UCF rabbi has led 18 Birthright Trips to Israel
June 8, 2018
Rabbi Chaim Lipskier, co-director of Chabad at the University of Central Florida, returned home tired but happy after leading his 18th Birthright trip to Israel. More than 700 students have joined Rabbi Lipskier on the Birthright Israel; Mayanot tours over the last nine years while another 600 have gone on trips organized by Chabad of UCF.
The 10-day trip travels all around the Holy Land, seeing ancient and modern sites, taking in Israel's history, culture, politics and stunning natural beauty. The intensive tour gives the participants a deep insight into their Jewish identity and its connection to the Jewish homeland.
Rabbi Lipskier joined the trips to act as a spiritual leader, while expert Israeli tour guides taught the students about the history and meaning of the sites they visited, from museums to beaches, and deserts to archaeological digs. The groups also spend a meaningful and restful Shabbat in Jerusalem.
"My experience as a participant on Mayanot Birthright was one of the most special experiences I've ever had as a young Jewish woman." said Sadie Weintraub, who went on Birthright with Rabbi Lipskier in May. "Being able to spend Shabbat at the Kotel added not only the connection to my Judaism, but also to the land of Israel."
Rabbi Lipskier encourages students to take part in the transformative Birthright trip, and many of the participants are inspired to become active in Jewish life on campus on their return.
"The Mayanot trips are always wonderful experiences and it's great to get to know the students so well and see them learn and grow," said Rabbi Lipskier, "But the most important thing is the lasting impact that it has on so many participants, giving them an inspirational grounding on which they can build a lifelong commitment to their Jewish Heritage."
Mayanot works in partnership with more than 250 Chabad on Campus centers around the world to provide Taglit-Birthright Israel trips.
Rabbi Lipskier is already looking forward to his 19th trip, planned to take place this winter.