Breaking Barriers: A Look at Birthright Israel Specialized Trips for Participants With Disabilities

Fern Chertok, Rachel Minkin, and Daniel Olson

June 2020

Report cover for Breaking BarriersBirthright Israel trips have emerged as the normative “coming-of-age” experience for contemporary Jewish young adults. Birthright Israel has made a commitment to making its ten-day educational experiences accessible for young adults with a variety of specialized needs stemming from life-threatening or chronic illnesses, physical and sensory impairments, and cognitive and developmental disabilities.

This report describes qualitative research to understand the experiences of young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities on specialized Birthright trips and potential impacts of a Birthright experience for this population of Jewish young adults.

Key Findings