Birthright restarting trips from US to Israel, but UK participants must wait

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Birthright restarting trips from US to Israel, but UK participants must wait

UJIA says Brits must wait until it is 'declared safe for group travel', as Israel nears heard immunity with 5 million people vaccinated

Visitors to Israel on a Birthright trip
Visitors to Israel on a Birthright trip

Birthright will resume trips from American to Israel – but participants from the UK will still have to wait until it’s “declared safe for group travel.”

The organisation, which flies young Jews to Israel for a free 10-day visit, issued a statement this week saying it “will resume providing the gift of educational trips to Israel for eligible individuals aged 18-to-32 from the United States who are vaccinated or recovered.”

Participants will be required to test for coronavirus before boarding and upon arrival.

Birthright applications from the UK are open to those between 19-32,  meaning the majority would not have been vaccinated.

The UK has vaccinated more than 47 million people and Israel has given a jab to 60 percent of its population, making them two of the most vaccinated countries. In the UK the age for vaccine eligibility is now at 42. Israel announced that vaccinated tourists could visit from 23 May.

In a statement from UJIA, which runs trips from the UK, it said they will “resume once it is declared safe for group travel between the UK and Israel, when all participants can be vaccinated and when there is an agreed travel plan between both countries.”

The Birthright trips running from the US stipulate that they are eligible for participants aged 18-32 who are vaccinated or recovered from Covid.”

In the UK that age group has not yet been vaccinated and there is also currently no system in the UK that assesses whether people are ‘recovered’.”

This comes after Birthright was suspended last year due to the pandemic.

Israel tour, which takes more than 1,000 16-year-olds to Israel after completing their GCSEs was also cancelled for a second year running earlier in the month.

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

read more: