Archives for March 2013

Israeli Women, Jewish Women and the Challenges of Multiple Identities

feminisrael-panelOver 100 people gathered in the community room at B’nai Jeshurun synagogue on New York’s Upper West Side on Sunday, March 10th for a unique program marking International Women’s Day.  The program was part of a month-long observance of Women’s History Month that the AZM and WZO jointly mark as “FeminIsrael. ” Each year FeminIsrael explores the challenges facing Israeli women and celebrates their accomplishments and the accomplishments of women worldwide.

The 90-minute program left everyone wanting to know more, and most of the audience remained for another hour to speak directly with the panelists — each an accomplished woman in her own right.  The program, sponsored by B’nai Jeshurun, the World Zionist Organization and the American Zionist Movement also featured the works of an Israeli artist, Sharona Eliassaf.

Participating in the program were: Tova Birnbaum, shlicha for the World Zionist Organization; Liron Mor, a graduate student in literature at Cornell University; Elana Sztokman, Executive Director of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA);  Amal Abusif, Associate Director of Academic Programs for Kivunim; and Shani Rozanes, Director of Events and Public Programming at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

Asthrith Baltsan Presents “Hatikva” in New York City

This program is now fully subscribed and we cannot accept more reservations.

If you would like to hear Astrith Baltsan, and enjoy her entire 90 minute Hatikva program, we suggest you take advantage of her

April 11th performance of Hatikvah: Hope Reborn

Temple Israel
7:30 PM
112 E. 75th Street

To purchase tickets, please call: 212.415.5500

Or visit:





Take a mesmerizing journey on April 10th through the background and history of Israel’s national anthem, HaTikva.  Through a multi-media presentation, pianist Asthrith Baltsan reveals Hatikvah’ s past and its path to becoming the song of the Jewish People.

Register today


flyer for Hatkiva program

More Than 1000 Mishloach Manot Delivered to Southern Israel for Purim

Children in costume at NAAMAT centerFor more than 25 years, the American Zionist Movement has proudly been donating mishloach manot (traditional Purim gift baskets) to Israeli children and soldiers for Purim. Because of the numerous recent attacks faced by those living in the south of Israel, this year AZM focused on Ashkelon and its surrounding areas in order to show solidarity with residents there. More than 1,000 mishloach manot were distributed to a variety of organizations and community centers in need of extra support.

AZM donated the majority of mishloach manot to organizations in and around Ashkelon related to children. Children at Neve Hanna, a children’s home located in Kiryat Gat, and in the children’s ward of Barzilai Hospital, were delighted to receive their candy and noisemakers. The gifts enhanced the Purim celebration at the Kehillat Netzach Israel Ashkelon Preschool as well as at several NA’AMAT daycare centers. At the Ashkelon Family Nest, which assists young mothers and their children, recipients both enjoyed the surprise and were educated on the importance of volunteering and helping others. Ethiopian immigrant children at the Beit Canada Absorption Center celebrated Purim for the first time, and their mishloach manot made the experience even more exciting.

As in the past, in conjunction with Yashar LaChayal, an organization that provides necessities to soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, AZM donated mishloach manot to soldiers on Israel’s front lines. Lone Soldiers who are based in the Ashkelon area also were recipients of AZM gifts.

The mishloach manot were distributed by Marty and Terri Davis, who, in their capacity as Ashkelon community activists, are passionate about helping their community. In a letter of thanks to AZM, they shared how important the packages were to recipients.

[The mishloach manot] put smiles on the faces of many children and Soldiers. Try to imagine a child in the hospital missing out on the Purim festivities and, from over the ocean, special gifts arrive to help them celebrate! Even those with serious health problems were able to smile.…For us it is an emotional experience, and we would like to thank AZM on behalf of all the children and soldiers in Ashkelon for bringing them such joy and happiness.

 To help AZM continue its mission of supporting and promoting Zionism, donate here.

Learn Some Hebrew Words and Roots;Learn About Zionism As Well


This unit was written by Dr. David Breakstone
in association with Rabbi Miles B. Cohen
This publication is not going to make anyone fluent in either the Hebrew language or Zionist ideology. It does aim, however, to convey the vital importance of both to the future of the Jewish people.

Just as fidelity to the Hebrew language was a key to our redemption from Egypt (Midrash Vayikra Rabba 32:5), so, too, was it a key to our survival throughout the long exile from our homeland. Dispersed to the four corners of the earth, our diligence in continuing to study and pray in Hebrew united us in a collective bond to our common inheritance and its values. Tzedakah, hesed, tikkun olam, am segullah, aliyah, and shalom are just a few of the myriad words and phrases that define who we are with meanings and associations that cannot be fully appreciated in translation. And then a century ago, by virtue of the assiduousness of our forebears throughout the generations, the early Zionists were able to revive Hebrew as a dynamic language enabling those returned onto Zion to conjoin not only with their heritage but also with one another. Enlarging the circle of those able to do so is fundamental to the Zionist vision, predicated as it is on the unity of the Jewish people.


Naturally, then, this conviction is integral to The Jerusalem Program, the ideological foundation of the Zionist Movement. It consists of a basic statement of principles to which all who would call themselves Zionists are bidden to agree, a unifying statement pulling together into a single force those holding a broad spectrum of diverse beliefs and ideologies but who together comprise a single, cohesive World Zionist Organization. It also establishes the tone and direction of Zionism today, as subscribing to it not only affirms one’s belief in the right of the Jewish people to a state and homeland of its own, but also expresses our hopes and aspirations for the society we would wish to create there, as well as for the relationship we would like to see develop between the Jewish state and the Jewish people everywhere.


In creating this unit, then, the World Zionist Organization and its affiliate, the American Zionist Movement, hope to stimulate those using it to engage in a deeper exploration of the ideological underpinnings of Zionism and the richness of the Hebrew language, and to see both as treasures to be embraced and embedded in their own lives.


CoverZionistHebrew Intro The lessons of עִבְרִית צִיּוֹנִית – Zionist Hebrew are designed in a modular fashion so that they may be used in a variety of venues, ranging from a 10-minute opening of a meeting or event to a series of 45-minute sessions. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 1 Learn about the meaning of Tokhnit תָּכְנִית in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 2 Learn about the meaning of Ahdut אַחְדוּת in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 3 Learn about the meaning of Aliyah עֲלִיָּה in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 4 Learn about the meaning of Hevra חֶבְרָה in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 5 Learn about the meaning of Lashon לָשׁוֹן in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 6 Learn about the meaning of Hagannah הֲגַנָּה in The Jerusalem Program. Read more
CoverZionistHebrew Lesson 7Learn about the meaning of Yishuv יִשּׁוּב in The Jerusalem Program. Read more