Archives for August 2009

American Zionists Salute Israel

Materials to Celebrate Israel’s 61st Anniversary

American Zionist Movement | World Zionist Organization | ARZA |
Jewish National Fund | Hadassah | MERCAZ | Israeli Consulate | Other


Israel at the Movies: Your Guide to 8 Israeli Films

Celebrate Israel by exploring important themes in Israeli society – through eight easily-accessible Israeli movies. This guide provides background information, activities and questions for discussion for your synagogue, community center, class, film group, Israel club or group of friends.
| Read more

Ideas for Yom Hazikaron

We remember those men and women who gave their lives for a free and secure Jewish Homeland by observing Yom Hazikaron each year. Here are some suggestions and materials for commemorative programs and ceremonies. | Read more

WZO | Visit

Fulfilling the Dream: Celebrating 60 Years of Israel’s Challenges and Achievements

This special exhibit contrasts early scenes of the State of Israel with modern scenes using a hologram form of photography. A joint venture of the Department for Zionist Activities (WZO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel. Available immediately after Passover. | If your organization, community center, or synagogue is interested in displaying this exhibit in honor of Israel@60, please contact AZM at

ARZA | Visit

One Heart, Two Homes

ARZA’s five-session adult education program that addresses the deep, personal issues surrounding the question, “Why should I, an American Reform Jew, have a relationship with Israel?” | More information

Faces of Reform Aliyah

ARZA’s Educational Kit with materials designed to engage congregations with authentic and familiar stories and to expose them to a unique dimension of Reform involvement in Israel.
| More information

18 Ideas ARZA Can Share with Your Congregation

ARZA can help you organize sessions to deepen your connection with Israel, with these creative ways to expand your congregation’s Israel programming. Assistance can range from a quick phone consultation, on-going consultation for new Israel/ARZA committees or a congregational visit from a lay or professional leaders. | View Ideas

The Reform Israel Experience: A Guide to Programs and Organizations to Engage with Israel

ARZA created this guide in order to encapsulate the Reform Israel Experience in an easy-to-use encyclopedia of programs and organizations geared toward Reform Jews and Israel. | View Guide

Hadassah | Visit

Israel Is

Hadassah’s multi-faceted program which showcases the side of Israel not often covered by the media. | More information

JNF | Visit

JNF Educational Programs

JNF provides programs and materials for students ranging from elementary school through college, synagogues and their leaders. Programs include Blue Box Bob, Yom Ha’atzmaut Israel Independence Day, GoNeutral Education Programs, Caravan for Democracy and Speakers’ Bureau. | Learn more

MERCAZ | Visit

Celebrating a Green Israel

A special program guide about the State of Israel’s environment, complete with suggested activities appropriate for different age groups.| View Program

The Road to Sixty

The Conservative Movement’s new program of study and celebration for use beginning in November, but suitable throughout the year. | View Program (PDF)

Celebrating the Zionist Dream: Educational Package

A synagogue activity kit and a 40-page book of essays suitable for adult education from the Conservative Movement. Includes “If You Will It” (PDF), a dramaticization of Zionist issues. | More information

Service to Celebrate Yom Yerushalayim

Mark Yom Yerushalayim


Chanukah at the AZM

AZM wishes you and your family a Hanukkah filled with happiness and peace.
By lighting the Chanukah candles, you are united not only with family and friends with whom you share the special moment, but also with Jews around the world also celebrating the Festival of Lights. This Chanukah, take time to reflect on the power of this connection and our responsibility to each other, especially to those who place themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation and its people.

Chanukah Heroes

View online

Chanukah is the Holiday of Light. As you gather with your friends and family to light the Chanukah candles, take a moment to reflect on the heroes who are the Lights of Israel – and what we can learn from their Jewish and Zionist values.

A Zionist Chanukah

Download and print this file | View online

Each night, have in your thoughts a different aspect of Zionism which has built the State of Israel into the nation it is today and which will continue as its foundation into the future.

Remember the Soldiers

Download and print this file | View online

This Chanukah, AZM calls upon Jews to remember Israel’s abducted soldiers. Each night, as you kindle the Hanukkah candles, we ask you to think about a different soldier. AZM has provided a paragraph about each for you to read aloud. We urge you also to share the concept and the materials with your family and friends.

While you are shopping for holiday gifts, please consider giving dogtags engraved with the abducted soldiers’ names and other Zionist gifts available here.


Four More Sons, Four More Questions

Download as a Word Doc

Freedom is the central theme of the Passover seder. It echoes and re-echoes throughout the Haggadah. On this Passover, Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are not free. They remain captive, their fates unknown. Our hearts ache for them and for their families, and on their behalf we add four additional questions to our Seder tonight.

  • Why are these sons different from all other sons?
    These four sons were taken prisoner while bravely fighting for the safety and security of Israel and her People.
  • Why are these prisoners different from other prisoners?
    These prisoners have been wantonly denied all human rights which are guaranteed under international law. They have been treated not as prisoners of war, but rather as hostages. They have been allowed no access whatsoever to their families, their country, nor any human rights groups.
  • Why are these hostages different from other hostages?
    These hostages continue to be held even though all other Western hostages being held in Lebanon were freed years ago. We have no knowledge of the conditions under which they are held. In truth, we do not know whether they are still alive.
  • Why do we raise the issue of these Israeli soldiers who are “missing-in-action” on Passover?
    Of all the Jewish holidays, Passover is the one that truly represents freedom. If there is even one Jew who is being denied freedom, we must all raise our voices on her behalf.

Just as we have done throughout our history, so too, today we must come to the aid of fellow Jews. We dedicate this Seder to Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. We will continue to work toward their release from captivity, and, if our voices are strong enough, perhaps next year we will not have to repeat these extra four questions.

Yom Ha’Zikaron

Remembering Israel’s Fallen Soldiers

Since 1948, Jewish people all around the world have been fortunate to see and celebrate a prosperous and ever-growing Jewish State in the Land of Eretz Yisrael. Year after year on Yom Ha’atzmaut (The Day of Independence), together as a worldwide community, we commemorate Israel’s Independence, a modern miracle that was thought impossible just 100 years ago.

However, as we celebrate this joyous and wondrous occasion, we must remember those men and women who gave their lives for a free and secure Jewish Homeland. It is for that reason that each year we observe Yom Hazikaron (The Day of Remembrance) on the day preceding Yom Ha’atzmaut. For Jews worldwide, Yom Hazikaron is the day that we stop and remember all of the Jewish soldiers, the brave men and women, who gave their lives so that the Jewish State of Israel could become a reality and remain a free and independent nation.


Suggested Program

Considering the somber tone of this holiday, the following suggestions are commemorative rather than celebratory in nature. One possible activity would be a commemorative ceremony. Below are suggested components for a community observance:

  • Group procession
  • Torchlighting ceremony
  • Flags at half-mast
  • Appropriate Israeli music
  • Suitable scenery
  • Exhibition
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Main address by guest speaker



The Young Leadership Division of the American Zionist Movement

Connecting, Creating, Cultivating


The goal of ViZion is to provide Jewish young adults with educational and social opportunities, allowing them to explore what Zionism means to them from both personal and communal perspectives.



Young Professionals of Jewish Non-Profits


ViZionPro’s Mission is to:

Connect Jewish professionals working in Zionist/Israel/Jewish not-for-profits

Create a network of like-minded professionals sharing the challenges facing the Jewish communal world and their own professional development

Cultivate the future of Zionist and communal leaders in a safe and open environment


Contact ViZion at, ViZionPro at or call 212-318-6100.

Find us on facebook:

ViZion NY and ViZionPro


Subscribe now to the ViZion list to find out about upcoming programs.

WZO Constitution


As adopted by the Zionist General Council at its Session in December 1959 – January 1960, in pursuance of the resolution of the 24th Zionist Congress (1956) and as amended by:  The 25th Zionist Congress (1960/61), the 26th Zionist Congress (1964/65), the 27th Zionist Congress (1968), and the 31st Zionist Congress (1987) and the Zionist General Council at its Sessions in May-June 1962, January 1966, January 1967, February-March 1970, June-July 1971, February 1973, February 1974, January 1976, July 1976, June 1979, June 1980, September 1981, January 1984, June 1985, July 1986, June 1987, June 1988, June 1991, June 2009, June 2011, June 2013, November 2013 and by decision of the Zionist Supreme Court, January 4, 2010..

Click here to Download the Full Constitution

Green Israel

Yom Ha’atzmaut: Exploring Israel’s Environmental Legacy

From a small state of farmers and nation builders to becoming a leader in technology and innovation, the State of Israel has gone through much transition in just six decades.  However, this growth and success has come at a cost to the land, the water and the health of the People of Israel.
The Green Zionist Alliance, in partnership with MERCAZ USA, the Zionist arm of the American Conservative Movement, asks you to add a little about the State of Israel’s environment to your Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations.  The resources noted below will help you teach about our relationship to the State of Israel’s environment today and connect congregants of all ages — through role-playing, simulations and debates — to organizations and models working to help protect Israel’s environmental future.

The Green Zionist Alliance and MERCAZ USA gratefully acknowledge the work of MERCAZ Olami, the international Zionist organization of the Conservative/Masorti Movement, and Masorti Olami – World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues for their assistance gathering materials and resources on environmental conservation and activism from a Jewish perspective. The entire CD entitled “Judaism and the Environment” can be accessed at

Excerpt from

Jerusalem Program

What is the purpose of Zionism?

AZM participated in a rally demanding the release of the Israeli soldiers captured Summer 2006.

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. According to Zionism, it is the common responsibility of the Jewish people for its continuity and future to ensure a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure State of Israel. It was Zionism that brought about the State of Israel’s establishment.

The foundations of Zionism are:

The unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital, in the life of the nation

Aliyah to Israel from all countries and the effective integration of all immigrants into Israeli Society.

Strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character, marked by mutual respect for the multi-faceted Jewish people, rooted in the vision of the prophets, striving for peace and contributing to the betterment of the world.

Ensuring the future and the distinctiveness of the Jewish people by furthering Jewish, Hebrew and Zionist education, fostering spiritual and cultural values and teaching Hebrew as the national language;

Nurturing mutual Jewish responsibility, defending the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation, representing the national Zionist interests of the Jewish people, and struggling against all manifestations of anti-Semitism.

All Zionists agree on the set of ideals and principles known as the Jerusalem Program.

The Jerusalem Program was adopted in 1951 at the 23rd World Zionist Congress and revised by the 27th Zionist Congress in 1968. It was most recently revised at the meeting of the Zionist General Council in June 2004.

Truth About Israel

An AZM Educational Campaign

Are you looking for a way to showcase Israel’s positive impact on the world in your school or community center?

AZM has developed an educational program consisting of six posters, each featuring a young person who tells how Israel has had a profound effect on his or her country. Topics covered include Israel’s humanitarian efforts, achievements in science and technology, and exemplary standards in human rights. The accompanying CD with educational materials guides instructors in teaching about these important issues.

Purchase Posters and Educational Materials

Click on the pictures below to learn more.

Milen, age 27, Ethiopia

Nikhil, age 17, India

Yordanos, age 20, North Africa

Angelika, age 23, Poland

Thomas, age 18, Turkey

Lam, age 20, Vietnam

Contact AZM Chicago

Contact Us!

Thank you for visiting the AZM web site.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions, comments or to request additional information about any of our programs and services.

National Office

American Zionist Movement
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New York, NY 10005 | 212-318-6100 x.6947

Chicago Regional Office | 847-677-5949

American Zionist Movement- Chicago Region
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Skokie, IL 60077