, and 50 more Birthright groups to arrive later in the week, will tour Israel for 10 days and visit some of the Jewish state’s most important sites, including the Dead Sea, Masada, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, and others.

“We will continue bringing tourists to Israel, even when the tourism industry is in decline,” Birthright CEO Gidi Mark said of the free 10-day trips for Jews ages 18-26. “The organization’s activity strengthens Israel’s tourism branch and represents 5 percent of the group tours in Israel.”

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