At a Birthright Israel event held on Tuesday night in Jerusalem, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) told participants, "I believe in your ability to accomplish anything you set your mind to."
"Just Like I arrived here as a young student from Kishinev and went on to assume some of the most significant positions of power in the state of Israel, you too have the possibility to achieve anything you chose and accomplish anything you set your mind to," Liberman said.
"I believe each and every Jew should be exposed to modern Israel and its culture in addition to the country's ancient history and heritage, and we are particularly excited for this unique event, celebrating the Russian speaking participants, who get to explore Israel for themselves."
Birthright Israel International CEO Gidi Mark said, "Hundreds of participants who took part in today’s event join 45,000 native Russian-speaking young Jewish adults who help us realize the importance of building bridges between Israel and Jewish communities worldwide.
Mrs. Dorit Holander Vice President of Community Relations, Genesis Philanthropy Group also spoke to the participants: "for the past eight years of our collaboration with Birthright Israel we have developed a unique program, specifically tailored to meet the needs and interests of Russian speaking young Jews. We view the ten day trip as an opportunity for you to begin a much greater journey, a Jewish journey that will last a lifetime."
A thousand young Russian-Jewish adults from the Former Soviet Union participated in the event, which was co-held by Birthright Israel and the Genesis Philanthropy Group and intended to provide Russian-speaking participants with various enrichment experiences while they are in Israel.
For the majority of Russian-speaking participants, the ten day trip to Israel marks not only their first visit to the country but also an opportunity to witness Israel's vast cultural wealth, beautiful landscapes and diverse society firsthand, taking that experience with them back home to their Jewish communities.