Is Birthright Really Free Like 'Broad City' Shows? Abbi & Ilana Are Headed To The Motherland
As Ilana is currently unemployed in Season 3 of Broad City, she's understandably concerned about money. Yet, she still gets to go on an amazing trip with her best friend since Abbi and Ilana are headed to Israel on Broad City . The Jewish BFFs spent almost the entirety of the April 13 episode, "Getting There," documenting their journey to the airport for their trip. However, as Ilana notes when they finally get on the airplane and meet their tour coordinator Jared, portrayed with creepy perfection by Seth Green, their Birthright-like trip to Israel is actually free. So for those out there wondering, is Birthright really free?
If you are completely unfamiliar with the concept of Birthright, Green explained that "Birthmark" (Broad City's irreverently funny version of the real journey) "is an all-expense-paid trip to Israel provided by your living ancestors, so we're seated according to match potential." While that match potential bit isn't the truth, Taglit-Birthright Israel really is a 10-day, free, and educational trip to Israel for young Jewish adults from 18 to 26 years old. According to the Birthright Israel Foundation page, there are over 30,000 individual donators each year from the Jewish community that help fund the trip for young people, like Abbi and Ilana from Broad City.
While there are eligibility rules for Birthright Israel, and not all applicants can be accepted, (which makes me wonder how in the world Ilana got approved for Birthmark), there is no "catch" to this opportunity as the website states in its FAQs. Accepted applicants to Birthright just have to put down a deposit that is refunded once the trip is complete. And, the trip includes round-trip airfare, hotels, transportation, and two meals a day, so it's no wonder that in a world full of "too good to be true" offers that Ilana laughingly says Birthmark "makes no sense."
Fortunately, Abbi and Ilana made it on the plane in time to depart with their Birthmark group during the first part of their two-part season finale. Unfortunately, don't expect the girls to actually touchdown in Israel. The Season 3 finale is called "Jews on a Plane" and that does mean that the episode takes place on the airplane. The newspaper Forward reported back in October that there was no filming in Israel because Broad City had canceled its plans to travel there due to violence in the Middle Eastern nation.
Still, you can expect plenty of Jewish-themed shenanigans when the season finale airs at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20 on Comedy Central. And, don't think for one second that Broad City didn't plan for its season finale to land on the stoner holiday of 4/20 — after all, Ilana did pack weed in her vagina (hidden from airport security, thanks to her Shark Tank, patent pending product "period pants") for this cultural — and free — trip to Israel.
Now that you know that the Birthright trip is actually free, you may consider applying yourself if you are a Jewish young adult. Yet, how about that whole unsettling reproductive match aspect? While it was a joke from the show, I was fairly amused to find that another FAQ on the Birthright Israel site is, "If I meet my spouse on a Birthright Israel trip, do we get a free honeymoon?" (The answer? No.) However, don't get too concerned for our Broad City ladies since I in no way think that Abbi or Ilana will be meeting their potential spouses during their Birthmark high jinks.
Images: Comedy Central (4)