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800 Birthright Israel participants spent a unique day in the Negev desert

The Taglit in the Flourishing Desert event, attended by 800 Birthright Israel participants from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Azerbaijan descended upon the area in the western Negev region, for a day of activities to show the long-standing support of the organization for the residents and businesses of the areas surrounding Gaza. The event that is part of a 10-day trip to Israel also served to connect Russian-speaking participants with one another, with their personal Jewish identity, and with Israel and Israelis.

During the day participants toured the area and familiarized themselves with the communities, people, cuisine and culture. Activities included educational activities and workshops, including local food tasting, creative and graffiti workshops, drumming circles, laughing yoga and bike tours in Sderot, Ayalim Village, the Salad Trail, and Ashkelon. Lunch for all 800 Taglit-Birthright participants was provided by local businesses in Kibbutzim and Moshavim in the surrounding area.

“We at the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress are proud to support this important event, which brings the Diaspora Jewish youth closer to the State of Israel. Our unique history and the rich culture that we share create a solid foundation on which, together and individually, we can build our future” – said Dr. Haim Ben Yaakov, Director General of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

Taglit in the Flourishing Desert is part of a comprehensive partnership between Birthright Israel, the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, and Genesis Philanthropy Group, which provides Russian-speaking participants with various enriching experiences while they participate in Birthright Israel trips. Birthright participants returning from the trip report a substantial impact on the importance they place on their Jewish identity, belonging to a Jewish community and being connected to Israel.

Photo: Yosi Alterman