Taglit-Birthright Israel marked its 18th birthday on Aug. 21

with a series of events in Tel Aviv for 1,000 participants from the former Soviet Union, or FSU.

Festivities included self-navigated tours of Tel Aviv, a “Mayumana” show at the Abraham hostel, Zumba and beach volleyball, and a mega-event hosted by International CEO of Taglit-Birthright Israel Gidi Mark, as well as Genesis Philanthropy Group vice president for community relations Dorit Golender.

The celebration also featured an education fair showcasing a range of learning opportunities in Israel, as well as a nighttime dance party.

“We are proud to mark not only Taglit Birthright Israel’s 18th birthday, but also a record 5,000 participants arriving from the former Soviet Union countries this year,” Mark told attendees. “They joined over 50,000 FSU alumni who already took this life-changing journey.”

Birthright and Genesis have been in partnership for 10 years to design and provide enrichment experiences for young Russian-speaking Jews.

“I know that everything that you saw and heard, people that you have met, the land you’ve touched—all this will become a trigger for your own inner discoveries,” said Dorit Golender. “We know that, because more than 50,000 young Russian-speaking Jews have already made this journey, connected with their spiritual and historical roots, and rediscovered the meaning of the unity of our people.”