JERUSALEM, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The global accounting firm Ernst & Young today released an independent study that for the first time quantifies the economic impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel on the Israeli economy. From its inception in 2000, the group has taken more than 350,000 participants through its program, which has contributed more than $825 million to the Israeli economy.
The report said that direct contributions such as travel, admissions and tour guides in Israel totaled $565 million. The breakdown included $228 million to ELAL/foreign airlines, $59 million to hotels, $41 million for meals, $28 million for bus transportation, $38 million site admissions/guided tours, and $72 million for security/related resources. An additional $100 million was paid for activities such as Taglit-Birthright Israel training institute for tour educators, Excel summer internship program, Genesis enrichment program for Russian speakers, Mifgashim -- multi day peer meetings with Israeli soldiers and students, Holocaust seminar with Yad Vashem and the BRI extension program.
There were also indirect contributions from participants' local spending, and long-term and unquantifiable contributions such as trip extensions and return trips, totaling $260 million equaling $50 million for trip extensions, $150 million for gifts, souvenirs, food and beverages, and $60 million from those who made Aliyah or return trips.
All amounts are in U.S. dollars and were spent in the first 13 years that Birthright has been in existence.
"For years we have conducted research showing our program's effectiveness in promoting Jewish continuity. With this study, we validate the important contribution we make to the Israeli economy," said Taglit-Birthright Chief Executive Office Gidi Mark. "This study shows the critical role we play as one of the leading tour operators in the country and the positive impact we make on businesses in Israel."
Young Jewish adults ages 18 - 26 from 64 countries and all 50 U.S. states coupled with 65,000 Israeli young adults experience visits to Jewish historical sites, history museums, Holocaust remembrance sites, Western Wall, arts and culture programs as well as touring, hiking, discussions, social events and more. Taglit-Birthright Israel focuses on three main areas: narratives of the Jewish people, contemporary Israel, and formative values of Judaism.
Taglit-Birthright Israel has a unique, historical and innovative partnership with the Government of Israel, thousands of individual donors and private philanthropists, and Jewish communities around the world through Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency of Israel. Visit www.BirthrightIsrael.com.
SOURCE Taglit-Birthright Israel