Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

UCF Hillel gets its first taste of 'Birthflight'


On Feb. 4, a plane flew over the UCF campus carrying a banner advertising the Birthright trip to Israel. UCF students affectionately called it 'Birthflight.'

If you looked to the skies between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Feb. 4, you would have seen a banner plane over UCF displaying the message: "Free Israel Trip #UCFHillel ISRL@GOHILLEL.ORG."

This latest piece of marketing, affectionately titled "Birthflight" by the students at UCF, is the latest push by Central Florida Hillel to promote Birthright-the free trip to Israel for Jewish young adults between the ages of 18-26.

Freshman Sari Misek traveled to Israel with Central Florida Hillel on Birthright this past December.

"For the first time in my life, I realize being Jewish is more than having a religion. It's being part of a peoplehood. It's a culture, a heritage, and it's in my blood. I have never felt more connected to my background and couldn't be more proud of where I come from," said Misek.

The 10-day Taglit-Birthright Israel trip aims to strengthen one's Jewish identity through touring, learning and group discussion.

From enjoying Israeli cuisine to hiking Masada to embracing the spirituality of Jerusalem, Birthright allows college students to experience Israel in an unforgettable and meaningful way.

Central Florida area college students between the ages of 18-22 can apply for the Central Florida Hillel Birthright trip by visiting http://www.AbsolutelyIsrael.com. Trip participants will leave from Orlando on May 10. 

In addition to the traditional Birthright experience, Central Florida Hillel was also one of five Hillel's in the United States selected to host a pilot Birthright trip for incoming college freshman this fall. This pre-freshman trip is designed to provide students with a cohesive Jewish community prior to the start of classes.

Aerial view of Northview, home to Central Florida Hillel.

For more information on Birthright, or for additional ways Central Florida area college students can become more involved with Israel engagement and advocacy, please contact Brittany Walters, Central Florida Hillel Israel Engagement Coordinator, at ISRL@GoHillel.org.

Central Florida Hillel (CFH) is located at UCF's premier student housing complex, Northview (http://northview.sdes.ucf.edu/), CFH is the umbrella for Jewish life on campus at the University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Stetson University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Barry College of Law.

"Serving over 6,000 young adults, CFH is the foundation from which a student journeys to become their ultimate self. Through engaging and meaningful programmatic opportunities that connect our students to each other, to their schools, and to the greater Jewish community; CFH is a catalyst for transformational growth for our students both as individuals, as well as young Jewish adults," said Aaron Weil, executive director of CFH.


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