Second Annual Layla Lavan Celebrates Israel

layla pic2More than 250 young professionals gathered together at Libation on July 24 to celebrate Israel at the Second Annual Layla Lavan, All-White Night. Based on the all-night festival held in Tel Aviv that highlights the city’s cultural life, this year’s Layla Lavan similarly featured numerous Israel-themed activities. “We wanted Layla Lavan to engage everyone with Israel’s dynamic culture and to give people of sense of getting a bit of Israel in New York,” said Karen Rubinstein, Executive Director of the American Zionist Movement, which sponsored Layla Lavan. “The concept is a great one and we think Layla Lavan can be built on from year to year, bringing in a growing number of participants and activities.”

The evening, which was co-sponsored by Isramerica in partnership with Masa Israel Journey and Bridging the Gap, was initially planned several months prior to Operation Protective Edge, the Israel Defense Forces’ current military activity. Organizers faced a dilemma about whether to cancel, but ultimately decided the event would continue as planned, though with several minor adjustments. “Israelis would be the first to say that life must go on, so we decided to take the same approach and celebrate everything that Israel has to offer,” said Sivan Hadari, founder of Isramerica and Layla Lavan Event Manager.

With the emotions of the precarious situation in Israel in mind, Hadari invited IDF Captain Amir Telem to speak about his experience in the Air Force. He emphasized that events like Layla Lavan bring together communities and should continue despite difficult times. “In Israel, we don’t take it for granted that you have to fight for freedom for your country,” he said. “Every generation in Israel has a mission to protect the Jewish land … [and] our mission here in the US is to support the soldiers as much as we can.”

Attendees took the message of standing together and staying in good spirits to heart, and danced to Israeli and American music all night. They lined up for henna tattoos, hammed it up at the photobooth, shopped at the mini shuk, and indulged in falafel and other Israeli snacks. They also participated in Café Ivrit, a space for practicing Hebrew through informal conversation and games. “I was so thrilled by the ruach [spirit] and pride at Layla Lavan,” said Allie Zur. “Coming together with so many people to share our love and support of Israel – especially in dark times like today – made me feel so connected.”
Visit here for more photos!

 

Bookmark and Share

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.

Sincerely,

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.

בברכה,

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 wzoInfo@wzo.org.il 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 wzoinfo@wzo.org.il 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.

 www.wzo.org.il

Bookmark and Share

Join AZM and Isramerica at 2nd Annual Layla Lavan!

Bring a little piece of Israel back home to New York City at AZM and Isramerica’s 2nd Annual Layla Lavan.

Register now to get early bird prices!

rsvp-button

Layla Lavan flier

Bookmark and Share

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.”

Link:             http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Keep-Dreaming-He-sang-at-my-wedding-336239

 

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.”

Link:              http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Center-Field-Lets-wave-the-flag-for-Israel-even-in-hip-Tel-Aviv-351479

 

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.”

Link:               http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial-opinion/opinion/can-zionism-be-answer

 

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.”

Link:              http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=303326

 

 

Bookmark and Share

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 (http://thirdnarrative.org) 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.”

Link:                     http://thirdnarrative.org

 

 

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.

Link:                    www.hadassah.org/definingzionism

 

Bookmark and Share

Zionist Organizations March in Celebrate Israel Parade

With hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lining the Celebrate Israel Parade route on June 1, the American Zionist Movement and World Zionist Movement brought Zionist organizations together in a major display of unity and passion. Though the diversity within the Zionist movement was evident, the real story was the unity of purpose that brought all the groups together. Under the watchful eyes of Theodor Herzl, the Tzofim (Israel Scouts) Friendship Caravan sang and danced on the float to the delight of the Zionist leaders and spectators. A colorful and iconic image of the Zionist Movement’s founder was featured on the float and on the bright green flags spread throughout the entire delegation.

Following the float were marchers representing Zionist organizations from all over the religious and political spectrums, from AMIT to Emunah to Ameinu and Bnai Zion; from Hadassah and Young Judaea to Habonim Dror and Hashomer Hatzair. Mercaz USA, the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, had marching delegations from two major synagogues, Town and Village Synagogue and Forest Hills Jewish Center, along with a number of individual members marching under its banner. ARZA, a major group in its own right, showed their connection to AZM and WZO by carrying the same green flags bearing Herzl’s image as they brought the Zionist delegation to a colorful conclusion.

It was a great day for Israel and Jewish people, and an historical one for the Zionist Movement in the United States, which reflected its full range of ideals while embracing Israel as one.

 

Bookmark and Share

Defining Zionism – An Online Speaker Series

Defining Zionism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A program on defining Zionism–an online speaker series

Bookmark and Share

Join AZM and WZO at the Celebrate Israel Parade on June 1!

Join 30,000 of your closest friends and march with the American Zionist Movement, World Zionist Organization, and other Zionist Movement organizations at the 50th Annual Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 1. Bring your family and friends and cheer for the State of Israel!


We want to see everyone there!
RSVP to azm@azm.org for more details.

parade flyer

Bookmark and Share

Special Concert with Rami Kleinstein – May 12

Join AZM, ISRAMERICA and other local Jewish organizations for a special concert with Israeli singer Rami Kleinstein.


Monday, May 12
B.B. King Blues Club

 

Buy Your Tickets Now!

Bookmark and Share

New York Speaker Series – with Gil Hoffman

Join AZM and Bnai Zion for a New York Speaker Series event with Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent and analyst for the Jerusalem Post.

Thursday, May 8
7 pm
Bnai Zion House
136 E. 39th Street
New York, NY 10016

Admission is free but is required for security purposes.

Register now!

 

Bookmark and Share