IU Hillel is SO  Grateful to
Birthright Israel/
Birthright Israel Foundation 
and Seed the Dream Foundation
Memories from a 
great trip!







Birthright at Hillel 
Helene G. Simon 
Hillel Center
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 Introduction
IU Hillel is privileged to be a BICEP (Birthright Israel Collaborative Enhancement Project) Campus Partner.  We led 80 students on Birthright Israel trips on two BICEP buses during the summer of 2016.  This wonderful partnership is dedicated to providing students with deep and lasting connections to Israel through enriched trip preparation, enhanced participant experiences in Israel and stronger post-trip engagement.  While there were many highlights of the trip one of the most meaningful was the time students spent with "their" Israelis--soldiers from Israel Defense Forces who were full trip participants. Having Israelis on the trip for the entire 10 days gave students a unique opportunity  to connect with peers who are currently serving their country.  Most Birthright Israel trips spend only five of their ten days with these soldiers, which is one of the many reasons why IU Hillel is so extremely grateful to Birthright Israel/Birthright Israel Foundation and Seed the Dream Foundation for giving IU students a truly amazing, impactful, and life changing experience on Birthright Israel!
 Highlights of an Amazing Trip   

These fantastic videos of BICEP Birthright Israel Bus 1327 shares two students' best memories
  
Highlights of  Birthright Israel: Hillel, Indiana University Summer 2016 by 
IU student, Shelby Border
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Indiana Hillel Birthright Trip Summer 2016 through the Lens of Syd Kay
 Birthright Israel: Hillel, Indiana University Summer 2016
through the lens of Syd Kay,
IU Class of 2018
 Testimonials
Testimonial from an IDF Soldier  0n Bus 1327:

Testimonial from a Parent of a Participant:

Testimonial from the  IU Hillel Assistant Director and Birthright Israel fellow Megan Garrett:

Testimonial from a Participant:

Testimonial from a Parent of a Participant:

Testimonial from a Participant:

Testimonial from a Participant:
Te
B'nei Mitzvah ceremony while on Birthright Israel
Bat Mitzvah ceremony of Ellen Voskoboynik in Jerusalem while on Taglit-Birthright Israel
B'nei Mitzvah ceremony in Jerusalem while on Birthright Israel
Follow Up 
Programming and Reunions

IU Hillel Birthright Israel Reunion in Chicago Oct 2015
 Birthright Israel: Hillel, Indiana University Reunion in Chicago

Approximately 25 members of the summer Birthright Israel: Hillel, Indiana University  BICEP buses along with IU Hillel staff including the Israel fellow gathered together for a Birthright Israel Reunion in Chicago. The event was co-sponsored by Stand with US. Assaf Grunberg, the Central Region Campus Director of Stand with Us presented to the students about the BDS movement and anti-semitism on college campuses across the United States.
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Birthright Israel and Camp Reunion Nov 11, 2017 at IU Hillel
Birthright Israel and Camp Reunion Shabbat, Nov 11, 2017 at IU Hillel 
Special Enhancements for our BICEP Buses
These programs  were made available to our BICEP buses by  Birthright Israel/Birthright Israel Foundation and Seed the Dream Foundation through the special enhanced programs for participants during their Birthright Israel trip.
  
COGAT Overview Presentation to  Birthright Israel: 
Hillel, Indiana University Summer 2016 BICEP Buses. 80 students students were privileged to hear from  Hen  Mazzig (Lt) from the IDF about COGAT -- The Coordinator of Government Activities in the territories. 

COGAT Overview presentation to 
 Birthright Israel: Hillel, Indiana University 
Summer 2016 Buses 

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A Visit to Save a Child's Heart
Students learned about this humanitarian organization that improves the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries by providing life saving heart surgery to children who suffer from heart disease and cannot get adequate medical care in their home countries.


Save a Child's Heart staff member welcomes the  IU Hillel students  and explains the mission of the organization and answers the students' questions 

 

Impact of the Israeli Soldiers
 
"Fast forward through the rest of the trip and the experiences we had and I can easily say these 10 days were something I have never experienced before. One of the greatest aspects of the trip was being immersed into Israeli culture with our five Israeli soldiers who traveled with us for the entire ten days. It's amazing to me that the soldiers are our age: 20-21 years old and protecting the state of Israel. Unlike the American students on the bus who attend college, these young adults are held responsible to protect the homeland. I often take Israel for granted; I always assume it will be there for me when I need it. However, these ten days allowed me the opportunity to appreciate the people who protect our country to allow us a Jewish state. It's impossible to put my gratitude for the soldiers into words, but this experience allowed me to better understand the history of our country and the triumphs the soldiers have endured to allow students like me to travel through Israel. We formed bonds with the soldiers that we never imagined would happen. It's safe to say that our Birthright experience was enhanced by the addition of our soldiers and the friendships we made will be indefinite.

I'm at a loss for words to truly sum up my experience because I never could've imagined a trip being so special and having the impact that it did on me. These ten days were more than just traveling through Israel. These ten days can be defined by forming friendships, appreciating the Jewish religion and the Jewish state, and creating a bond with a country that I never thought was possible."
 
From Alyssa, IU  Class of 2018 
Summer Birthright Israel 2016
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Gil, Soldier on Indiana Hillel Birthright trip for 10 days expresses his feelings of what the trip did for him and the students.
What the soldiers say:
Gil Cohen, a soldier from one of our BICEP buses expresses his feelings about the impact the trip had on him and the students.

Students on BICEP Buses Inspired to Connect with Hillel, Israel and Jewish Life
There are so many stories to tell about the long term impact that Birthright Israel - BICEP buses have had on the students, so we will share just some of the highlights through pictures...

Just a few of the many students who have continued to be involved at IU Hillel post Birthright Israel
Watch the short video above to see:
Just a few of the many students who have continued to be involved at IU Hillel post Birthright Israel

 Thank you from the bottom of  our hearts...

IU Hillel BICEP Buses are most grateful to the Birthright Israel/Birthright Israel Foundation and Seed the Dream Foundation for their very generous grant which enabled greater learning about Israel; allowed us to build much stronger and more meaningful relationships and learn more deeply about Israel from our soldiers during our trip as a result of them spending the entire 10 days of the trip with us; and has enabled continued and important follow up, education and community building upon our return to Indiana University.
 
We are so grateful to Birthright Israel/Birthright Israel Foundation and Seed the Dream Foundation for making our visit to places like Save a Child's Heart and the Canine Unit of the IDF such meaningful experiences.  Thank you for providing our students with such impactful and life changing opportunities. 

Rabbi Sue Silberberg                Phillip Silberberg
Executive Director                   Development Director

Indiana University Helene G. Simon Hillel Center   
730 E. 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47401
(812) 336-3824