Stephanie Lowenthal, birthright israel’s 100,000th participant, arrived on Sunday afternoon in Israel. I’m not sure how they made her the 100,000th, but it is certainly a fine choise. She is a 26-year-old New Yorker who works for the communications department of the NASDAQ Stock Market, and they will no doubt capitalize off her publicity and marketing experience.
Having staffed a birthright israel trip, I can say with full certainty that this experience works for most of the Jewish young people who participate. One of the more impressive aspects of the program is how much money has been spent in the Jewish homeland by the participants and on their behalf by the program.
The Jerusalem Post article reports that, “Participants have traveled for 27,200 days on tour buses and slept in 300,000 hotel rooms. They have spent a total of $17,000,000 in cafes, $4,800,000 on entrance fees into tourist sites, $7,300,000 on tour buses and $27,600,000 in personal purchases. According to birthright, over $182 million in revenue has been generated.”