From the Director

Fueled by electoral politics, the connection of diaspora Jews to Israel is no longer simply a Jewish issue, but now a topic of international debate.The relationship between politics and Israel is the focus of one of three new studies in our program of research examining the impact of Birthright Israel. Continue reading.

Israel, Politics, and Birthright Israel: Findings from the Summer 2017 Cohort

Leonard Saxe, Michelle Shain, Graham Wright, and Shahar Hecht

How effective is Birthright at providing a balanced educational program for participants of diverse backgrounds? This report examines the program's influence on feelings of connection to Israel, engagement with Israel, and views regarding particular Israeli policies and investigates whether the impact was different for political liberals versus conservatives.  Learn more

Birthright's Impact on Five Jewish Identity Groups: Findings from the Summer 2018 Cohort

Graham Wright, Shahar Hecht, and Leonard Saxe

By examining response patterns to questions about Jewish attitudes, the study identified five different types of Jewish identity among the young adults who applied to go on a Birthright trip in summer 2018: Ancestry, Secular Peoplehood, Casual Religious, Connected, and Committed.   Learn more

The Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel on Participants from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Germany

Sasha Volodarsky, Shahar Hecht, Michelle Shain, and Leonard Saxe 

This study focuses on two groups of Birthright participants: first, those from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and second, Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ) in Germany.   Learn more

The Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University is a multi-disciplinary research center dedicated to bringing the concepts, theories, and techniques of social science to bear on the study of contemporary Jewish life.