What our students say

“I’ve always been an avid traveler, so when I first heard about the Birthright trips to Israel, there was no doubt in my mind that I would go. Then when I researched more about it, I was overwhelmed by the staggering number of options available; tours for the religious, tours for college students, tours for religious college students, and on and on the list went. I wanted my Birthright trip to be memorable, but I also didn’t know what kind of itinerary would suit me best. Luckily, I met Louis Rosenberg, who introduced me to the Liberal Arts Birthright trip, which turned out to be perfect. Over the course of the ten-day trip, I saw ancient ruins, a magnificent cave, the stunning skyline of Tel Aviv from atop one of the tallest buildings in the city. I rode on camels and got a belated Bar Mitzvah at the Wailing Wall. And most importantly, I was with an amazing group of people. I cannot recommend the Liberal Arts Birthright trip more highly.”

Nicholas Villagra, Swarthmore College

“I would recommend this trip to any liberal arts student. Nothing typifies Mayanot Birthright’s interdisciplinary approach to understanding Israeli culture better than a typical Birthright day which consists of eating breakfast in an Arab village, spending our morning learning various archeological facts about ancient monuments, our afternoon talking with Israeli soldiers, and our night out on the town. I was consistently impressed by how knowledgeable and passionate our tour guides were and reminisce regularly about the great times I had on Birthright.”

Asher Sered, Swarthmore College

“The trip was perfectly arranged for a liberal arts background. In a single day you would visit places of historic and cultural significance, as well as explore breathtaking countryside and have a bit fun, be it in a bazaar or winery. The guides were exceptional and their knowledge of Israel, be it the biblical, Greco-Roman or contemporary, knew no bounds. I felt I gained an appreciation for the country I never would have gotten had I visited on my own. Though we were almost always on ‘tour’ the program felt near to a full immersive experience. We of course tagged all the typical places of interest, but we were also afforded opportunities to take part in discussions with key political figures and business leaders. I feel very fortunate to have been given the chance to have such an experience and will always look back on this trip with fond memories.”

Matthew Stern, Haverford College

“As a Jewish student at Bryn Mawr College, I have always struggled with finding a balance between my Judaism and the many other aspects of my life; studying, friends, the list goes on. What I found out on my Birthright trip with students from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore, and several other liberal arts colleges is that I am not alone in that struggle. Traveling throughout Israel with students of many backgrounds, yet all in similar journeys through liberal arts colleges and in the search to find out how Judaism will play a role in our lives led me to create stronger bonds with the people on my trip. When I got back to school, I saw friends from my trip on all three campuses at everything from Shabbat dinner to parties and I felt like a little bit of Birthright was at Bryn Mawr with me.”

Alex Kaplan, Bryn Mawr College

“The cliche ‘life changing experience’ is, in fact, an apt description of the Liberal Arts Birthright trip. From the natural (cliffs at Rosh Hanikra, Dead Sea) to the cultural (Shabbat at the Western Wall, coffee in a Beduin tent, perusing a Middle Eastern bazaar), the things I experienced on this trip were so far outside of anything I had known previously that they have caused me to live life with a new, more informed sense of perspective. On this trip, I was able to connect with my Jewish heritage and form a Jewish identity, something I never had before. The group became close nearly instantaneously and I formed relationships that have lasted far beyond the ten days in Israel. I would strongly recommend this trip to anyone eligible.”

Jesse Handler, Swarthmore College

“I was attracted to this trip because it brought together students and recent graduates from liberal arts colleges across the country; peers who were similarly interested in thinking critically while enjoying all that Israel has to offer. I loved the mix of tourist sites and off-the-beaten-path experiences, as well as the myriad opportunities to engage with thought-makers and average Israelis alike. I couldn’t have had this unique Birthright experience on any other trip, and that’s why I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to visit Israel with Mayanot on the Liberal Arts College track.”

Ariela Lovett, Mt. Holyoke College

“A tour guide wears a number of hats. Most important of all is to serve as a bridge between the sight being visited and the person coming to see that sight. A guide is also an educator. And although a great techer learns more from the student than the student from the teacher, An educator at the end of the day wants to educate. I especially enjoy guiding the Liberal Arts groups for the simple reason that I have the opportunity to guide to a group of people who really want to learn, both about the Land of Israel as well as about all of its peoples.”

-Mordechai Weiss, Trip Guide (Winter 2008, Winter 2009, Summer 2010), Jericho Discussion Leader (Summer 2012)

Our team

Photos from our last trip to Israel – Winter 2017