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!

The 2016 International Bible Competition for Adults

The North American participants have been selected!!  You can’t compete but you can witness the competition that will select the finalizsts to be sent on to Jerusalem.  You can attend, but you must register!!

 

Honoring the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, this year’s theme is:

 

The Land of Zion and Jerusalem

 

The winners of the online competition will come together to compete at the US Finals on Sunday, June 19, 2016/13 Sivan 5776, 3:00 PM at West Side Institutional Synagogue, 120 West 76th Street, New York, NY 10023.

The winner and runner-up will advance to the International Bible Competition Finals in Jerusalem on the 5th night of Chanukah – Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

If you’d like to attend the US Finals event, admission is free of charge, but you MUST RSVP in advance. We hope to see you there!

 

Please RSVP here: www.azm.org/bible-contest

 

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BDS: The New Antisemitism – Standing Room Only in NYC

Ambassador Danny Danon addresses BDS conference in New York City.

Ambassador Danny Danon

It was standing room only on Thursday evening, June 2 at BDS: The New Antisemitism? Countering a Global Movement. Over 250 people gathered to learn more about the fight against BDS in the United States and globally. The idea was initiated by the World Zionist Organization and specifically its Vice Chairman Yaakov HaGoel. The program began with a rousing greeting from Israel’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Danny Danon (pictured left) .

In the presence of twelve Israel mayors and deputy mayors, Malcolm Hoenlein, Brooke Goldstein and Yuval Abrams spoke about efforts to delegitimize Israel and what is being done to counter those efforts.

Brooke Goldstein spoke brilliantly about using the US Constitution and the legal system to thwart efforts to silence students and others. She also spoke about the successful efforts to halt Kuwait Air’s illegal restrictions on passengers.  Yuval Abrams spoke about the impact in the academic arena and challenges he faces as a member of the CUNY Graduate Center Student Council.

While BDS  has minimal economic impact on Israel, on campuses  there can be a serious impact on the hearts and minds of young Jews. BDS is a movement designed to undermine and destroy Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Everyone, regardless of their perspective, agreed that we cannot simply respond, but we must be proactive. Young people on campus today are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is important that they engage with Israel in a positive way, and do not learn and grow in a hostile environment.

As proud Zionists that care deeply about Israel and its right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. It is paramount that we unite together against the common threat that is BDS. We strive to empower students to feel confident in their abilities to stand up for Israel and against the baseless hatred driving the BDS movement, particularly on college campuses.

We are proud to have co-sponsored such an engaging evening of dialogue that truly provided meaningful answers and tools to countless members of the community, to combat Israel hatred.

You can find the video of the event here.

Israel Education Resources

A collection of resources for teaching and learning about Israel.

 
Please find below a collection of different resources for Israel educators and individuals wishful to learn more about Israel.
 
Beit Haam – Israel Education Resources from the World Zionist Organization. You can access guides especially made for educators here, or access the general resources here.

Zionist News of Interest – Several news stories, articles, and web sites that can serve as an additional source of material for Zionist organizations and supporters.

Israel Education Programs – Several innovative programs that encourage dialogue about Zionism, created by Zionist organizations from all over the religious and political spectrums. It includes The Third Narrative, a progressive initiative from Ameinu

Posters of pre-state Israel – An important historical record, this collection also provides a fascinating insight into the atmosphere and spirit of the times. It also serves as a source of inspiration for carrying on with the vital mission of continuing to work for the fulfilment of the Zionist dream.

 

 

Beit Ha’am – Israel Education Resources

beithaamsImageEnglish

The Beit Ha’am – House of the Nation – program was developed by the Department for Diaspora Activities of the World Zionist Organization to encourage discussion on the subject of Zionist identity and attitudes to the State of Israel.

The program includes diverse traditional and modern texts on a range of subjects. Through encounter with these texts, we hope to encourage lively discussion of Zionist identity among Diaspora Jews in general, and the younger generation, in particular. The discussion will address what binds the Jewish people, wherever they may be, as well as what divides and separates us.

We will consider the meaning of Jewish political independence of the people dwelling in Zion and the reciprocal relationships between Jews living in Israel and those who live in the Diaspora. This represents an opportunity for everyone, irrespective of prior knowledge, to get to know and enhance their knowledge about the significance of Zionism in the 21st century, to engage in discussion, reflect on its substance and the extent of its relevance to our lives.

Below, you can find resources from the Beit Ha’am program. You may have to scroll down to the last page in order to find the beginning of the English booklets.

All links in purple are guides for educators and leaders.  The guides are tools to teach about Israel through different activities.

 

The establishment of the State of Israel

United Nations Vote for a Partition Plan – 1947

Why Not Uganda

 

The concept of Zionism

Defining Zionism Workshop

 

Israeli Leaders

Ben Gurion Leader’s Guide

Menachem Begin on Israeli issues

Yitzhak Rabin – Yitzhak Rabin and the peace process – Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Ceremony

About Leadership

 

About Israeli society

The Tent Cities: Israel Social Protest 2011 – PostersEducationHealthHousing

A Guide to discuss social issues in Israel

Operation Protective Edge

Identity Issues : Jewish and Zionist identity

Israeli Law: The Supreme Court, Israeli Laws

The Israeli Political System

Israeli Elections

 

Jewish Holidays

Hanukkah

Passover

Purim

Rosh Hashana – The New Year

Shavuot

Tisha B’Av

Tu B’Shvat: Haggadah – Seder

Yom Ha’ Atmazut – Independence Day

Yom Ha’ Shoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yom Ha’Zikaron – Memorial Day

Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day

 

Women in Israeli Society – FeminIsrael

Women in Israeli History

Women in Israeli Society

Arab Women in Israel

Ethiopian Women in Israel

Haredi Women in Israel

Marriage and Religion

Russian Women in Israel

Women in Israeli Society Leader’s Guide

Women in Politics

Women in the IDF

Women in the Job Market

Female Figures in Israeli History 

A Comprehensive list of Israeli female figures

Israeli Literature and Poetry

Poetry Program

Is it true, by Leah Goldberg

Beit Ha’am monthly anthologies

Month of Elul (last month of the Jewish calendar)

Month of Tishri

Beit Ha’am’s Tribute to Leonard Cohen

A Tribute to Leonard Cohen

 

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Join us at the Celebrate Israel Parade 2016

 

Please join AZM and march with us in the 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade

March with us and thousands of supporters of Israel up Fifth Avenue in NYC on Sunday, June 5, to stand up for and honor Israel.

This year’s theme is “Zionism: The Spirit of Israel”. Israel was built on the core values of Zionism and still proudly carries these values today. We are thrilled to be celebrating this beautiful country of ours during the Parade, along with other Zionists from all over the Tri-State area and other North American cities.

Please register HERE if you would like to march with us. The gathering spot, time and other details will be communicated as soon as we have them.

We hope you will join us this year for this wonderful event.

 

 

 

AZM- Herzl Beard Israel smaLL

 

BDS – The New Antisemitism? Confronting a Global Campaign

Join AZM and the WZO at a conference titled “BDS – the New Antisemitism? Confronting a Global Campaign” on June 2, 2016, in NYC. It will address the resurgence of global antisemitism and provide our community with tools to tackle and confront it.

A delegation of Israeli Mayors and Knesset members will participate in this symposium to learn more about what is happening on this front. Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, will also partake in the panel. It will be a great opportunity to hear about the joint efforts of Israeli MK’s and American Jewish leaders to understand and combat the BDS movement.

Please register HERE.
 
 
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Holocaust and Heroism Rememberance Day

Today, May 4, 2016, is Holocaust Remembrance Day – Yom Hashoah. The State of Israel and Jewish communities around the world will mark the day in memory of the 6 million Jews who were killed during the Shoah. The day is being marked with many ceremonies, all with the Israeli national flag flying at half-mast. Today, before it’s too late, and before they all leave, is the opportunity to listen to some of the survivors stories.

If you wish to read more about Holocaust Remembrance day, our collective responsibility in remembering and commemorating, and some texts and poems written by Holocaust survivors, click here (scroll down to page 11 for the English version).

 

Holocaust