Like hundreds of thousands of other young Jewish men and women, Remy Roizen went to Israel for free with Birthright. But unlike many others, she decided she had to give back.
Beginning in the fall of 2008, Roizen helped found the Birthright Alumni Board, which serves both as a social networking organization for past Birthright participants and as a fundraising mechanism. The Board had its first major function in August 2009, and has, since then, grown and adapted.
Roizen was raised Conservative with a strong Jewish identity, and her father’s parents were Holocaust survivors. Although she had been to Israel with her family, traveling with her peers inspired her to become involved with the organization and see that others could share the same experience. “There was something really meaningful about this opportunity,” she says.
Roizen also sits on the Birthright Israel Foundation Board and serves as a liaison between the two groups. She is the first member of the Board who has been a student on a Birthright trip.
While it costs about $3,000 to send one participant on Birthright, everyone should contribute what they can to support the institution, she says. “It’s a gift for our generation we’ve taken advantage of,” says Roizen, “We have an obligation to cultivate it and make sure it endures.”
Roizen is currently in law school, and plans to pursue a career in criminal and constitutional law. She also does volunteer work with other organizations, including NARAL, a pro-choice organization, as well as Slingshot, the fund that honors and supports innovative Jewish organizations.
Flexible, too: Roizen used to be a gymnast, and her current hobbies include braving the flying trapeze.