This Summer Was the Biggest Birthright in Texas Hillel History | Shalom Austin

This Summer Was the Biggest Birthright in Texas Hillel History

International News, The Jewish Outlook

Aug 29, 2022

Students on one of five buses pose with a longhorn flag in front of the Western Wall. Courtesy: Sade Storthz

By: Sade Storthz 

Texas Hillel hosted five buses of Jewish Longhorns as Summer 2022 marked the return of Birthright trips. 

After the Birthright Israel experience was essentially put on hold during the pandemic, thousands of students across the country traveled to Israel this summer to connect to the Holy Land. Texas Hillel received an influx of interest as underclassmen and graduating students pined to go on the first trip carried out since Winter 2019. 

Ten Texas staff led five buses comprising of approximately 120 Jewish Longhorns and several dozen friends from 30 other universities. Around half a dozen came from Austin! The students participated in a range of activities from celebrating Shabbat in Jerusalem, to floating in the Dead Sea, to exploring the nightlife in Tel Aviv. 

The best part of the trip, however, is that it didn’t end in Israel. Three of the five buses were composed entirely of underclassmen who are returning to Austin in the Fall with a new network of friends. 

In the words of rising Junior Ethan Liebnik, “Going on Birthright with Texas Hillel is the best decision I’ve ever made. I couldn’t imagine going to Israel with any other Jew Crew. I had an incredible time there and can’t wait to return to campus and see my Jewish Longhorn friends.” 

With the success of this past summer, Texas Hillel says that it is already looking forward to the Winter 2022 trip, and they have begun accepting applications. 

For more information, contact IACT Coordinator, Sade Storthz at sstorthz@texashillel.org. 

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