National Trips | Ages 18-22 and 22-26
Our most popular trips, URJ Kesher national trips are open to participants from all over the United States and Canada and welcome participants from all backgrounds. These trips are divided into groups ages 18-22 and 22-26. From Jerusalem to Masada, Tiberias to Tel Aviv, if you are looking for a transformative experience inspired by Reform Judaism, our National Trips are the trips for you. From the same people who brought you NFTY, experience Israel in an inclusive environment for a fun and meaningful adventure. See more: Sample Itinerary
Eco Israel | Ages 22-26
The Eco Israel bus will explore and discover, up-close, the remarkable variety of environmental initiatives in Israel, through the lens of ecology and environment WITHOUT missing out on all of the highlights of a classic URJ Kesher Birthright tour. During the tour, the group will visit four main regions in Israel: North, Centre, Jerusalem, and South. In each region, you will encounter local community members, and will gain hands-on experience volunteering with local Israeli activists who are working on unique projects that focus on four elements: agriculture, nature, community, and sustainability. Apply Now.
LGBTQ and Allies Trip | Ages 20-26
URJ Kesher’s LGBTQ Birthright Israel experience is an inspiring journey through the Jewish story and the Land of Israel. In the spirit of a tolerant and inviting LGBTQ environment, we will explore Israel from a progressive Jewish perspective. Shabbat will be celebrated in a fully egalitarian and joyful manner. Reflection sessions afford an opportunity to engage with the meta-questions of the Jewish search for meaning and one’s connection to the future of the liberal Jewish community. These trips are divided into groups ages 20-26 and open to anyone eligible for the Birthright Israel Gift, regardless of sexual orientation. Apply Now.
NFTY Alumni Trip | Ages 18-22
Join your NFTY friends from across North America and travel through Israel with the same folks who make NFTY in Israel a reality each summer. Already been to Israel? This trip is designed for those who are looking to return to Israel for another great adventure, this time as adults!
URJ Camps Alumni Trip | Ages 18-22
Join your URJ Camp friends from across North America and travel through Israel with the same folks who make URJ Camps a reality each summer. URJ Camp Alumni trips are based on the core URJ Kesher itinerary while traveling with the friends you know from camp. See more: Sample Itinerary
- Camp Ki Tov (Winter Season Only)
- Camp Mountain Chai (Winter Season Only)
- Camp Daisy and Harry Stein (Winter Season Only)
- URJ Greene Family Camp (Winter Season Only)
- URJ Camp Harlam
- URJ Camp Coleman (Winter Season Only)
- URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute (Winter Season Only)
Campus Trips | Ages 18-22
In addition to our national 18-22 year old trips, each year URJ Kesher partners with a number of local Hillel organizations and Federations to provide private Birthright Israel experiences for specific campuses. Whether traveling alone or with a group of friends, campus trips are the perfect way for undergrads, age 18-22, to experience Israel with a new community from your campus. The best part is that you can then stay in touch with the friends from your trip locally after your return from Israel. Campus trips are based on the core URJ Kesher itinerary. See more: Sample Itinerary
- Hillels of Northern Texas (Winter Season Only)
- Lafayette College Hillel
- Muhlenberg College Hillel
- University of Missouri – Columbia Hillel
Community Trips | Ages 22-26
In addition to our national age 22-26 year old trips, URJ Kesher partners with a select number of URJ affiliated congregations and camps to providea unique Birthright Israel experience for specific cities and regions. If you are excited about the opportunity to make 40 new friends that you can hang out with back at home and keep your traveling memories alive, URJ Kesher has options for you. Community trips are based on the core URJ Kesher itinerary. See more: Sample Itinerary
- Arza Canada
- New York Area Congregations
- Seattle Area Community
- Temple Ahavat Shalom of Northridge, CA
- Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco
- Temple Beth El of Orange County, CA
- Temple Emanu-El of NYC
- Temple Beth Sholom of Miami Beach, FL
- Congregation Beth Israel of Northfield, NJ
Inspired by Reform Judaism
As a project of the Union for Reform Judaism, you can be sure our trips embody values important to you – inclusiveness, open-minded thinking, and bold ideas. We welcome people from all backgrounds as part of a journey that is both meaningful and a true adventure.
An Open-Minded Approach
Traveling to Israel can be a deeply personal experience, and our itineraries are designed to both inspire and challenge you to ask more questions. More than just a comprehensive Israel tour, the Kesher itinerary highlights innovative initiatives in Israel and connects you with young, forward-thinking leaders.
A Not-Profit Organization With a Focus on You
URJ Kesher is a not-for-profit organization with a proud tradition of reliably serving the Jewish world since 1873. Our singular focus is to provide you with an extraordinary Birthright Israel experience – without regrets.
Making a Deeper Connection in Israel
The word Kesher is Hebrew for “connection,” and joining our experience is about connecting with Israel on a more meaningful level. Kesher’s specially designed itinerary isn’t just a collection of sites and tours, but a journey through the land, people, and history of Israel. You’ll experience the 3000-year story of the Jewish People where it happened and how it happened.
Bonding with Peer Staff
Each Birthright Israel trip is staffed by an Israeli Guide and two North American Peer Staff. On a URJ Kesher trip, we make sure that our Peer Staff are in their mid-20′s or 30′s. Why? Because we want our participants to connect with their trip staff on a personal level. URJ Kesher has amazing staff, and you can look forward to making lasting friendships with your fellow participants and with your trip staff for years to come.
A Focus on Informal Education
The URJ has been sponsoring programs in Israel for young adults for over 50 years. A trip with URJ Kesher is about having a truly enjoyable experience in Israel while learning about Israel’s history, culture, and people along the way. Philosophically, URJ Kesher believes in the importance of informal education – or learning by doing, seeing, and feeling. We tend to avoid traditional classroom learning and seminars, and spend more time immersed in the local culture.
Inspired by Reform Judaism
URJ programs champion the values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), inclusiveness, open-minded thinking, and community building. Our Taglit-Birthright Israel trips welcome people from all backgrounds as part of a journey that is both meaningful and a true adventure. Learn More: Kesher’s Advantage
Meet Our Staff
Welcome to the URJ Kesher family. We are honored to have the opportunity to share the magic of a Birthright Israel experience with you! Our staff in Israel and North America come from varied backgrounds and bring a thoughtful and caring approach to each and every trip.
North American Office
- Paul Reichenbach – Director of Camp and Israel Programs
- Laurence Jacobs – North American Program Coordinator
- Rebecca Bigman – Israel Programs Coordinator
- Daniel Garwood – Israel Programs Registrar