Archives for August 2017

August 28: Celebrating 120 years since Herzl’s Zionist Congress

August 28, 2017


(Monday, August 28, 2017) At a time when “Zionism” has been criticized by the alt-Right and far-Left, nearly 100 representatives of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations gathered today, under the auspices of the American Zionist Movement (AZM), to mark 120 years since the global Zionist movement was founded.  As August 29-31 is the 120th anniversary of Theodor Herzl’s convening of the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland this event was held at the site of the official Theodor Herzl Memorial, located in Freedom Square Park in Queens.

“In recent weeks, as we have seen Zionism attacked from Richard Spencer to the Chicago March, it is important that Zionists of all backgrounds come together in our united support for the State of Israel.  That is what we did today as we marked the occasion when Herzl first brought together a broad coalition of Zionists to build the movement which would lead to the establishment of a Jewish state in our ancestral land.  Today Zionism is very much alive as we connect Jews worldwide with our homeland and as we continue to support the vibrant democracy, culture and contributions ofIsrael and the Jewish people”, said Richard D. Heideman, President, and Herbert Block, Executive Director, of AZM.

Photo credit: Maxine Dovere








Photo credit: Maxine Dovere
(high-res available upon request)

Among the speakers were (Left to Right):

  *Galit Peleg, Israeli Consul for Public Diplomacy, Consulate General of Israel in New York
  *Herbert Block, Executive Director, American Zionist Movement
  *Dr. Esther Serok, Representative of the World Zionist Organization in North America
  *Ellen Hershkin, National President, Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America
  *Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis
Sarrae Crane, Executive Director of MERCAZ, served as the Chair of AZM’s Herzl in the Park program, bringing the spirit of Basel to New York.  Co-sponsors of the ceremony today with AZM were the World Zionist Organization, Consulate General of Israel in New York, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Queens Jewish Community Council, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.


The American Zionist Movement (AZM), including 25 national Jewish organizations, represents American Zionists in the World Zionist Organization and works across a broad ideological, political and religious spectrum linking the American Jewish community together in support of Israel.


August 28: Celebrate 120 years since Herzl’s Zionist Congress

August 17: AZM Denounces Richard Spencer Calling Himself a “White Zionist”

Press Release

August 17, 2017 –Today “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer said he is a “White Zionist” during a television interview broadcast in Israel.

In a statement by the American Zionist Movement (AZM), Richard D. Heideman, President, and Herbert Block, Executive Director, said:

“For Mr. Spencer to claim to be a Zionist is a gross perversion of what Zionism is. Zionism is a movement of unity and love which brought together the Jewish people worldwide to push for the creation of a democratic State of Israel in our ancestral homeland. The 1948 Declaration of Independence of Israel stated that the new nation, formed after decades of Zionist efforts, “will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions”. These are the positive values which AZM and Zionists today continue to espouse and strive for, especially as this month we mark the 120th anniversary of the founding of modern Zionism when Theodor Herzl convened the Zionist Congress in August 1897 in Basel.

‘In the midst of what we have seen in Charlottesville, where the alt-right marched together with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, carrying the swastika which symbolizes the evil genocide of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, it is a disgrace for anyone to claim a link between those hateful and racist protests and Zionism. As President Rivlin of Israel said yesterday: ‘The very idea that in our time we would see a Nazi flag – perhaps the most vicious symbol of anti-Semitism – paraded in the streets of the world’s greatest democracy, and Israel’s most cherished and greatest ally is almost beyond belief’.”


Contact: Herbert Block
212-318-6100 x6946

AZM Constitution


As approved at the Assembly of the AZM in Miami on
January 31, 1993, in Boca Raton on December 20, 1995, in Washington D.C.
on June 14, 1998, in New York City on February 5, 2003 ,in Washington, DC
on September 14, 2003 by the AZM National Board, at in Newark, New Jersey
on October 22, 2007, in New York on December 7, 2014 and in New York on December 5, 2016.

Download now: AZM Constitution amended 2016 



The American Zionist Movement: Past and Future

The American Zionist Movement (AZM), including 25 national Jewish organizations, represents American Zionists in the World Zionist Organization and works across a broad ideological, political and religious spectrum linking the American Jewish community together in support of Israel, Zionism and the Jewish People.

The American Zionist Movement is a coalition of groups and individuals committed to Zionism: the idea that the Jewish people is one people with a shared history, values and language. AZM is the American affiliate of the World Zionist Organization, the Zionist Federation in the United States.


Mission Statement

The mission of the American Zionist Movement is to strengthen the connection of American Jews with Israel; develop their appreciation of the centrality of Israel to Jewish life worldwide; deepen their understanding of Israeli society and the challenges it faces; encourage travel, long-term visits and Aliyah to Israel; and to facilitate dialogue, debate and collective action to further Zionism in the United States and abroad.

Read about Zionism and the Jerusalem Program


What We Do

  • AZM Acts On Behalf Of Israel
    AZM defends Israel’s cause with vigor and confidence, supporting Israel as a rightful ally and trusted partner of the United States; we work tirelessly on behalf of Jews in distress or living under oppression inspired by the hope that they will ultimately reach Israel.
  • AZM Involves Future Generations
    AZM offers the next generation of young Zionists opportunities for leadership and action in the Zionist cause; we help young Jewish students bring Israel and the Zionist vision to their campus. We also work to involve the next generation of post-college young people in programs and projects to reinvigorate the Zionist vision and make it relevant to the next generation.
  • AZM Strengthens Jewish Identity
    AZM promotes and enhances creative Jewish continuity, using the magnetic force of Israel as a weapon against the destructive trends of assimilation and intermarriage; we are creating a new sense of Jewish self through identification with the people and the State of Israel.
  • AZM Promotes The Israel Experience
    Stronger bonds between American Jews and Israel will result from personal contact with Israel. This includes travel to Israel for short visits and whole summers, learning Hebrew, spending a college year or more, planning family visits and sabbaticals, volunteering, and investing in the economic development of the State of Israel.


Read on about Zionism and the Jerusalem Program



AZM Solidarity Mission to Israel during the war in Lebanon, summer 2006