Archives for May 2013

Hebrew Strengthens Jewish Identity

AlephHebrew is a key to fully understanding and appreciating Israeli culture. With that in mind, the World Zionist Organization and its American affiliate, the American Zionist Movement, are creating ways to bring American Jews closer to the Hebrew language. Model programs are being developed, including using the language to teach about aspects of Israeli society and culture. Three pilot programs will be launched, one in Chicago and two in New York, and will target young professionals and young families. These conversational and thematic programs will serve to engage constituents through immersion in Hebrew as well as through experiential activities. Other types of programs are also being explored, such as yoga in Hebrew and Hebrew mifgashim (encounters), social settings where people with Hebrew knowledge interact, play board games, eat and drink while “exercising” and “strengthening” their Hebrew – and their confidence.

AZM and WZO are also working to create a Hebrew Council, an umbrella organization for the various organizations, institutions, foundations and educators who teach or care about Hebrew. The Council will provide support and leadership to those involved in the strengthening of the language and who work to ensure its continuity.

There’s a rich history of how Hebrew words relate to Zionist concepts. 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. Learn more about their relationship with Zionism through Ivrit Tzionit (Zionist Hebrew – the Jerusalem Program), an AZM and WZO unit that delves into the roles of Hebrew and Zionism in our future.

Advocacy Training Seminar to be Held this June

flagsThe American Zionist Movement is partnering with MERCAZ, the Conservative Movement’s Israel advocacy arm, to sponsor special training seminar for a core group of Zionist and Israel Advocates .

The two day seminar will take place Sunday and Monday, June 9-10, at the Heritage Hotel, located in Southbury, CT.   The American Zionist Movement, working in cooperation with Mercaz, the World Zionist Organization and the Israeli Embassy, is now accepting applications from members of its organizations who wish to become local trainers or activists in the Israel advocacy field.

Participation in the Israel Advocacy Training Seminar is designed to provide key leadership with the resources, knowledge and skills to work with others in chapters, Jewish institutions and their local community to project Israel and Zionism in a positive light.   Participants will be expected to familiarize themselves with certain requisite materials in advance of the program in order to guarantee a common baseline of information.  In addition, all participants in the seminar will be invited to be involved in follow-up activities to insure continuity.

The application process requires at least one recommendation from another community leader who  can attest to the participant’s’ abilities and appropriateness for this particular program.

The cost of the 2-day seminar is $180, which includes 1 night accommodations (double occupancy) and 4 kosher meals (Sunday lunch, Sunday dinner, Monday breakfast, Monday lunch).

There is also be a reduced “walk-in” fee for local residents. Travel costs are extra; however, there may be some travel scholarships available depending on need. (Separate application required.)

Those not accepted for this initial seminar will be placed on a priority list for subsequent workshops.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining in this effort, go to