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Applicants to birthright israel soar

Birthright israel said it received 14,000 applicants for its spring and summer trips on the first day of registration.

More than 30,000 applicants have registered for birthright’s free trips to Israel since registration opened Feb. 12. Registration will run through the end of March. The program has sent some 160,000 Jews aged 18-26 on free 10-day trips since its founding in 2000.

The group will send about 20,000 young Jews to Israel from North America this spring and summer; it sent 17,000 this winter.

Birthright israel has been able to double the number of its trips since casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pledged $60 million to the group in late 2006.

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