Title

Whose Birthright? Evaluating the Impact of Birthright trips to Israel on American Jewish Identity in the #MeToo and #BoycottBirthright Era

Date of Award

Winter 12-2019

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Major

International Studies

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

International Studies

First Advisor

John Zarobell

Abstract

This thesis critically examines both the impact of Birthright Israel trips on the formation of Jewish American identity but also confronts disparities in the participants’ experiences and the current evaluation methods being used to judge the ‘success’ of the trips. In 2018, the rise of the #MeToo and #BoycottBirthright movements coincided, and both participants of the trip and female educators called for a change in both the Birthright itinerary and supposed “goals” that were seeped in misogyny and an erasure of the Palestinian narrative. This research brings the two seemingly separate issues together by looking at the issues with the evaluation and the real issues that undergraduate participants of the trip care about.

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