Birthright Israel is a program that sends Jewish students between the ages of 18-26 on ten-day long trips to Israel—for free. It was founded in 2000 to help young Jewish people explore their roots, and to care for, and perhaps even move to, Israel. In the past, we have known of one or two Jewish believers in Jesus who were sent home from this trip because of their beliefs, even though they were not asked to state their beliefs on the application.

This month Birthright Israel has made it official: Messianic Jews need not apply as they will not be accepted on the program; the application now makes that abundantly clear and screens out Jews who embrace Jesus as Messiah and Lord. To read about Birthright Israel’s policy of excluding Messianic Jews, click here.

Meanwhile, Jews for Jesus is planning the third year of “Massah,” our own program for college-aged Jewish believers in Jesus who want to explore their identity, grow in discipleship within a community of their peers, and reach out to Israelis with the good news of Jesus.

To read about Jews for Jesus’ Massah program, click here.

For stories and photos from Massah 2008 (reported in our August RealTime) click here.