Friday, February 3, 2012
Taglit-Birthright Israel is an organization that sponsors free 10-day heritage trips to Israel for Jewish young adults between 18 and 26 years old. (Taglit is the Hebrew word for discovery.) Birthright Israel's goals are to diminish divisions between Israel and Jewish communities around the world and to strengthen participants' personal Jewish identity and connection to Jewish history and culture.
As of summer 2011, over 250,000 individuals (over 22,000 each year), from 52 different countries have participated since the trips began in the winter of 2000, and 70% of trip participants came from the United States. From 2007, annual capacity was increased to 37,000 participants a year.
You're probably thinking: What an amazing success story. And you're right. But all this good will doesn't make Birthright Israel exempt from the kind of sharp parody that Saturday Night Live uses to skewer everything and everyone who makes news. And in Israel, Eretz Nehederet is the TV show that is often called the Israeli Saturday Night Live.
Eretz Nehederet has chosen Taglit-Birthright Israel as this year's target of its politically incorrect satire. In its first program of the season, Eretz Nehederet features a running parody of a Birthright trip to Israel that mocks American Jews for their enthusiasm and naivete (and obesity and JAPpiness, of course) and Israelis for their gold-digging and trigger fingers.
It doesn't have a happy ending. In fact there is no ending because it's a long running gag. If they keep releasing episodes with English subtitles, we'll keep bringing them to you. Just be aware that this is what Israeli viewers consider funny, given the high ratings the show keeps getting. We're sure some of the stereotypes are right on, but that's what they are...stereotypes. Just something to keep in mind while you're laughing. Enjoy!
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)