FemInIsrael 2018

Zionism and Feminism are both movements dedicated to civil rights, freedom, and self determination.

The American Zionist Movement’s mission is to strengthen the connection of American Jews with Israel as well as encourage and participate in collective action to further the cause of Zionism in the United States and abroad.

Every year in March, as the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women during Women’s History Month, AZM has brought forward an initiative called FeminIsrael created to focus on and draw attention to the achievements of Israeli women, and their tremendous contributions to the State of Israel and the world.

In March  AZM held its annual FeminIsrael programming “Celebrating Israel’s Women” through a panel chaired by Alicia Post, AZM’s Program Director, and designed by Rabbi Paul Golomb, AZM National Vice President, Programming.  Keynote remarks were given by Dr. David Breakstone, Deputy Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, and Dr. Esther Serok, World Zionist Organization North America.

The four FeminIsrael panelists – from the four Zionist women’s organizations which are members of AZM  – represent the central roles that women play in the organizations as well as for the feminist and Zionist values they all share.  Each spoke about the role their organization plays today as a Zionist and Women’s organization as well as the endless contributions that have been made throughout their history.

The panel comprised: Sondra Sokal, Past National President, Board of Governors of AMIT Children; Johanna Guttmann Herskowitz, National President of Emunah America; Ellen Hershkin, National President of Hadassah – Women’s Zionist Organization of America; and Jan Gurvitch, National Vice President Fundraising of NA’AMAT USA (pictured below).


FeminIsrael — Celebrating Women’s Accomplishments in Israel

feminisraellogoMarch 8th was International Women’s Day, which takes place during Women’s History Month. Each year, AZM and WZO mark Women’s History Month with “FeminIsrael”, an initiative created to focus on and draw attention to the achievements of Israeli women, and their tremendous contributions to Israel and the world.

This year in the context of FeminIsrael, the AZM and the Consulate General of Israel in New York have joined together to honor some of the women who comprise Israel’s Delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. AZM will be hosting a reception and panel discussion

It promises to be a very special program, featuring some high-powered Israeli professional women, including: Orit Rishpi from wepower, Hava Carrie from the Carmel Institute, Gila Gamiel, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry, among others. Moderating the event will be Farhana Rahman, Director for Communications for Z-Cast, a mobile app for broadcasting live podcasts developed by the Israeli start-up, Zula. Farhana gained quite a bit of attention during her business trip to Israel earlier this year as she posted her strong support and love for the country and people of Israel.

Click here to sign up, or click on the flyer below.





AZM Celebrates Women’s History Month


The AZM and the WZO are proud to once again promote FeminIsrael as part of  Women’s History month. FeminIsrael highlights and celebrates the accomplishments of Israeli women and their contributions to Israeli to Israeli society and the betterment of the world.

We also want to honor female heroines of pre-state and contemporary Israel. They are positive role models who have contributed to shape the Jewish state and improve Israeli society. Henrietta Szold, Lea Goldberg, Hannah Senesh, Shulamit Aloni, Gold Meir, along with IDF soldiers, and women politicians, are among the pillars of the shared Israeli narrative.

For ideas and materials to learn more about these women please download materials here.


On March 16, 2016 in New York City, AZM and the Consulate General of Israel in New York are sponsoring a FeminIsrael Event.  For more information and to registration, please click here.

FeminIsrael Celebrates Israeli Women

feminisrael-21-150x150The American Zionist Movement and World Zionist Organization are proud to support FeminIsrael, a project that celebrates Israeli women and their accomplishments. During the year, WZO’s Beit Ha’am and Voices Fellowship each provide programming about women’s achievements and challenges in Israel as part of a broader dialogue about social change in Israel. Discussions cover topics as varied as equality for women, religious pluralism, coexistence, economic challenges and more.

Each March, in honor of Women’s History Month, FeminIsrael takes these discussions a step further. Through its educational events and speakers throughout North America, FeminIsrael focuses on Israeli women who have improved their communities and inspired the people around them. Organizers hope these events will serve as motivation for new advocates of feminism, and that whether in a local Jewish community or on a college campus, attendees will become active voices for change.

This year, FeminIsrael is partnering with AZM, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation in New York City, ARZA, Makom and the Inter Agency Task force, which helped find speakers.

In the New York area, FeminIsrael will be hosting “Women. Israel. Religion,” a Beit Ha’am Z-Talk, on Sunday, March 23. The panel promises to be truly thought provoking, with speakers from a variety of backgrounds, and is co-sponsored and hosted by B’nai Jeshurun Congregation. For more information and to register, visit here.

To plan a FeminIsrael event in your area, please contact Tova Birnbaum at TovaB@wzo.org.il.

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.

Miri Shalem Talks About Gender Discrimination in Israel

On Wednesday, February 29th 2012, we had the pleasure of hearing Miri Shalem speak to us about the challenges facing Israel today.

Miri Shalem, Organizer of Flashmob in Bet-Shemesh, Brings a Vibrant Perspective on Religious Life in Israel.

“We felt like we had power to change the world” proclaimed Miri Shalem to an attentive audience, who attentively listened to Miri speak.

Shalem, a resident of Bet Shemesh, organized a flash mob of 250 Jewish women of various backgrounds, to peacefully demonstrate against women’s segregation and inequality.  While she confessed she is not a professional dancer, she articulated her passion for using dance as a form of self- expression and community strength.

As the Director of the JCC in Bet Shemesh for the past 17 years, Miri has seen the city change before her eyes. A beautifully diverse town has become populated with a community of Haredim. This change led to a clash over culture and conduct. Miri felt passionate about the importance of keeping her community feeling alive throughout these changes, and created a dance night for women only.

When the story of eight year old Na’ama Margolese came to light, Miri’s passion peaked. Na’ama, who was spit on by ulta-Orthodox men on her way to school, grabbed the attention of the Jewish State, the world, and more specifically, of Miri.

Shalem felt dissatisfied that while there was so much talk about the situation, no action was taken to stop the violence against the female gender in the community. Using dance as her voice and social media as her guide, she brought together a choreographer, a videographer, a producer, and 250 local women for a public dance one Friday afternoon in January. The local women danced for a recorded 3 minutes, and spontaneously for about an hour following that.  “The women felt confident and empowered, and we couldn’t stop dancing…We didn’t care what people would say”, said a proud Miri.

With over 175,000 hits, the YouTube video of her flash mob to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” has truly left a mark on the world. As Miri articulated so beautifully over lunch, “Don’t stop us now…. No one will be able to stop us now or ever…”

This event was sponsored by the following:

American Zionist Movement

Bnai Brith International

Dorothy and Harold Greenwald Foundation

Hadassah – NY Region

Jewish Community Relations Council of New York

Jewish National Fund

Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

World Zionist Organization

FeminIsrael: Celebrating Israeli Women and Their Accomplishments

FeminIsrael is a joint project of the American Zionist Movement and WZO/Hagshama. Held each March in conjunction with Women’s history month, FeminIsrael celebrates  Israeli Women, their accomplishments, and their contributions to Israeli society and the betterment of the world.

FeminIsrael speakers visited communities and campuses across North America.  Even in places where there was no speaker, the accomplishments of Israeli women were celebrated with FeminIsrael programs.

FeminIsrael Programs

Movies with a Discussion Guide:

Syrian Bride
Aviya’s Summer
Aviva My Love

Powerpoint Presentation:

Female Voices: A look at how Israeli society has been influenced, shaped and represented throughout its history by the country’s top female musicians.

Shira: Women in Poetry: An explanation of women poets in Israel and their influence on Zionist and Israel cultural history.

Questions? Want to Participate?  Please send us an email.

FeminIsrael is a joint project of the American Zionist Movement and WZO/Hagshama