Archives for January 2012

Two Outstanding Young People Win Reich Scholarships

The American Zionist Movement announced the winners of the Spring 2012 Helyn B Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund Awards at the end of January. Both winners were outstanding candidates, who exemplify the kind of drive and passion the committee looks for in its scholarship recipients.

Sarah Warshawsky will be participating in the MASA Career Israel program this spring. Currently Sarah works as the Director of Political Affairs for the Consulate General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico. Though Sarah grew up in a Jewish household, it was difficult to live the daily life of a Zionist growing up in a Texas community with a small Jewish population. Sarah had an awakening while attending college in Oklahoma where she was fortunate enough to participate in Middle Eastern political science courses taught by a guest Israeli professor. According to Sarah, “Israel has held a special place in my soul since I can remember. I have grown up all over this country and in unusual places for most Jews. Houston, Texas to Austin, Texas to school in Oklahoma, I know what it is like to not be of the majority. My solace was learning, studying and living Israel. I felt a sense of urgency, urgency to get up and move to Israel right away. I wanted to fight for Israel; I wanted to become a part of the majority.” Sarah hopes to use this experience of working and living in Israel to not only further her connection to the country on a personal level but also her future career as a U.S. politician or diplomat working to support Israel.

Read Sarah Warshawsky’s essay

 

Daniel Romero has had to overcome many adversities in his life.  Thus his application was especially inspiring to the members of the Helyn B, Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund committee.  A graduate of Berkeley Law of the University of California , Daniel will hold an intern position of Foreign Law Clerk with the Supreme Court of Israel while participating in the OU IFS Career Track of the Masa Career Israel Program next year.   Daniel believes that it was during an enlightening stay in Israel where his Zionism first came alive.  In his own words, it was on a trip to Sderot that “it became clear to me that this place, among many places, needed law and justice more than any place back home.  It also needs to be understood more than any other place in America.  For American Jews, this is especially the case and others in the Diaspora, as we are so necessarily tied to this place, and have a role to play in its development, through the ballot box and the foreign policy of our governments.  We have a share in its responsibility for justice and in furthering its development.”  Inspired by Theodor Herzl, Daniel hopes to make his year in Israel another step in realizing the Zionist vision for justice and peace both in Israel and for the Jewish people.

Read Daniel Romero’s essay

This Year Celebrate Tu B’Shvat with a Seder

Tu B’shvat is the Jewish New Year for Trees. As the environment is changing, and the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is changing with it, we must be more aware of how this generation has the potential and the responsibility to change current practices in our society. In Deuteronomy 20:19 we learn “A human is like a tree in the field.”  Just as one tree does not make a forest, one person does not make up a community.  It takes all of us working together to repair the spiritual and physical damage human have inflicted upon the Earth.  As we celebrate Tu B’shvat, following in the traditions of the Kabbalists in Tzfat (Safed), we must also think about our responsibility to the earth and how to begin these repairs.

Materials are provided here to help individuals, families communities, and synagogues to organize and implement a Tu B’shvat seder as a way to examine and celebrate our connection to the land of Israel and the people of Israel. It is also a way to infuse Zionist identity with a green consciousness.

Tu B’shvat is an ideal time to focus on Israel.  Spring is about to emerge in Israel and forests are beginning to show a tinge of green.  How better to celebrate Israel and environment than with this Tu B’shvat Seder.  Download the hagaddah here.  Download the leaders guide here.

 

Please click on the links below for more Tu B’shvat resources.

Tu B’shvat Song – כי האדם עץ השדה …….Because Man is a Tree of the Field

Tu B’shvat Hagaddah

 

Donate to Move Zionism Forward™

 

Make a donation to AZM’s Together as One: Carmel Fire Relief Fund

Plant a tree in the Carmel Forest

What Are Your “ViZions of Zionism”? Join the Conversation!

Expressing views of Zionism and feelings about Israel through writing is a way for us to convey our diverse opinions about Zionism to a broad audience. ViZions of Zionism is exemplary of both the breadth and the depth of Zionism, with contributors from all points on the spectrum of Zionist thought. You can expect to see posts that espouse seemingly divergent opinions about Zionism. This is not a contradiction, but rather another example of the wide range of Zionist opinions and beliefs.

Zionism. It’s a word that evokes strong emotions, passion, and for many, confusion. It can take many different forms, and for people around the world, both Jews and non-Jews, it can be interpreted to mean different things. At its core, Zionism is Jewish nationalism. It is the belief that the Jewish people have a shared history, religious heritage, and language. Zionists, those who identify with the Jewish national movement, recognize Israel as the Jewish State, as an independent, sovereign nation which allows the Jewish people the right to self-determination.

Beyond these lofty shared principles, one finds a great deal of diversity within the Zionist movement. Individuals who identify themselves as Zionists span the spectrum of political leanings, religious affiliation, and personal background. They connect with Zionism in a variety of ways, either as a political movement or a cultural one that allows people around the world to identify with the language, culture, music, and discourse of the Jewish people. Zionism manifests itself in many ways, from the physical (those who choose to make aliyah and live in Israel), to the vocal (those who speak out about Zionism, educating others about the movement), to personal and subtle ways, which include speaking Hebrew, buying Israeli-made products, and taking a personal interest in the well-being of the State of Israel and the Israeli people.

The various forms that Zionism takes when expressed in ViZions of Zionism mirror the conversation about Zionism worldwide. They differ in their approaches, and sometimes even in their conclusions, but ultimately unite under the banner of Zionism, of pride in Jewish nationalism, and of affirmation of the connection that the Jewish people have to Israel.

To read the blog or to become a contributing blogger, please visit vizionsofzionism.org.