Birthright trippers visit Israel during war


February 16, 2024

Oded Antman

Birthright's current trips include all the typical highlights of the organization's tours, including this jeep tour, but also offer opportunities to volunteer and bear witness after Oct. 7.

When Alon Fishman visited Israel in early January on a group trip, it wasn't his first time in the country. But Fishman, 23, had never seen Israel like this before.

When his Birthright Israel group arrived at the Western Wall, they found it uncharacteristically empty, and the plaza featured a new memorial with the names of the 1,200 victims of the Oct. 7 attack. For Fishman, a native of Rockland County, New York, the muted visit was a poignant reflection of the times - and a powerful emotional experience.

"It was a blessing to have that space and time to reflect, and an opportunity I may never...

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