Back from Birthright Israel Blog

Back from Birthright Israel Blog

Meet Alumnus Ari Rothschild

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Meet Ari Rothschild

When did you go on a Birthright Israel trip and with which organizer? How was it?: I went on the December-January Shorashim trip. The trip was a refreshing reminder of how incredible the Land of Israel is.


Why did you decide to go to Israel: There is a feeling that you get while in Eretz Yisrael. A unique sense of belonging and family that I don’t believe can be found anywhere else. I had forgotten what that feeling was over the years and wanted to experience it again.


What is your favorite trip memory/funniest story: Bus 109 and I had the pleasure of visiting Mitzpeh Ramon, a massive rock formation overlooking the Negev Desert. Sitting amongst the breathtakingly vast backdrop of the desert surrounded by new havarim was a transcendental experience that l will never forget.


You are from: Highland Park, IL


Where are you living now: Chicago, IL


Favorite food from Israel: The Shawarma in Israel can’t be beat!


Your claim to fame/fun fact: I had my second Bar Mitzvah on the Shorashim trip. What a great time!

Anything else you want to share: Shameless plug: If you have the opportunity, go on a Birthright trip. Great people, fun organizers and a fantastic experience!

Meet Alumnus Alex Raynor

(Alumni Stories) Permanent link

Meet Alex Raynor

When did you go on a Birthright Israel trip and with which organizer? How was it?: I went on a Shorashim trip this past December/January, and it was absolutely amazing!

Why did you decide to go to Israel: It's hard to tell what's really happening in Israel with so many different biases floating around in America. I wanted to experience Israel firsthand and learn from actual Israelis, so I could form my own opinion and better advocate for Israel at home. Also...shakshuka.

What is your favorite trip memory/funniest story: Climbing Masada in pouring, freezing rain on New Year's Day was definitely the most memorable part of the trip. We were the only group to climb that day, and it was a very exciting to way to start the new year. Also...eating at Dr. Shakshuka.

You are from: Houston, Texas

Where are you living now: Chicago

How do you pay the bills: I work at a law firm and I act.

Favorite food from Israel: Falafel...jk...shakshuka

Your claim to fame/fun fact: I randomly ran into my twin sister while on Birthright! Our trips were not supposed to meet up, but we saw each other for about two minutes while visiting Mt. Arbel. That's fun.

Anything else you want to share: Go on a Shorashim trip! It was one of the most fun things I've ever done, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who's eligible!

Meet Alumnus Eric Milman

(Alumni Stories) Permanent link

Meet Eric Millman

When did you go on a Birthright trip and with which organizer?  How was it? 
I went on the Shorashim Chicago young professional’s trip from December 16th-27th.  The trip was incredibly done from the pre-trip information to the organization and scheduling throughout the trip.  In the past, I have gone on many trips with groups of 50+ people and sometimes it is hard in a group like this to create a personalized experience while on the trip.  I thought that the format and time allowed for discussions and reflections allowed for the right balance of thought and reflection with free time and fun.  Overall, the trip was amazing and I couldn’t have imagined it going any better than it had.

Why did you decide to go to Israel? 
In my upbringing, Israel was always a place that was talked about and important to my family.  We took a family trip to Israel when I was young, but I do not remember much of it and was not left with a lasting impression of what Israel was.  I had known about the birthright trip and had always planned on going before I turned 26.  After a lot of procrastination over the years, I finally took the time to go (I’m 25 now) and get the change to re-assimilate with Israel and my Jewish heritage.

What is your favorite trip memory/funniest story?
My favorite memories were built through the whole trip, the most noteworthy being the people and friends I gained from the trip.  In your post-college years, it isn’t easy or every-day that you are able to gather with people of your age and similarities to experience a country, or event together.  Getting to know these people and hopefully retaining them as friends now and in the future makes the trip itself worthwhile. 

Where are you from?
Austin, TX

Where are you living now?
Chicago, IL

How do you pay the bills?
I started a company, True Spin Dental, LLC, about 7 years ago repairing and selling dental equipment and handpieces.  I have spent the years sourcing and manufacturing parts for these pieces of equipment and retailing them to other repair shops and wholesalers across the country.

What was your favorite food from Israel?