Meet the 2018 Fall Recipients

The American Zionist Movement is pleased to announce the winners of the Fall 2018 Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship. The recipients are accomplished young Americans Zionists dedicated to AZM’s mission, who are thrilled to be spending the next year living and immersing themselves in Israel.

 

Roy Buchler holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. Roy is a member of the Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe and was involved with Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee on campus. He has already spent significant time in Israel through various programs, including having volunteered on a Kibbutz, and is excited to participate in the Israel Government Fellowship. He is eager to create long-lasting connections to the State of Israel. He also hopes to find ways to strengthen the relationship between the Jewish Diaspora and Israel.

Read Roy’s essay on his personal connection to Zionism

 

Graeme Campbell holds a B.A. in Jewish Studies, History and Hebrew from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been involved with Camp Judaea Texas. He was also an intern on his campus Hillel as well as its co-president. Additionally, he has participated in various programs such as JNF’s Alternative Winter Break, Birthright, and Hamerkaz. During his freshman year, he was a member of a successful start-up organization, “Unify Texas”, which helps combat BDS on campus.

Graeme has been described in his recommendation letters as a “natural leader.” He hopes to be working as a Jewish communal professional and will be participating in the Israel Government Fellows Program in Jerusalem this year.

Read Graeme’s essay on his personal connection to Zionism

 

Adah Forer graduated this year cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in History from UC Berkeley.  She has worked as a StandWithUs fellow, Israel21C Digital Ambassador, AJC intern, and president of the leading pro-Israel group in college, Tikvah. Adah was also an undergraduate fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies where she planned academic events for students about the Jewish experience and Israel studies.

She writes that “Educating leaders in both Jewish communities and other ethnic/religious communities will ensure that our narrative and story of Jewish revival in our national homeland, Israel, continues to protect our people’s future and inspire other persecuted minorities across the world to throw off their chains and achieve self-determination. Israel may be seventy years young, and the Zionist movement merely a century old, but our roots dig deep and will never be displaced again.”

Adah will be an Israel Government Fellow this upcoming year and hopes to work on policies that strengthen both Israelis and worldwide Jewry. She aims to promote Israel’s image in the world, and effectively challenge anti-Semitism around the globe.

Read Adah’s essay on her personal connection to Zionism

 

Sasha Goodman attended CUNY College of Technology as well as Hunter College. She served for two years as the social chair of the NYU Chapter of Meor, and engaged students on topics related to Judaism and Israel. She has also proudly staffed her first Birthright trip this year.

Sasha will be interning in Israel through the Israel by Design’ program and is excited to grow professionally while learning firsthand what living in Israel is like.

She is passionate about reconciling social justice and Zionism, as she mentions in her essay “nowadays, it can be incredibly difficult to find a voice for Israel in the midst of the social justice world I am so strongly part of. Many are quick to attack Israel over the plight of the Palestinians. While I, a progressive advocate for human rights and social justice, understand that the current political climate is hard, and oftentimes disappointing, I firmly defend Israel.”

Read Sasha’s essay on her personal connection to Zionism

 

Noam Kahn graduated from Skidmore College this past May with a degree in Management and Business. On campus, he was involved with Hillel as an active student leader. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and the start-up environment and has participated in the Birthright Excel Ventures Fellowship, a leadership program for American and Israeli students who want to create their own Israeli start-up companies.

Noam will be attending a 6 month internship program in Tel Aviv through WUJS, and his goal is to “not simply to immerse [himself] in the startup community of Israel but also deepen [his] understanding and connection to Zionism and the Jewish community more generally.”

Read Noam’s essay on his personal connection to Zionism

 

Sydney Solomon graduated with High Honors from Oberlin College with a degree in politics. She has traveled numerous times to Israel, participated in Young Judaea Year Course following her High School graduation, and has been involved with Hillel and Chabad on campus as well as the JCRC. She writes that  “Zionism seeks to preserve the unique character of the Jewish People in Israel. Being a Zionist today means that Jews, just as much as other groups, have a right to maintain their heritage without discrimination or persecution.”

She will be participating in the Israel Government Fellowship program and is excited to not only gain professional experience but also to build her own connection to Israel.

Read Sydney’s essay on her personal connection to Zionism

 

AZM’s Diplomatic Mission to Poland and Israel 2018

Members of the Diplomatic delegation, with the President and Prime Minister of Israel (more photos below)

 

The American Zionist Movement’s Diplomatic Mission to Israel and to the March of the Living in Poland including 40 ambassadors to the United Nations.

 

From April 10-20, 2018 a delegation of 40 Ambassadors to United Nations participated in the AZM Diplomatic Mission to Israel and to the March of the Living in Poland, on a trip arranged by AZM together with Ambassador Danny Danon, Israel’s Permanent Representatives to the UN. The Ambassadors, from all the UN Regional Groups, and representing a quarter of the countries with which Israel has diplomatic relations, came from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. The diplomats marked Yom HaShoah by participating in the March of the Living in Auschwitz-Birkenau and in Krakow. The delegation then toured Israel and met with officials before celebrating the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding on Yom HaAtzmaut in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

Read the AZM Press Releases on the Delegation: 

  • Photo Release: Visiting UN Ambassadors Meet Rivlin & Netanyahu on Independence Day April 19, 2018 | View Photo & Caption
  • Forty UN Ambassadors Visting Israel During 70th Anniversary April 17, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • UN Ambassadors Visit Auschwitz on Yom HaShoah with AZM Diplomatic Delegation April 12, 2018  | Read Full Text

 

Read some of the Media Coverage on the

Diplomatic Mission: 

 

  • FORTY U.N. AMBASSADORS BRING IN ISRAEL’S 70TH ANNIVERSARY  Led by UN Ambassador Danny Danon, 40 ambassadors from Europe, Latin America and Africa participated in an event held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post > Israel’s 70th anniversary) April 20, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Forty UN Ambassadors Visiting Israel During 70th Anniversary (Jewish Press) April 20, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • UN Ambassadors visit Israel as part of largest delegation ever (Ynet News) April 18, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • 40 Ambassadors to the United Nations visit Israel (Times of Israel) April 18, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • 40 UN Ambassadors visit Israel as nation celebrates 70th anniversary (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) April 18, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Forty UN Ambassadors Tour Israel, Meet Pols During 70th Anniversary Celebrations (The Algemeiner) April 18, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Forty UN ambassadors tour Israel, meet pols during 70th-anniversary celebrations (Jewish News Service) April 17, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • 40 UN Ambassadors Tour Israel (Five Towns Jewish Times) April 17, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Diary from the 30th March of the Living (JPost) April 14, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • UN Ambassadors Join ‘March of the Living’ at Auschwitz (Breaking Israel News) April 14, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • UN ambassadors visit Auschwitz on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jewish News Service) April 12, 2018 | Read Full Text (JewishWebsite) Read Full Text
  • UN ambassadors visit Auschwitz- On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the American Zionist Movement brings UN ambassadors to Auschwitz (Arutz Sheva) April 12, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Led by Israel’s President Rivlin, thousands attend March of Living in Poland (The Times of Israel) April 12, 2018 | Read Full Text
  • Thirty years of the March of the Living (The John Batchelor Show) Featuring Monica Crowley, Malcolm Hoenlein and AZM President Richard D. Heideman; April 12, 2018 | Read Full Text

 

Members of the Diplomatic delegation at Auschwitz

Members of the Diplomatic delegation at the Western Wall (Kotel)

Members of the Diplomatic delegation in Jerusalem

 

 

Letter from the Prime Minister of Israel

 

We are pleased to share with you the following message from Prime Minister Netanyahu:

 

AZM’s 2018 Purim connection brings Purim joy to Israel’s Border Police and children

An important aspect of Zionism is maintaining our global Jewish unity and our personal ties to the people and land of Israel. Therefore, for nearly 30 years the “Purim Connection” program of the American Zionist Movement has helped maintain that bond by providing Mishloach Manot packages to those living in and protecting Eretz Yisrael.

This year, for the 2018 Purim Connection, the American Zionist Movement collaborated with its member organizations, networks and volunteers in Israel on two exciting projects in celebration of Purim. This includes partnerships with our Purim Connection coordinating partner, the Israel Forever Foundation, along with  Yad Ezra V’Shulamit, Yashar L’Chayal, AMIT Children and Bnei Akiva.

Mishloach Manot – baskets of treats – were distributed to impoverished Israeli children and to Israel’s Border Police “Magav” (מִשְׁמַר הַגְּבוּל) to bring Purim joy to the guardians and citizens of Israel. The brave men and women of the Border Police guard and protect the State of Israel and are often the first line of defense against urban and cross-border terrorism.

Students from AMIT volunteering

The Purim baskets were distributed with the help of the Israeli organization Yad Ezra v’Shulamit whose main goal is to help end hunger among Israelis. Miri Schreiber, the volunteer coordinator of the organization, wrote to AZM the following heartfelt thank you note: “Thank you once again for helping increase the Purim joy. It was a true testament of the power of unity, bringing together different groups within the ‘Klal’ for such a beautiful case. May we continue to work together to change the face of poverty in Israel.”

 

 

 Members of the Border Police sent videos thanking AZM and our partner organizations for organizing the Purim initiative and for providing them with Mishloach Manot. Austin, a lone soldier from Colorado who drafted into the Border Police, spoke emotionally about how truly wonderful the initiative was, and how deeply appreciative their entire unit was of the caring gesture.

In addition, Amichai Bacharach from Yashar Lachayal – an organization aimed at providing support to IDF soldiers – thanked AZM by mentioning that “the soldiers were thrilled to receive them! They thought that it is amazing that so many people care about them from overseas, and they were also happy with the quality of the mishloach manot themselves.”

The Border Patrol is a special unit that is under the auspices of – but separate from – the Police Dept. of Jerusalem. They are a joint force between the army and the police, and the Border Patrol also works with officers from both. When Israeli young adults are drafted into the IDF, some are offered a job in “Magav”, which is the Border Patrol. If they accept the assignment, they are trained as specialty police officers, and technically do not serve in the IDF. The Israeli Border Police is renowned for including a large number of soldiers from minority backgrounds, being a particularly popular choice with Druze recruits, but also includes many soldiers from Arab Christian and Bedouin background.

Some go on to choose this as a career, and some move from the police dept or army into Magav, and are professionals, as opposed to those fulfilling their 3 (or 2) year national service commitment. The “magavnikim”, or border patrolmen/women do get called back for “miluim”, reserve duty, but fulfill that reserve duty within the Border Patrol, not the IDF. The Border Police has recently become among the most popular and competitive combat units for new IDF recruits, presumably because of the increase in tensions and violence in Jerusalem and surrounding areas.

Through the 2018 Purim Connection, AZM sent over 400 packages to the Border Police women and men and just as many to Israeli children that enabled them to receive some Purim joy, and we are so thankful to our supporters who allow us to carry on such meaningful projects. 

 

Meet the HBR Scholarship Spring 2018 Recipients

The Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1995 in memory of Helyn B. Reich, wife of founding AZM President Seymour D. Reich. Reich scholarships are awarded each fall and spring to a limited number of American students who have chosen to study at one of several designated Israeli universities or post-college long-term programs in Israel. The scholarship seeks to recognize candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence, pro-Israel activity in their personal lives, and a dedicated commitment to future involvement with the Jewish and Zionist community in the United States.

The American Zionist Movement is pleased to announce the recipients of the Spring 2018 Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship. These three young people were chosen for their impressive commitment to Zionism and their high level of academic achievements. 

 

Jeremy Pesner holds a B.A. from Dickinson College and a graduate degree from Georgetown University. He has participated in previous Israel Programs and was selected as a participant the Israel Tech Challenge Experience working where he worked in software development and met with leaders in Israel’s tech sector while studying the Tel Aviv startup community. He is a participant in the Israel Government Fellows program and hopes to gain even greater experience and exposure to Israel’s IT and telecommunications fields.

Read Jeremy’s essay on his connection to Zionism

 

Michelle Schein hails from Massachusetts and graduated from Brown University with a degree in International Relations with Honors. She interned at various members of Congress and was very involved with Jewish and Zionist organizations on campus, including Brown Students for Israel where she served as President. She received the 2016 AIPAC Campus Activists Award for her work on campus. She will be interning at the Arava Institute Academic Program.

Read Michelle’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Rachel Goldberg graduated from the University of Rochester in 2015 and has been living in Boston since her graduation. In Boston, she has been involved with JNF, the JCRC, and CJP, while working as the Director of Community Relations at the Consulate General of Israel to New England. She will be studying at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Rachel states “As Israel nears its 7 th anniversary, we must not only remember the country’s roots, but also acknowledge its incredible strides in technology and innovation, humanitarianism, and equal rights, just to name a few. By promoting Israel’s relevant and heroic accomplishments, we can effectively combat critics, educate the greater population, and ensure Israel’s prosperity for generations to come.”

Read Rachel’s essay on her connection to Zionism

Meet the HBR Scholarship Fall 2017 Recipients

The Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1995 in memory of Helyn B. Reich, wife of founding AZM President Seymour D. Reich. Reich scholarships are awarded each fall and spring to a limited number of American students who choose to study at one of several designated Israeli universities or attend post-college long-term programs. The scholarship seeks to recognize candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence, pro-Israel activity in their personal lives, and a dedicated commitment to future involvement with the Jewish and Zionist community in the United States.

 

The American Zionist Movement is excited to announce the recipients of the Fall 2017 Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund Award. The recipients are dedicated advocates for Israel who have demonstrated strong leadership skills on their respective campuses and Jewish communities. We truly believe that their tremendous work will greatly contribute to furthering the commitment of American Jews to Zionism upon their return to the United States, and we wish them the best of luck for their upcoming year in Israel.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 11.01.25 PMEden Elimelech is a student at Drexel University and a soon to be graduate. She will intern in Israel through the Destination Israel program. She was very involved with various Jewish and Zionist organizations on campus, including Hillel and Chabad, where she served as student president of the latter. Zionism runs deep within Eden. In her own words: “for when parts of the world are no longer safe or welcoming for Jews, Israel will be that one beacon in the darkness like a lighthouse that will steer us away from rocky shores and to the one place where a Jew can be a Jew. Israel is not just my home or a home to the thousands of other Jews alive today.”

Read Eden’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

14364855_10207280073780474_5466611046828700863_nJessica Kasmer-Jacobs grew up in Massachusetts and graduated cum laude from New York University in 2014 where she was President of the Hillel Board. Following graduation, she served as editor and writer at the Wall Street Journal, and recently obtained a Master of Philosophy from Trinity College in Dublin. Her experiences facing anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in Dublin pushed her actively dedicate her time to standing up for Israel. Jessica hopes that the Israel Government Fellows program she will be participating in will provide her with the tools to even more effectively defend Israel upon her return to the United States.

Read Jessica’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Picture Jessica ZimmermanJessica Zimmerman graduated last year from the New College of Florida and will be a Teaching Assistant this year in Haifa through the MASA Israel Teaching Fellows program. She had been involved in Jewish and Zionist communal organizations since her youth, such as working in partnership with Jewish summer camps, local Jewish Federations, along with the AJC and the World Zionist Organization. Her commitment to Zionism is impressive, and she beautifully writes “Today Israel signals a new age, an age where Jews have a safe haven, a world where Jews do not have to fear forced conversion, torment, eviction, and genocide. I will fight for Israel until my last breathe on this earth because without Israel, who am I?”.

Read Jessica’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Picture Liat KastnerLiat Kastner is from Oregon and graduated from Reed College last year. She will be spending her year in Israel at the Yahel social justice program, and hopes to work in the Jewish sector upon her return to the United States. Liat has had a relationship with Israel since childhood and says that Israel is “the most important place in the world to [her] where [she is] not an “other” or an “outsider,” and can be proud of [her] Judaism and [her] family’s history.”

 

 

Read Liat’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 8.00.53 AMNikki Golomb just graduated from the University of Delaware and previously spent a semester abroad studying at Tel Aviv University in 2015. She will be returning to Israel this fall to take part in the Way More Israel program. Nikki was involved with various Jewish and Zionist organizations on campus as a student at Delaware, including participation as a Hasbara Fellow. She greatly hopes to work in the Jewish non-profit sector when she will return to the United States. Nikki is extremely excited to be returning to Israel to learn more, explore, and deepen her connection to Zionism. She writes “more than anything, Zionism is loving and advocating for Israel. It is anything but easy. It is grueling, confusing, and an endless journey.”

Read Nikki’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

passport photoPeter Young studied at San Diego State University where he earned a Bachelors in Modern Jewish Studies. He will be spending the upcoming year at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, which he hopes will help him learn more about new perspectives while expanding his knowledge of Judaism and Israeli culture. He is greatly looking to utilize this amazing experience to advance towards his goal of becoming a Rabbi in the United States. Peter is deeply committed to his Judaism, to promoting Jewish life, and to being an unceasing advocate for Israel.

Read Peter’s essay on his connection to Zionism

 

Andrew Seligson hails from Kansas and is a recent graduate from Oberlin College. He most recently interned at the Permanent Mission of Israel at the United Nation and will be an Israel Government Fellow this coming year in Jerusalem. He is excited by this opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in Israel by directly making a difference for the Jewish People across the globe. As a staunch Zionist,  Andrew believes that “as long as we remain strong and committed to our mission, we can make a state of the Jewish people as strong, flourishing, and peaceful as it 

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

Meet the HBR Scholarship Spring 2017 Recipients

The American Zionist Movement is pleased to announce the winners of the Spring 2017 Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund. The recipients are talented young Americans and passionate Zionists, who are excited and thrilled to spend more time living and working in Israel this year.

 

Aaron Friedman-Heiman

Aaron graduated last year from Tulane University last year with a Bachelor’s DegreeAaron Headshot (1) in Political Science and Environmental Studies. As a student on campus he was involved with AEPI and Hillel, where he volunteered his time to start and lead a community garden initiative on campus. A passionate Zionist, Aaron is excited to spend a semester in Israel and experience daily life firsthand before possibly making Aliyah in the future. He will be interning at the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies in the south of Israel. Aaron says “Israel is much more than our religious and cultural capital. To many, including myself, Israel is our voice.” He has advanced Hebrew language skills and is eager to improve his Hebrew even more.

Read Aaron’s essay on his connection to Zionism

Chelsea Manoff

photo (1) (1)Chelsea graduated with a Master of Science in Globalization and Development Communication from Temple University. She will also be interning at the Arava Institute in Kibbutz Ketura in southern Israel.

She sees the transformation in Israel, particularly in sustainable agriculture, as an extremely fascinating and focal study point. She is very excited to learn more from the guiding professors at Arava. She wishes to use this internship as a stepping point towards a career in agricultural development and of personal development by connecting with her Jewish heritage. She plans to combine her interest in sustainable development with her background in horticulture, by helping farmers in developing countries become more sustainable and successful.

Read Chelsea’s essay on her connection to Zionism

Jesse Medina

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 7.37.11 AMJesse hails from Michigan, and holds a B.A in Science, Technology and Society from Pomona College. A strong advocate for Israel in many spheres. He was actively involved through his work with Hillel on campus, and with Magen David Adom, where he volunteered in Israel in the summer of 2012. He has also been an attendee at AIPAC policy conferences. Jesse writes that Israel “is a wonderland of spirituality and innovation alike, with Jews from all walks of life that accept each other as brethren. This is a type of acceptance and love that is incredibly difficult to find replicated outside of the international Jewish community. This is the true Zionism definition of Zionism and why it is so important.”

He will be interning for Social Finance Israel, an innovator in the implementation of Social Impact Bonds to drive socioeconomic progress in areas of social and economic crises. He hopes to gain insight from this internship to learn and understand more about Israeli innovations and policies, and is greatly looking forward to being able to bring back new skills to the United States.

Read Jesse’s essay on his connection to Zionism

Jon Atkins

02/10/2016 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. - Carer Fair LinkedIn Headshots on February 11, 2016. (Evan Sayles for Tufts University)

Jon attended Tufts University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He visited Israel on a Birthright trip during college, which served as a catalyst for developing a strong connection to the land and its culture. Upon his return, he became much more involved with Jewish life and Zionist conversations on campus. He worked with Tufts Hillel to help make Birthright trips more appealing to fellow students. He was also actively involved with JStreet’s chapter at Tufts. Though he recognizes the complexity of Israel, he mentions that “ the issue of Zionism is integral to any Jewish community and I know it will forever be a part of my life and everyday discourse.”

He is extremely excited to return to Israel and will spend 5 months in Jerusalem interning at Achvat Amim – Solidarity of Nations, part of Hashomer Hatzair. The program aims to help participants understand and work to bridge divides that exist in Israeli communities.

Read Jon’s essay on his connection to Zionism

Lynette Hacopian

Me (1)Lynette hold a B.S. In Environmental Economics and Politics from U.C. Berkeley, and was very involved with Tikvah Students for Israel on campus, as well as Chabad. She interned for almost a year at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco. Lynette’s connection to Israel grew much stronger following Gaza war of 2014. Having witnessed extreme anti-Israel sentiment on campus, she led Zionist activities through Tikvah, participated in campaigns, and silent protests such as “Cut the Tape” against those promoting BDS on campus. She will be interning at the Arava Institute and is excited to get a better understanding of the conflict and the region, and especially to learn more about environmental issues in Israel. She is also excited to improve her Hebrew.

Read Lynette’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Sarene Shaked

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 7.29.47 AMSarene is currently a student at Cornell University and will be spending her spring semester at Tel Aviv University. At Cornell she served as the Israel Awareness Chair of Hillel’s Executive Board, AIPAC Liaison, as well as a CAMERA Fellow and Israel Intern. Through these positions, she organized numerous events on campus while doing her best to serve as a “symbol of Israeli and Jewish pride.”

She hopes to develop a greater connection to Israel on a personal level, and find professional opportunities to weave her interest in psychology with social justice and conflict resolution.

 

Read Sarene’s essay on her connection to Zionism

Shimon Peres 1923 – 2016

14457474_1173735652672696_3807868112695001605_nIt is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Shimon Peres z”l.  A giant among men, Peres distinguished himself not only among his generation of Israeli heroes, but as a statesman and diplomat on the world stage.

Peres served in every major role in the Israeli government including Minister of Defense, Foreign Minister and Prime Minister. He was the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 in recognition of his role in the Oslo Accords.  In his last official role, as the President of the State of Israel,  Peres continued to innovate and to inspire all.

During his more than six decades of public service, his work was dedicated to the pursuit of peace and to a universal vision of justice and harmony.  His devotion to and efforts to realize the idea that Israel can truly serve as “a light unto the nations” will long remain an inspiration to Zionists, Jews, and citizens of the world.

Meet the HBR Scholarship Fall 2016 Recipients

The American Zionist Movement is thrilled to announce the recipients of the Fall 2016 Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship Fund Award. Their commitment to the Jewish people reflect the passion the committee strives to promote with this scholarship. We are extremely proud to be supporting each recipient in their endeavors by helping them connect with Israel in the strongest possible way.

 

passport photoAna Maria Greenberger hails from California and graduated last Spring from Pennsylvania State University. While growing up in a Jewish community, she traveled to Israel for the first time in 2015 and fell in love with the country. She will be taking part in the Israel Government Fellows program in Jerusalem, an opportunity she is profoundly excited about. She writes “as an Israeli Government Fellow I will have the unique opportunity to add another layer to my understanding of the State of Israel – something which I deeply long for. It will give me the opportunity to learn about the government of the Jewish people and to able to bring Zionist ideas back to my own country.”

Read Ana Maria’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

DaniellaFlorenceDaniella Berger just graduated this Spring Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland in College Park.  She will also be an Israel Government Fellow in Jerusalem. Daniella grew up in a Zionist home and has been involved in pro-Israel advocacy her whole life. She took a gap year after high school to study in Jerusalem where her passion for Israel grew. On her college campus she felt discomfort facing radical anti-Israel hatred, and decided to spend the next few years dedicating her time to working with Israel advocacy organizations, including traveling to conferences, interning for AIPAC, serving as a StandWithUs fellow, and dedicating her time to one of the pro-Israel groups at the University of Maryland where she served as president.  Daniella says ” My Zionism means I will fight forever to be able to live freely as a Jew, whether that is in Israel or somewhere else. My Zionism is the purpose that will drive my career decisions in the future. My Zionism is the history and struggles of my people, and the future that I can help build for the entire Jewish community.”

Read Daniella’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

simonJonah Simon is a rising junior at Middlebury College and will be studying at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva for a semester. Over the past two years he has served as treasurer and Israel chair on the Middlebury College Hillel Board. He is excited to study in Israel, where his maternal family can be traced back eight generations, and to get to explore the country, the culture, and get to know Israelis better.

Read Jonah’s essay on his connection to Zionism

 

Sophia Lloyd-Thomas is a student at Tufts university and will be spending her sosophia headshotphomore year at Tel Aviv University. During her post high school gap year in Israel, Sophia greatly connected to Israel and mentioned how devastating it can be to see the anti-Israel sentiment displayed on college campuses. Thinking about how spending the year in Israel will impact her she says ” whenever I see anti­-Israel flyers, or something inflammatory online, I’m not discouraged. I’m motivated even more to educate myself, to understand the country, to actually experience Israel.”

Read Sophia’s essay on her connection to Zionism

 

Congratulations to this year’s recipients and best of luck!