Shimon Peres 1923 – 2016

14457474_1173735652672696_3807868112695001605_nIt is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Shimon Peres z”l.  A giant among men, Peres distinguished himself not only among his generation of Israeli heroes, but as a statesman and diplomat on the world stage.

Peres served in every major role in the Israeli government including Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister and Prime Minister. He was the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 in recognition of his role in the Oslo Accords.  In his last official role, as the President of the State of Israel,  Peres continued to innovate and to inspire all.

During his more than six decades of public service, his work was dedicated to the pursuit of peace and to a universal vision of justice and harmony.  His devotion to and efforts to realize the idea that Israel can truly serve as “a light unto the nations” will long remain an inspiration to Zionists, Jews, and citizens of the world.

Beit Ha’am – Israel Education Resources


The Beit Ha’am – House of the Nation – program was developed by the Department for Diaspora Activities of the World Zionist Organization to encourage discussion on the subject of Zionist identity and attitudes to the State of Israel.

The program includes diverse traditional and modern texts on a range of subjects. Through encounter with these texts, we hope to encourage lively discussion of Zionist identity among Diaspora Jews in general, and the younger generation, in particular. The discussion will address what binds the Jewish people, wherever they may be, as well as what divides and separates us.

We will consider the meaning of Jewish political independence of the people dwelling in Zion and the reciprocal relationships between Jews living in Israel and those who live in the Diaspora. This represents an opportunity for everyone, irrespective of prior knowledge, to get to know and enhance their knowledge about the significance of Zionism in the 21st century, to engage in discussion, reflect on its substance and the extent of its relevance to our lives.

Below, you can find resources from the Beit Ha’am program. You may have to scroll down to the last page in order to find the beginning of the English booklets.

All links in purple are guides for educators and leaders.  The guides are tools to teach about Israel through different activities.


The establishment of the State of Israel

United Nations Vote for a Partition Plan – 1947

Why Not Uganda


The concept of Zionism

Defining Zionism Workshop


Israeli Leaders

Ben Gurion Leader’s Guide

Menachem Begin on Israeli issues

Yitzhak Rabin – Yitzhak Rabin and the peace process – Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Ceremony

About Leadership


About Israeli society

The Tent Cities: Israel Social Protest 2011 – PostersEducationHealthHousing

A Guide to discuss social issues in Israel

Operation Protective Edge

Identity Issues : Jewish and Zionist identity

Israeli Law: The Supreme Court, Israeli Laws

The Israeli Political System

Israeli Elections


Jewish Holidays




Rosh Hashana – The New Year


Tisha B’Av

Tu B’Shvat: Haggadah – Seder

Yom Ha’ Atmazut – Independence Day

Yom Ha’ Shoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom Ha’Zikaron – Memorial Day

Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day


Women in Israeli Society – FeminIsrael

Women in Israeli History

Women in Israeli Society

Arab Women in Israel

Ethiopian Women in Israel

Haredi Women in Israel

Marriage and Religion

Russian Women in Israel

Women in Israeli Society Leader’s Guide

Women in Politics

Women in the IDF

Women in the Job Market

Female Figures in Israeli History 

A Comprehensive list of Israeli female figures

Israeli Literature and Poetry

Poetry Program

Is it true, by Leah Goldberg

Beit Ha’am monthly anthologies

Month of Elul (last month of the Jewish calendar)

Month of Tishri


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Join us at the Celebrate Israel Parade 2016


Please join AZM and march with us in the 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade

March with us and thousands of supporters of Israel up Fifth Avenue in NYC on Sunday, June 5, to stand up for and honor Israel.

This year’s theme is “Zionism: The Spirit of Israel”. Israel was built on the core values of Zionism and still proudly carries these values today. We are thrilled to be celebrating this beautiful country of ours during the Parade, along with other Zionists from all over the Tri-State area and other North American cities.

Please register HERE if you would like to march with us. The gathering spot, time and other details will be communicated as soon as we have them.

We hope you will join us this year for this wonderful event.




AZM- Herzl Beard Israel smaLL


In Memory of the Victims of Terror in Israel

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The American Zionist Movement mourns all the victims of terror and condemns those who perpetrate, condone or applaud such acts. In recent months people in Israel have suffered at the hands of individuals who have expressed their personal anger and outrage in the form of violence against innocent and unsuspecting victims.  These horrific events have been joined by equally unimaginable acts of terror in Europe, Africa, Lebanon and Turkey. AZM’s leadership offers it deepest condolences to the families of those mortally wounded and to the injured and maimed.  As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we pray for those souls who were tragically taken.  We call on the world community to condemn those who perpetrate hatred and incite violence, as we pledge to join together to restore balance and bring peace to the world.



Baruch Dayan Emet.

All victims of terror since 2000 can be found on the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.  Below are those murdered in the most recent series of incidents.

Alexander Levlovich Sept 13, 2015
Eitam Henkin Oct 1, 2015
Naama Henkin Oct 1, 2015
Aharon Banita-Bennett Oct 3, 2015
Nehemia Lavi​ Oct 3, 2015
Chaim Haviv Oct 13, 2015
Alon Govberg Oct 13, 2015
Yeshayahu Krishevsky Oct 13, 2015
Omri Levy Oct 18, 2015
Habtom Weldemicheal Zerhom Oct 18, 2015
Avraham Asher Hasno Oct 20, 2015
Rabbi Haim (Howie) Rothman Oct 24, 2015
Richard Lakin Oct 27, 2015
Benjamin Yakubovich Nov 8, 2015
Netanel Litman Nov 13, 2015
Ya’akov Litman Nov 13, 2015
Reuven Aviram Nov 19, 2015
Aharon Yesayev Nov 19, 2015
Yaakov Don Nov 19, 2015
Ezra Schwartz Nov 19, 2015
Shadi Arafa Nov 19, 2015
Hadar Buchris Nov 22, 2015
Ziv Mizrahi Nov 23, 2015
Ofer Ben Ari Dec 23, 2015
Reuven (Eduardo) Birmajer Dec 23, 2015
Gennady Kaufman Dec 30, 2015
Alon Bakal Jan 1, 2016
Shimon (Shimi) Ruimi Jan 1, 2016
Amin Shaaban Jan 1, 2016
Dafna Meir Jan 17, 2016
Shlomit Krigman Jan 25, 2016

Operation Protective Edge – Resources and Materials

flag The American Zionist Movement expresses its concern and support for the welfare of our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel and for the soldiers who are currently involved on the battlefield. We encourage you to use the information below to show your solidarity with Israel, remain updated regarding what is happening in Israel, demonstrate your support and share with friends and colleagues accurate information about the situation.

Let us pray for better days as we continue to show our support for the people of Israel.


Tough Questions, Straight Answers (brochure)

Tough Questions, Straight Answers (with video clips)

Beit Ha’am (The People’s Army) – Operation Protective Edge

   The People’s Army English Version

   The People’s Army  Hebrew Version


The Gaza Conflict – Materials for the Educator

The David Project:
Discussion Guide and Understanding the Hamas Tunnels

The iCenter: Operation Protective Edge:
As the conflict in Israel continues, we are looking for ways to bring Israel to our learners by gathering relevant resources, collecting authentic stories, and providing useful frames for educators and learners.
Resources to Teach and Learn


Together We Win” Campaign

In collaboration with the online newspaper YNET, we call out to all supporters of Israel from across the world to express your solidarity with the citizens of Israel and the Machal Soldiers. Our slogan “Together we win” is derived from our belief in our cause. Email a picture of yourself, an Israeli flag, and the slogan “Together we win” to Eitan at the WZO.  The pictures will be featured on a special YNET feature.  Also, please post your photos to social media sites using the hashtag #togetherwewin.

Advocacy on the Internet
A selection of sites and resources for education and advocacy available on the internet.

Advocacy During Operation Protective Edge
A collection of articles, guides and other resources about Operation Protective Edge.

Hadassah: National Action Center
Send messages directly to Congress and the White House in support of Israel.


Minister of Public Diplomacy

Israel Defense Forces Blog:

Israel has recently launched a 24-hour English news television station:

Twitter List: Israel Under Fire

Twitter: IDF | Embassy of Israel

Facebook: IDF | Embassy of Israel

Conference of Presidents Daily Alerts

BICOM (Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre):  Sign up for daily alerts

Expert Speakers from the Israeli Consulate


Thursday, July 31 Miami Unites for Israel Rally 6:30pm (Eastern Time), Michael-Ann Russell JCC, 18900 NE 25th Ave., North Miami Beach, Florida

Tuesday, August 5 (Baltimore, MD): 9:00am – 5:00pm (Eastern Time) Vigil for Israeli Victims (location TBD)


WZO: Help us help others. The World Zionist Organization is organizing opportunities efforts to alleviate the anxiety of those subjected to the worst shelling in the south, buy providing communities with entertainment, free-of-charge program at the Herzl Museum, etc.  To make a tax-deductible donation in the United States, please click here, or send checks to the American Zionist Movement, indicating that the donation is for the WZO war relief efforts. Contribute now.

JNF Emergency Campaign
JNF seeks to raise $5,000,000 for its emergency campaign. In this time of crisis, Funds raised are being used for the following: to purchase mobile bomb shelters costing $30,000 each; additional fire trucks at a cost of $125,000 up to $250000 depending; operating the Sderot playground 24/7, providing programming to children in the Bedouin communities thru our partner Green Horizons to name just a few of the special initiatives.

Stop the Sirens (JFNA Emergency Campaign)
Stop the Sirens is a community-wide campaign responding to urgent needs in Israel. The fundraising effort is coordinated by Jewish Federations of North America on behalf of Federations across North America, and in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  Contact your local Jewish Federation for more information or local initiatives.  To learn more, please visit us online.

MERCAZ USA: Neve Hanna Campaign
Neve Hanna Children’s Village, located in Kiryat Gat, has been regularly shelled by rockets from nearby Gaza.  Residents have been forced to spend most of their days and nights in shelters. The American Friends of Neve Hanna, through MERCAZ-USA, is bringing the children to a quiet area in the North of Israel. To donate to this campaign: call 212-533-2061 or pay online and indicate that it is the Neve Hanna Operation Protective Edge campaign

Ameinu in partnership with Dror Israel

Dror Israel has opened summer camps in the north for children from areas of the south hit hardest by rocket fire, and are also running activities for children and teens under safe conditions throughout Israel. In addition building on its  longtime educational partnership with the IDF, is providing lectures and other educational activities to soldiers on the importance of the military operation as defense of the state of Israel, in accordance with the laws of war, and in the spirit of Jewish and democratic values, rather than as an act of revenge, hatred and indiscriminate violence. To give to Dror Israel follow the link and designate your gift to Dror Israel to support these activities.

Support the IDF
There are a number of campaigns that support IDF soldiers in a variety of ways. We are listing a few lesser known initiatives here in which the donations go to soldiers; administrative costs are covered by an individual donor or volunteers do the work.

Get InVESTed in Our Boys Campaign
In coordination with commanding officers on the ground, funds are being raised to provide as many bullet proof vests as possible to provide for the soldiers engaged in combat.

Yashar L’Chayal Gaza Operation Emergency Fund
Yashar LaChayal brings soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces what they need when they need it.

Yashar LaChayal has developed relationships with IDF commanders around the country, and therefore they are quick to contact our representatives when their units or individual soldiers are in need of assistance.  But we do not wait to hear from them! Yashar LaChayal representatives are on the move, visiting IDF bases throughout Israel, on the borders and in remote locations, to see what the actual needs of our soldiers are.  Once we determine what is lacking, we set out to fill the gap.

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) Frontline Operation Campaign
As the brave IDF soldiers destroy terror tunnels and root out Hamas from Gaza, let’s show them the support they have from around the world.  FIDF supplies the IDF soldiers on the frontlines with snack packages, toiletry kits, and undergarments kits.  Let’s help keep their minds focused on the battles and not their wellbeing needs.

For more information on how to become more actively involved with FIDF, please contact your local FIDF chapter, or visit

Standing Together
Our brave soldiers are once again at war, facing an enemy that has sworn to kill us. We are now collecting from our supporters so we can deliver food and cold drinks, water packs (called “shlukerim”) that hold more water than standard canteens, knee pads that wear out very quickly in the field, and underwear. Because you can never have enough underwear.



**The list above is provided by AZM should be used as reference only.  This list is not exhaustive and there are many other ways to help. While we have made every effort to vet the provided information appropriately, AZM is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on each site.  When determining where to make a donation, please do your own research.  AZM is not responsible for how donations are allocated by funds not managed directly by AZM. 

The Great Embrace: A Call to Action

Dear Friends,

We invite you to join us in the campaign “The Great Embrace: A Call to Action” that the World Zionist Organization is launching in support of the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad, sharing with them the sense of unity that has become the legacy of their tragic loss. Details can be found in the letter below.

Please accept the challenge and distribute it as widely as possible.


Dr. David Breakstone
Deputy Chairman
World Zionist Organization

חברים יקרים,

אנו קוראים לך להצטרף אלינו לקמפיין “חיבוק של אומה” , בכדי לתת חיזוק למשפחות הבנים, ולהביע את אחדות העם בימים קשים אותם כולנו חווים.
כל הפרטים מופיעים במכתב המצורף.

אנו נשמח אם תרימו את הכפפה ותפיצו את המכתב בכל הדרכים שיתאפשרו לכם.


ד”ר דוד בריקסטון
סגן יו”ר
ההסתדרות הציונית העולמית

The Great Embrace: A Call to Action

חיבוק של אומה: קול קורא לעשייה

There is something you can do.

Throughout their ordeal, the families of Eyal Yiftah, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaer have repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the overwhelming support they have received from Jews around the world, declaring that it has been an amazing source of strength for them.

While their loss is inconsolable and the horrific pain will be theirs to bear eternally, perhaps we can offer them a modicum of comfort by demonstrating that the tragedy that has befallen them has palpably increased for all of us the spirit of “ahavat Yisrael” – the unity of our people.

Accordingly, we call upon you to join us in “The Great Embrace,” a campaign the World Zionist Organization has launched to get as many people as possible to write letters to the families, which we will deliver to them personally at the conclusion of the “shloshim,” the 30-day period of mourning.

Write one yourself and organize others to write as well. Even one line will be appreciated. They can be e-mailed to us at or posted to: Office of the Vice Chairman, World Zionist Organization, P.O.Box 92 Jerusalem 91000.

May the memory of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad be for a blessing and may our embrace of their families provide them some comfort among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, a sentiment that takes on even greater meaning with Tisha b’Av just over the horizon.

יש משהו שאתם כן יכולים לעשות

במהלך ימי הייסורים של משפחות הנערים אייל יפתח, נפתלי פרנקל וגיל-עד שער, חזרו והביעו בני המשפחות את הערכתם והוקרתם לתמיכה הגורפת שהם זכו לה מיהודים מרחבי העולם, שלדבריהם היתה מקור כח בלתי נדלה עבורם.

בעוד אובדנם בלתי ניתן לנחמה וכאבם המחריד יהיה מנת חלקם לעד, אולי יכולים אנחנו להציע להם ולו קורטוב של נחמה בכך שנפגין באופן מוחשי את אותה “אהבת ישראל” שאיחדה את עמנו, לנוכח הטרגדיה שבצער רב נפלה בחלקם.

לפיכך, אנחנו קוראים לכם להצטרף אלינו ל”חיבוק של אומה”, קמפיין שהשיקה ההסתדרות הציונית העולמית במטרה להגיע לכמה שיותר אנשים על מנת שיכתבו מכתבי תמיכה למשפחות הנערים, שאנחנו באופן אישי נעביר לידיהם בתום שלושים ימי האבל. 

תכתבו מכתב פרי עטכם ודאגו לדרבן אחרים לעשות כמוכם, אפילו שורה אחת תמצא משמעות והערכה. את המכתבים שלחו לדוא”ל שלנו או למשרדינו בכתובת: לשכת סגן היו”ר, ההסתדרות הציונית העולמית, ת.ד. 92 ירושלים 91000.

יהיה זכרם של אייל, נפתלי וגיל-עד ברוך ומי ייתן וחיבוקנו את המשפחות יעניק להם ולו מעט נחמה בתוך אבלי ציון וירושלים ולא ידעו לדאבה עוד, ברגש שנדבך נוסף של משמעות ניצק בו כשתשעה באב עומד בפתחנו.

Zionist News of Interest

newsBelow are several news stories, articles, web sites and more that can serve as an additional source of material for Zionist organizations and supporters. This list will be updated.


Title:              “Keep Dreaming: He sang at my wedding”

Author:          David Breakstone

Publication:   Jerusalem Post

Date:            12/26/2013

Summary:     Memories of Arik Einstein. Regarded as “the greatest, most popular, and most influential Israeli artist of all time.”



Title:             “Center Field: Let’s wave the flag for Israel – even in hip Tel Aviv”

Author:         Gil Troy

Publication:   Jerusalem Post

Date:             05/07/2014

Summary:     “Critics so often define Israel by its problems that it is easy to forget how well this country of 8.2 million people works. The systems and structures that westerners take for granted can be taken for granted – which is not something we should take for granted.”



Title:               “Can Zionism be the Answer?”

Author:           Rabbi Sid Schwarz (senior fellow at Clal: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Publication:     The New York Jewish Week

Date:              6/3/14

Summary:      “Our dilemma today is that at the very time that we desperately need an ideological linkage between powerful Israel experiences and the creation of robust Jewish communities for young Jews in America, Zionism is absent from the mix.”



Title:             Keep Dreaming: Zionism. Think again

Author:          David Breakstone

Publication:   Jerusalem Post

Date:             2/14/13

Summary:     Report on the conference cosponsored by iCenter and the AZM held in Chicago, February 2013. “Educators from Israel and N. America are working together to create a language for teaching about Israel in a way that will make it integral to Jewish identity.”




Best Practices and Programs

dialogueBelow are several innovative programs that encourage dialogue about Zionism, created by Zionist organizations from all over the religious and political spectrums. This list will be updated.


Organization:         Ameinu

Title:                     Third Narrative Initiative

Date:                     Continuous

Summary:              The Third Narrative ( is an initiative of Ameinu, intended to engage progressive Jews and non-Jews who seek ways to combat unfair and inaccurate attacks from the far left while maintaining a progressive position via a vis the Arab-Israeli conflict. It gives progressive activists language and approaches with which they can discuss the conflict, Israel government policy, and Palestinian rights, while not relinquishing their approach to resolving the conflict. To quote Ameinu, “When it comes to this conflict, the truth is rarely black or white; it resides in a gray area where advocates on either side typically don’t like to venture. That is where we try to go with The Third Narrative.”




Organization:      PRAZE Division, Hadassah

Title:                   Rethinking and Reaffirming Zionism in the 21st Century with Arnold M. Eisen, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary

Date:                  Wednesday, July 9, 7:30 pm EDT.

Summary:           Hadassah’s Defining Zionism in the 21st Century Series is an online monthly program that creates a welcoming opportunity for everyone to explore various perspectives of Zionism from the comfort of home. This program is free of charge and open to the community.



A Shanah Tovah Message From Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

The period okurtz-croppedf the High Holy Days is a time of introspection and meditation. While we Jews do not necessarily make New Year resolutions, it is helpful to stand back to see how we have done this past year as we challenge ourselves to improve in the coming year.

From the point of the work of the American Zionist Movement we need to ask ourselves the following questions: Have we strengthened our bond to Zion, to the State of Israel, to the Jewish people around the world this past year? Have we taken upon ourselves the responsibility to learn Hebrew, the language of our heritage and our people? Have we been ambassadors for the State of Israel in the communities in which we live and in the organizations we populate? No matter what our politics, Israel needs good ambassadors. Have we reached out to our brothers and sisters in the State of Israel and around the world, showing our love for the people of Israel wherever they may be? Have we visited Israel this past year?

In all of these areas I am sure that even if we can answer in the affirmative, we can always make improvements. The role of AZM is to assist in implementing these challenges in our lives, in the lives of our institutions, organizations and communities. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur impress upon us the fact that we can always do better. The New Year is a new beginning: “Hayom Harat Olam – Today the world stands as at birth.” Each of us is given a new opportunity as the New Year commences. I hope we take advantage of it.

I ask you to challenge yourselves on these matters and work together with AZM to create a bond between Jews living in the Diaspora and Jews living in the State of Israel. We are ultimately one people with one past and one common future.

I pray that as we hear the sounds of the shofar this Rosh Hashanah that it may herald a time of peace and tranquility for our land, for the State of Israel, for the Jewish people and for all humanity. My best personal wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling 5774. Shana tova


Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

President AZM

Rabbi Kurtz of Chicago Elected to Head American Zionist Movement

(New York, NY – December 17, 2012)

The American Zionist Movement announced the election of its new officers who will serve over the coming two years. The election took place on December 17th in New York City with the slate of officers being unanimously accepted by the delegates.

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

The new slate of officers is headed by Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, who will serve as President of the American Zionist Movement (AZM). Rabbi Kurtz, the Rabbi of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois, was born in Toronto, Canada. His election to the position of President of the American Zionist Movement is only the most recent in a number of key positions he has held in the Zionist world, including President of MERCAZ USA and President of MERCAZ Olami, the world-wide Zionist organization of the Conservative/Masorti movement. He has held numerous other positions of communal responsibility on the local, national and international level including serving as president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative/Masorti rabbis. Rabbi Kurtz is an associate member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel, has been elected to its Executive, and serves as deputy chairman of its Russian Speaking Jewry Committee. Rabbi Kurtz will be succeeding William D. Hess of New Orleans as president of AZM.

Elected to the position of the Chairman of the Board of the American Zionist Movement was Kenneth Bob, who is the president of Ameinu. Bob is also a member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization, and the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors. In his professional life, Kenneth Bob is an experienced entrepreneur and currently serves as President of RenewTricity, a solar energy development company.

Others elected to office were: Harvey Blitz, David Newman and Leonard Petlakh, Vice Presidents; Judy Shereck, Treasurer; and David Krantz, Secretary.