JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on participants in the Birthright Israel program to become advocates for Israel when they return home.
“I want you to enjoy yourselves, go back to your homeland and tell the truth about Israel," Netanyahu told some 3,000 Birthright participants Wednesday at the Taglit-Birthright Mega Event in Jerusalem. "Tell them about a country where you can be free — free to work, free to criticize the government. A country in which a woman is the Supreme Court chief justice, a woman is a general in the military and a country in which a woman can sit anywhere she wants to."
Major Birthright funders Michael Steinhardt and Lynn Schusterman also spoke at the event.
The Birthright program, which provides free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews aged 18 to 26, is entering its 13th year. Nearly 300,000 young Jewish adults from 54 countries have participated in the program.