Madrichim Training Programs
Young adult leadership
Individuals, at least 22 years old, who have an appetite to serve as Birthright madrichim: to be role models for their peers and facilitators of their Birthright experience
Jewish Knowledge/Engagement Level of Participants
Madrichim must be committed to leading a Jewish life however they express that. They must have participated in a longer-term Israel experience; just having been on Birthright themselves is not enough no matter how skilled they are. Otherwise, they are quite diverse.
The immediate goal for those who design and deliver these training programs is to build the capacity of North American counselors to help Birthright fulfill its mission (help participants connect to their Jewish identities, to the land and people of Israel, and to their local Jewish communities, and be comfortable with Israel as part of their Jewish identity). Building these capacities, the Birthright team expects to empower individuals with life skills and Jewish knowledge that will enrich their own lives and the lives of others back home. What they learn won’t remain on the bus.
Birthright’s preparation of madrichim is structured as a pyramid. At the base of this structure, the thousands of individuals who seek to serve as madrichim must take a set of online courses that prepare them for their roles. Course content relates to Shabbat, sexual harassment, wellness, and facilitating respectful conversations. A smaller group, numbering in the hundreds, participates in partnership offerings focused, for example, on Shabbat and ritual, serving participants with accessibility needs, and more advanced conversation facilitation. Each year, a much smaller group of about 150 individuals (about half of whom are not Jewish professionals) are trained as Birthright Fellows. This is typically an in-person training that builds the capacities of individuals who commit to staffing at least three Birthright trips and who can serve as an “elite cadre of North American experiential Jewish educators to enhance Birthright Israel experiences.”