The Impact of Birthright Israel
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Because of generous donations to the Federation, Boris Goldsteyn, 29, is one of the thousands of Clevelanders whose life has changed through his Birthright experience. Boris was one of the leaders of the December 2013 Cleveland Birthright trip.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Boris has few memories of his Jewish involvement in Cleveland after his family came in 1993, but a strong Jewish identity motivated him to register for a Birthright trip six years ago. Boris’ first experience was meaningful and planted a seed for him; when he graduated college and began his professional career in Cleveland, he specifically reached out to the Federation.
From an initial meeting with Federation professionals, Boris began an extensive involvement in the Jewish community, including the opportunity to lead this past winter’s Birthright trip. His experience leading the trip verified for him his involvement in the Federation and reconfirmed his commitment to Israel and the Jewish community. On the last day of the trip, Boris became a bar mitzvah. The Hebrew name he took at his bar mitzvah, Baruch, is appropriate; he feels blessed for everything he has received and experienced.
Generous gifts have also helped Israelis and young Jews from across the world create unbreakable bonds through the mifgash, a meaningful interaction between 4-6 young Israeli soldiers and the trip participants. With over 65,000 young Israeli soldiers and thousands of groups participating from 64 countries, this support of Birthright has created countless long-lasting connections.