The following are links to relevant news articles.
30.12.13 Taglit Record: 1,600 Participants Arrive In 1 Day
Over 350,000 young adults have come to Israel through Taglit in the past 13 years. The program aims to connect young Jews to the state of Israel and their Jewish identity through a free 10 day tour of the country.
Studies conducted at Brandeis University, located outside of Boston, have shown the lasting effect the program has on participants in terms of strengthening their Jewish identity, their connection to Israel, and their ability to promote the country.
The new record for Taglit comes at the end of a year (2013) in which 19,200 Jews made aliyah (emigrated to Israel), marking a 7% increase from 2012.
27.12.13 Government to Encourage Greater French Aliyah
Three-pronged program to encourage mass aliyah of Jews from France. Focus on housing, jobs, education.
Youth programs will also be expanded to cater more toward French Jewry. The MASA program, which provides pro-Israel community and activities in a one-year program framework, and the Taglit/Birthright trips, which bring young North Americans to Israel on a free tour, will also be expanded toward that end.
The program will be limited to three years, and the target is to double the number of immigrants each year: 6,000 in 2014, 12 thousand in 2015 and 24 thousand in 2016.
13.02.13 Jewish growth speeds up in Judea & Samaria according to data gathered by the Ministry of the Interior for the year 2012. The figures showed a 4.7% rate of population growth among Israelis living in the region – a 0.5% growth in the growth rate compared to 2011.
11.01.13 To seek to connect with the land, and to overcome secular influence, that rejects God. see Birthright at Kibbutz
08.09.12 The need to teach Jews about the Torah is shown in this Jerusalem Post Article. Does any newspaper in the world speak of the need to teach the Bible? This is remarkable.
What point would there be in a revelation if there were no one to listen to it? The scroll is silent until the reader sounds out the words and the listener absorbs them.
On Shavuot, all we had to do was to say “We shall obey.” On Simhat Torah, on the other hand, we had to spend a year reading the entire Torah. That is a tremendous accomplishment that well deserves a true celebration. The problem is that not enough people really do it.
We have been called “The People of the Book,” and “the Book” is the Torah. Unfortunately, that Book remains unread by all too many and is not always well understood by those who do read it. In the first place, one of the tragedies of modern Jewish life in Israel and in the Diaspora is that the majority of Jews do not attend the synagogue regularly on Shabbat and therefore do not hear the Torah reading. What used to be taken for granted is simply not so anymore.
One would assume that in Israel, at least, the Torah would be transmitted to children in school, but obviously that is not the case except for religious schools. There is a certain amount of study of Tanach (Bible) in general schools, but by no means enough to ensure that a graduate of such a school knows the Torah.
To read the whole article J Post
17.07.12 More donations for Birthright-Taglit program
12.07.12 Ten years of Nefesh B’Nefesh a new group of 229 new olim – immigrants, to the uninitiated – has arrived, landing early Thursday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport on the first aliyah charter flight of summer 2012.
12.07.12 A planeload of Abraham’s progeny comes home from the U.S. and there is hardly a dry eye in the airport.
16.05.12 Israel Launches ‘Bible-Birthright’ Program
“Understanding the legacy of the Jewish people in modern Israel is inseparable from understanding the importance of our biblical history – our birthright,”
18.02.12 New Music Video Calls for Aliyah to Israel
“The song and video is a call for Jewish people to make aliyah and return to Israel. The song was written and composed by the husband and wife team of Yehuda and Rikva David who moved from the United States to Beit Shemesh.
Arutz Sheva – Israel National News spoke to the Davids about the song. “When my husband asked me to put some English lyrics to a melody that he composed, the first thing that came to my mind was to write a song about the history of the Jewish exile,” Rivka David states. “The ultimate goal is the redemption of our people. That’s what I feel most strongly about.”
“Rivka states. “That after so many years of exile the words of the prophets are all being realized, we are returning to our land from the four corners of the earth and many are returning to their religion as well.”
To see video
17.02.12 Masa Yisraeli: A Journey to Jewish Identity in Israel
“Masa Yisraeli is a six-day journey through Israel’s landscapes carefully designed to awaken within Israeli youth their innate need to understand their personal connection to their history, their heritage, their people and their land.
Uri Cohen, Masa Yisraeli’s CEO, told Arutz Sheva that the program currently focuses on Israeli youth but is going to expand to include youths from outside Israel as well.
“The main goal of the journey is to strengthen the participants’ Jewish and Zionist identity by increasing their commitment and connection to the State of Israel, to feel part of the Jewish people here in Israel,” said Cohen.”
22.09.11 Increase in Aliya
“This is a trend that has been increasing: Aliya is younger and better educated,“ Jewish Agency for Israel chairman Sharansky says.
Some 21,300 people made aliya during the Jewish year of 5771, the Jewish Agency for Israel announced on Wednesday – an increase of about 19 percent over the previous year.
For the third year in a row Jewish immigration from North America was up, reaching 4,070, opposed to 3,720 in 5770.
8.3.11 A Good Son Strives to Please His Father
This article from Israel National News argues for American Jewish aliya to Israel
While living in Israel is a Torah commandment, even for those who say otherwise, someone who wants to be saintly in his service of G-d will surely do everything he can to come here.
19.07.11 Lieberman calls on Chabad to encourage aliya
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on the Chabad movement to expand its indefatigable activities worldwide to include “bringing all the Jews from around the world here to Israel.”
Speaking at the Knesset during a Monday event honoring the emissaries of the hassidic movement stationed in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), the foreign minister noted the revolution the ubiquitous “shluchim” have brought to a part of the world where, until not too long ago, that kind of Jewish religious expression and activity was forbidden.
“The messiah must be on his way if there are so many delegates in the FSU,” he joked….
“But an even greater goal,” Lieberman continued, “is to not only preserve the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, but bring them all to Israel. This is more important than any foreign aid or diplomatic activity we engage in.
“If we succeed in bringing all the Jews here, we will be in an entirely different situation.
17.7.11 Taglit Mega Event on the benefits and change in participants,
Dave Goodman, 29, went on a Birthright trip in 2006 and returned to Canada determined to use his professional skills as a marketing supervisor to raise money for charitable causes in Israel.
“Working for major cooperate brands as I was at the time just didn’t seem as important as the history of my people and the history of the new Jewish state once I got back to Toronto,” he said during his speech. “The incredible story of the Jewish people, its resilience and success was much more interesting to me than the story of cooperate brands.”
3.7.11 Isarel National News: Jewish Agency: We’re Aiming Higher With New Aliyah Plan
“We’ve seen studies that show a clear connection between participation in Birthright and increased participation in Jewish community activities,” Gur says. “It’s clear that the first step to get them to make aliyah is to interface with Israel, and in order to get them to do that, you have to connect them to the Jewish community. Those who join Birthright enter a spiral that gets them into a relationship with Israel, one that will hopefully get them to make aliyah – or at least take the first step, by becoming more involved in their local Jewish communities.”
And that relationship is what western Jews are looking for. “If you fix the bureaucracy you get maybe a few hundred more olim, but if you help provide a vision – and a practical way to connect to that vision – you have a greater chance of succeeding with a far larger number of people.”
7.1.11 Announcement of funding for ‘Birthright’ program
The goal of the funding increase is to enable Taglit-Birthright Israel to bring 51,000 young Jewish adults annually on the 10-day free educational trip by 2013, which would mean that one in every two Jewish young adults worldwide will have gone to Israel on a Birthright Israel trip.