Discovering Israel at War: The Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel in Summer 2014

Michelle Shain, Leonard SaxeShahar Hecht, Graham Wright, Theodore Sasson

February 2015

Discovering Israel at War report coverThis report focuses on findings from a study of summer 2014 Birthright Israel applicants and participants. Summer 2014 was notable for three reasons. First, the summer trips attracted the largest group of applicants since the program’s inception. Second, for the first time, applicants who had had a peer educational experience in Israel during their high school years were eligible to apply to the program. Third, the program occurred during a six-week war in which missiles were fired from Gaza into Israeli population centers and Israel responded with a military intervention in Gaza, “Operation Protective Edge.” The report focuses on understanding the degree to which the change in the applicant pool affected perceptions of the trip experience, the impact of the trip itself on connection to Israel and sense of Jewish identity, and the impact of the conflict in Gaza on trip experiences and trip impact. 

Key Findings