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Is Birthright “Working”?

Higher levels of attachment to Israel based on youth and travel

Irin Carmon
June 14, 2012

Each day, The Scroll will feature a post from our new Birthright Israel travel blog, The Roll. Get on the bus here.

The authors of the Jewish Community Study of New York read into their data declining engagement with Israel, but over at Brandeis’s Cohen Center, Ted Sasson sees something different: Based on age levels and travel to Israel, the existence of Birthright correlates with levels of attachment to Israel.

“As the authors acknowledge,” Sasson writes, “attachment is higher in the 18-34 than in the 35-49 age group.” In an earlier study, Sasson points out, “We attributed this somewhat surprising observation to increased travel to Israel among younger American Jews—a result of the launch of Birthright Israel in 1999. In the New York study, as well, we see that Jews in the 18-34 age group were more likely to have visited Israel than Jews in the 35-49 age group.”

Of course, judging by today’s featured post on The Roll, that’s attachment to Israel. Not necessarily to Israelis, were they ever to encounter any.

Irin Carmon is a senior correspondent at New York magazine and co-author of The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her Twitter feed is @irin.