Archives for March 2012

A Passover Haggadah for the Youngest Zionists!

Haggadah CoverThe World Zionist Organization presents a Passover Haggadah for Children.

This Haggadah was created by the WZO Center for Spiritual Services in the Diaspora.

Please feel free to print out and share this full-color haggadah for children. Simply download it here.

This Year Add a New Dayenu to Your Seder

It is part of the Passover tradition to add new songs and stories to the seder.  This year add a contemporary version of Dayenu, one which calls upon the Jewish People to give thanks for the return to Israel and for all of the accomplishments of the Jewish People since the establishment of the State.  This Dayenu ends with a question to encourage discussion around the seder table.  You might even want to add your own verses.

Click on the image below to see a larger version.  You can also download copies by following the link below.


Download a PDF of Dayenu (This is a big file; please allow time for the download.)

Donate to AZM

Israel Advocacy Conference in the MidWest

MERCAZ, the Conservative Movement’s Zionist arm, and member of the American Zionist Movement, has committed itself to training a core group of Israel Advocates to mobilize their synagogue communities at a special Israel Advocacy training seminar.

The midwestern two-day seminar will take place Sunday and Monday, April 22-23, at a Holiday Inn Express Hotel, outside of Chicago, IL in Palatine/Arlington Heights. The seminar, a project of MERCAZ USA, MERCAZ-Canada, the World Zionist Organization and the Embassy of Israel, is now accepting applications from anyone interested in becoming a “local trainer” in the Israel advocacy field.

All participants will be expected to review certain requisite material in order to guarantee a common baseline of information. In addition, all seminar participants will be involved in organized follow-up activities to ensure continuity. The application process also requires all participants to obtain recommendation from a congregational rabbi or other communal professional.

The cost of the 2-day seminar is $105, which covers 1 night accommodations double occupancy and 4 meals, starting with lunch on Sunday, April 22, through lunch on Monday, April 23. There is a reduced fee of $65.00 for local residents who do not require hotel accommodations. Please note that all food will be kosher, provided by the caterer of the Conservative congregation North Shore Suburban–Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. Any individual dietary needs (such as vegetarian, mehadrin, gluten-free, etc) will be accommodated, provided the organizers are informed in advance.

To register, please pay below. After payment you will be contacted by the Conference organizer for further information.
For more information, please call MERCAZ: 212-533-2061 or email its director, Rabbi Robert Golub.

Israel Advocacy Conference- April 21-22 | Price: $105.00* (double occupancy)

Israel Advocacy Conference- Day Visitor | Price: $65.00

Purim 2012 Brings Gifts and Goodies to Soldiers and Children

volunteer with soldiers

A volunteer poses with soldiers who came to take the Purim gifts back to their units.

The 2012 Purim Connection was another stunning success with lots of thank yous coming in from across Israel.

AZM with help from AMIT, Mercaz,  and many individuals and synagogues across the country brought Purim joy to schools in Kiryat Malachi, soldiers in the front line units across the country, and to many Lone Soldiers (IDF soldiers who serve without the support of their families.)


An important part of our Purim Connection is the role that young Jews studying or volunteering in Israel play in the packaging and delivery of the Purim mishloach manot. This year’s volunteers from Magshimey Herut, Habonim-Dror and the kibbutz ulpan program were all on extended stays in Israel as part of  MASA Israel Journey programs.  Among the volunteers to AZM’s Purim Connection were: Raphael Falk,  Andrew DuFour,  Benjamin Scholom, Brett Godette, Yossi Cohen,  Izzy Eisen,  and Eugene Kikoin.

One of the Lone Soldiers, Gidi, who received an AZM Purim package posted on the Kehillat Netzach’s Facebook Page, expressing his happiness and gratitude. When you see comments like these you know how important it is to participate in these programs:



soldier with gift

הפורים בכלל לא היה מורגש, ולקבל חבילה מושקעת שכזאת. אוהב אתכם ומוקיר תודה. גידי איגנשטיין
thank you everyone for the great parcel for purim! it feels amazing to return from a hard week of training and still get to feel the happiness of purim with your kindness. gidi eigenstein.

We hope that next year even more congregations and individuals will help to us tell send the message to those in Israel that even though we live here in America, we are always thinking of Israel’s soldiers and citizens who are truly on the front lines of the Jewish people.

Thanks to all who helped bring this to reality!

children on Purim

Four children from an AMIT elementary school in Kiryat Malachi in Purim costumes..

Join Stav Shaffir in NYC, Founder of the Israel Social Protest Movement

World Zionist Organization Mobilizes for Southern Israel

Following the escalation in rocket attacks on southern Israel, the WZO brought hundreds of schoolchildren from the south to Jerusalem, where they will have a good time, tour the city and enjoy some quiet. The students, from grades 1-12, will explore the city with a guide to accompany them. Among the places the students will visit are the Knesset, the Western Wall, Mount Scopus and more.  The young visitors from the South will also visit the WZO’s Herzl Museum and Educational Center, located on Har Herzl (Mt Herzl).

Additionally, for those who can’t make it to Jerusalem, the WZO and its daughter-company Tarbut L’Yisrael (Culture for Israel), have sent performing artists to southern communities to try to help relax the residents as much as possible while they seek protection in bomb shelters.  Tarbut L’Yisrael has been in continuous contact with cultural activities coordinators throughout the year and especially during these times of distress.  With funding from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the WZO and Tarbut L’Yisrael made preparations and have sent performing artists to help relax the southern residents as much as possible and make their lives even a little bit more pleasant.

According to Gusti Yehoshua-Braverman, Head of the WZO’s Department for Diaspora Activities, “With the renewed eruption in southern Israel, and the repeated nonstop rocket attacks on the south’s residents, this department and the WZO’s Herzl Center ask to strengthen the hands of the Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers, its commanders and the south’s residents.  We are happy to host the south’s residents and children at the Herzl Center and hope that these activities will be significant, even a little calming and allow them to enjoy a bit of happiness.”

To help in this effort, please give now.

Many of the stricken communities have been the focus of  AZM’s Purim Connection drives in the past.  Thus, AZM feels a special affinity and concern for those living under this stress.  AMIT, one of AZM’s member organizations and a part of the World Zionist Organization runs many of Israel’s school and is closely monitoring the situation.

Thousands of AMIT students in Beersheva, Ashkelon, Sderot and Kiryat Malachi remained home today from school as hundreds of rockets continue to be fired from Gaza into southern Israel for a fourth day. On Sunday, a Grad missile struck the AMIT Hazon Ovadiah Elementary School in Beersheva, which thankfully was empty. Additionally, a rocket fell very close to the home of an AMIT Beersheva student. The principal of her school has been in close contact with the family.

Most families in the affected area are sleeping in bomb shelters at night, and heavy damage has been reported to buildings and vehicles. As in the past, AMIT has quickly responded with a variety of special services to its students, including offering classes and distance learning via the internet.  You can learn more about AMIT and help them provide these services.

Wherever you are, whatever your resources you can help the people in southern Israel.

  • Keep informed about the situation Don’t be afraid to speak up with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Tell them what is going on in Israel
  • When you see media imbalance, don’t be silent. Send a letter to the editor; call-in to talk radio programs; know the facts and speak your mind (don’t antagonize –inform and educate)
  • And please, contribute to efforts on behalf of Israel’s citizens in the south of Israel.
We wanted to keep you in the loop on the latest from Israel’s cities under siege.  I know you will want to help now!
Thank you.

AZM Chicago Officers 2011- 2012

Guy Hollingsworth | President

Seymour Lipton | Chairman of the Board

Shoshana Axler | Vice President

Rafael Bratman | Vice President

Miffie Nagorsky | Vice President

Miriam Goldberger | Vice President

Elizabeth Gossage | Vice President

Rachelle Rosenfeld | Vice President

Dr. Lee Silverglade | Vice President

Sandy Silverglade | Vice President

Sandy Starkman | Vice President

Michael Szanto | Vice President

Julie Cooper | Treasurer

Jean Goldrich | Financial Secretary

Ethel C. Fenig | Recording Secretary

Israel in the Write Light: Today’s Zionism and Israel Advocacy

This event has been postponed. Date TBA!

To view the program, please click here