Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

Birthright's Impact in 2022: Knowledge, Views, and Feelings toward Israel

Graham Wright, Shahar Hecht, Sasha Volodarsky, and Leonard Saxe

May 2023

Report cover for Birthright Israel Summer 2022

This report documents the impact of Birthright Israel on the US Jewish young adults who participated in summer 2022 Birthright Israel trips. Given that the trips took place in the context of rising political tensions in the United States and Israel, the report examines whether these dynamics hindered trip participants from developing a strong emotional connection to Israel. Did the program help participants understand the complex political situation in Israel? Did the trip influence how participants see Israel’s political and security situation? Did the program change how participants relate to groups involved in Israel-related activism?

Key findings:

  • Participants overwhelmingly reported that the trip was both educational and fun. 
  • A substantial majority of participants agreed that the trip devoted the right amount of time to discussing Israel’s history, Jewish ideas and values, contemporary life in Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Birthright Israel improved participants’ knowledge of core political issues in Israel. 
  • Birthright participation had little or no effect on participants’ political opinions with regard to Israel’s political conflicts.
  • Birthright’s strongest impact was on participants’ connection to Israel. 
  • Participants’ connection to Israel increased after going on a Birthright trip regardless of their political views.