Constructs: Building Knowledge of Contemporary Jewry December 2008

In This Issue
Encountering the Other-English
Encountering the Other-Hebrew
Taglit-Birthright Israel Evaluation
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This enewsletter highlights a new dimension of our research on Taglit-Birthright Israel. By now the program's impact on the nearly 200,000 Diaspora Jewish young adults who have participated in its free tours is well documented. What has only recently surfaced, however, is Taglit's influence on the Israeli participants. Since its inception nine years ago, more than 30,000 Israeli young adults have also experienced Birthright Israel. On any given tour, six to eight Israeli participants-mostly soldiers but also many students-join for at least five days of the ten-day experience. Our new study of the Israeli participants in Taglit-Birthright Israel demonstrates that the program not only nurtures pride in Israel and the IDF but also strengthens Jewish identity and feelings of connection to the Jewish people worldwide. The report is available in Hebrew and English.
 
Please see also our new report on the 2007-08 Taglit-Birthright Israel trip applicants and participants.
 
Best wishes for a healthy and peaceful 2009.
 
Leonard Saxe, director
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies
Steinhardt Social Research Institute
Encountering the Other, Finding Oneself:
The Taglit-Birthright Israel Mifgash

Theodore Sasson, David Mittelberg (Oranim Academic College of Education), Shahar Hecht, and Leonard Saxe

Encountering the Other-English version
For this report, researchers interviewed Israeli participants in focus groups and observed their formal and informal interactions with the Diaspora trip participants. Several months later,  researchers surveyed over 400 Israeli soldiers who participated in Taglit trips. After the trips, the overwhelming majority of the Israeli participants agreed strongly that the program made them feel proud to be Israeli, proud of their military service, and proud of the State of Israel.

Read the report.
 
For survey frequencies, click here.
Encountering the Other, Finding Oneself:
The Taglit-Birthright Israel Mifgash (Hebrew edition)

Theodore Sasson, David Mittelberg (Oranim Academic College of Education), Shahar Hecht, and Leonard Saxe
Translated by Noa Milman and Drora Lavie


Encountering the Other-Hebrew versionRead the report.

For Hebrew version of survey frequencies, click here.
 
Taglit-Birthright Israel Evaluation: 2007-2008 North American Cohorts
Leonard Saxe, Benjamin Phillips, Graham Wright, Matthew Boxer, Shahar Hecht, Theodore Sasson
                                                                                                      
Taglit-Birthright Israel Evaluation: 2007-2008 North American Cohorts
Taglit-Birthright Israel Evaluation is the latest in a series of reports that describe Taglit applicants and participants and assess the short-term impact of program participation. This report finds that the growth of the program in recent rounds has resulted in increased numbers of applicants from less engaged Jewish backgrounds. Researchers found, however, that despite the heavier participation of less Jewishly engaged participants, the program impact on Jewish attitudes and identity remained comparable to previous years.

Read the report.

Constructs is the e-newsletter of Brandeis University's Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Steinhardt Social Research Institute, and Fisher-Bernstein Institute.
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