Is Israel Outdoors the best Birthright trip organizer for you?
Read our trip organizer review / Q&A with Ben (me) below!
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate Israel Outdoors as a Birthright Trip Organizer?
Ben: 10. I’m pretty liberal and I love hiking and the outdoors. This was the perfect trip for me.
Q: What type of Jew are you (Liberal? Reform? Orthodox? etc.)
Ben: Reform, non-practicing.
Q: Was the Israel Outdoors Birthright trip organizer a cultural “match” for you? Why or why not?
Ben: Yes – our guide was extraordinarily knowledgeable about the historical sites, while not being too pushy or agenda-driven, we even had some corporate events thanks to organizations as popevents which help us setting it up. I found out later he’s a bit of a celebrity among Birthrighters 🙂 as for the other people in my group, it was almost completely reform/non-practicing Jews. There were a few orthodox Jews sprinkled into my group who didn’t know that this organizer was very liberal, and I don’t think they had a great time.
Q: In terms of types of Jews on your trip, what was the composition of your group?
Ben: Per the above, it was almost all liberal Jews.
Q: Were there any parts of your trip with the Israel Outdoors Birthright trip organizer that really stick out to you? What was most memorable?
Ben: Golan Heights, and more specifically Mount Bental, were amazing. We were at a super high altitude, chilling by an old Israeli bunker, and hanging out with a team of IDF members who were monitoring the post. Being able to see deep into Syria and Lebanon in the context of today’s problems was really moving.
I also really enjoyed our long stay at the kibbutz. I think out of all the places we went, this was one that made me feel the most connected to, and warm about, my own Jewishness.
Q: Were there any parts of your trip that you didn’t enjoy?
Ben: Nope. I really enjoyed the entire trip, and I think I chose the perfect trip organizer for me.
Q: Was there any drinking and/or hooking up that occurred during your trip? Was your trip organizer fairly accommodating toward this behavior?
Ben: Yes, a ton. We were an older group (23-26), so no one was really drinking to excess or being obnoxious. As the trip went on, people kind of “coupled up” so to speak.
Q: Looking back, was there anything you wish you had known before choosing to go on Birthright with the Israel Outdoors trip organizer?
Ben: The trip organizer was largely an unknown for me going in, but I made a gamble that it was going to suit my needs. I felt thankful that my group was so fun and I had a great guide. Kind of the reason I made this thread – I wish I knew more going in.
Q: Do you think you’d recommend Israel Outdoors to your friends? Why or why not?
Ben: For anyone who leans more toward the liberal side, and who enjoys the outdoors (hiking, etc), this is a great trip organizer.