2016 Purim Focuses on the Brave Soldiers in Jerusalem

At a Yom Kef held in at a Magav station Old City of Jerusalem this week it was made abundantly clear just how meaningful a small thank-you can be. 400 of the border patrol and police were feted by AZM and the Zionist Council and given mishloach manot, and personal thanks from our American donors.

Purim is in fact the most difficult day of the year for these brave young people.  Everyone is in costume and carrying packages.  How do you let the public enjoy the holiday and still protect them? Did you ever think about that? It is a challenge.

In addition to bringing gifts to the Magav headquarters, some young people brought their offerings right to some soldiers on duty by the Kotel.   A

 

 

Help us reach more soldiers and police.  Tell them that you care and that we thank them.  Every donation counts!

NYC Celebrates Israel 2016 – Theo Herzl Joins In

 

FLOAT3Despite the torrential downpours, spirits were high as celebrants made their way Fifth Avenue on Sunday. June 2nd.  Zionism: The Spirit of Israel was the theme and Herzl’s beard was filled with words associated with Zionist values.  Theo Herzl marched alongside the float on Sunday and even managed to snag a few press interviews.

Israel was built on the core values of Zionism and still proudly carries these values today. We were thrilled to celebrate this beautiful country of ours, together with other Zionists from all over the Tri-State area and beyond, including some from our northern neighbor Canada.

Sponsoring the float were AMIT, Bnai Zion and Hadassah.  Many other organizations joined the Zionist line of march following behind, including Ameinu, Habonim-Dror, Hashomer HaShomer, MERCAZ USA, Forest Hills Jewish Center, Hebrew Tabernacle and Young Judaea.

See an album of photos here, a video of the Celebrate Israel Parade here, and of the AZM float at the Parade here.

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.

Posters of Pre-State Israel Give Special Insight Into Zionism

israelsatticYesterday. Inspiring Tomorrow.

These 18 authentic posters from pre-state Israel and its early years of independence give expression to the ideals on which the Zionist movement was founded, the challenges it has had to contend with since its outset and the remarkable achievements characterizing its first decades.

More than an important historical record, this collection 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 fulfillment of the Zionist dream. Printed on each poster is a brief description of its contents in Hebrew, English, Spanish, and French, providing context and background enhancing appreciation of its message and associated values.

In addition to being suitable for display in schools, Jewish community centers, synagogues, youth movement clubs, community institutions, camps, offices and homes, these posters constitute a rich resource for informal educational activity on the Zionist vision and the realities that the movement has had to face.

Read what the Jerusalem Post wrote about the posters (PDF file)

Full set of 21 posters (50 x 70 cm. / 20 x 28 in.): $65.

Shipping is included in all prices. Purchase a full set of 18 posters and get 3 additional posters FREE!



 

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AZM Organizations March in the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade

DSCN0100With banners waving and signs held high, hundreds of people proudly marched with the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization at the 2013 Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2. Every year, more than thirty thousand people march in the parade to show their support of and love for Israel, and hundreds of thousands of spectators crowd sidewalks to cheer for their communities.

This year, AZM and WZO brought many of their constituents together as a “cluster,” with representatives from member organizations Amit, Ameinu, Mercaz, Hashomer Hatzair, and Habonim Dror as well as area synagogues Or Shalom, Hebrew Tabernacle, and Congregation Habonim. Hadassah, Young Judaea, ARZA and B’nei Akiva followed, making a delegation of upwards of 1,000 Israel supporters. In keeping with the Parade theme of “Picture Israel,” AZM members carried signs in the theme of “Visualizing Israel,” each featuring elements of how Israel has contributed to the Jewish community and to the world at large. Phrases included “Realizing Jewish Values,” “The Zionist Dream – Now a Reality,” “Using Science to Benefit All Humankind,” “Developing High-Tech Education” and more, visually unifying the group and underscoring the message.

While waiting to march on the parade route, the AZM contingent and passersby were treated to several performances by the Tzofim Friendship Caravan, a summer delegation of Israeli teenagers who travel around North America and promote Israeli culture through music and dance.

 

Astrith Baltsan Performs “Hatikvah”

Jaws dropped and tears ran as renowned Israeli concert pianist and music scholar Astrith Baltsan delved into the surprisingly storied history of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, at a performance on April 10. Using slides, musical interludes and short videos, Baltsan narrated Hatikvah’s roots and its role in Israel today.

In her multimedia presentation, Balstan broke down Hatikvah into three parts: melody, lyrics and orchestration. Each element of the song, she said, proved the strength and unity of the Jewish people. She also detailed the histories of those involved in creating the song, and shared her research into those backgrounds.

The more than one hundred audience members were all astonished and fascinated by Hatikvah’s past. “Astrith was an outstanding storyteller, and by looking at the pictures and movies of our Zionist history we remembered and fell in love with Hatikvah,” said Marlene Post. It’s a meaningful and captivating experience, agreed Mindy Stein. “[We felt] the undying hope, through years of exile, to be a free people in our land!”

“Hatikvah” was sponsored by the American Zionist movement, the World Zionist Organization and the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

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.

More Than 1000 Mishloach Manot Delivered to Southern Israel for Purim

Children in costume at NAAMAT centerFor more than 25 years, the American Zionist Movement has proudly been donating mishloach manot (traditional Purim gift baskets) to Israeli children and soldiers for Purim. Because of the numerous recent attacks faced by those living in the south of Israel, this year AZM focused on Ashkelon and its surrounding areas in order to show solidarity with residents there. More than 1,000 mishloach manot were distributed to a variety of organizations and community centers in need of extra support.

AZM donated the majority of mishloach manot to organizations in and around Ashkelon related to children. Children at Neve Hanna, a children’s home located in Kiryat Gat, and in the children’s ward of Barzilai Hospital, were delighted to receive their candy and noisemakers. The gifts enhanced the Purim celebration at the Kehillat Netzach Israel Ashkelon Preschool as well as at several NA’AMAT daycare centers. At the Ashkelon Family Nest, which assists young mothers and their children, recipients both enjoyed the surprise and were educated on the importance of volunteering and helping others. Ethiopian immigrant children at the Beit Canada Absorption Center celebrated Purim for the first time, and their mishloach manot made the experience even more exciting.

As in the past, in conjunction with Yashar LaChayal, an organization that provides necessities to soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, AZM donated mishloach manot to soldiers on Israel’s front lines. Lone Soldiers who are based in the Ashkelon area also were recipients of AZM gifts.

The mishloach manot were distributed by Marty and Terri Davis, who, in their capacity as Ashkelon community activists, are passionate about helping their community. In a letter of thanks to AZM, they shared how important the packages were to recipients.

[The mishloach manot] put smiles on the faces of many children and Soldiers. Try to imagine a child in the hospital missing out on the Purim festivities and, from over the ocean, special gifts arrive to help them celebrate! Even those with serious health problems were able to smile.…For us it is an emotional experience, and we would like to thank AZM on behalf of all the children and soldiers in Ashkelon for bringing them such joy and happiness.

 To help AZM continue its mission of supporting and promoting Zionism, donate here.

DJ Or Tregger Joins AZM at the Celebrate Israel Parade!

The American Zionist Movement gathered with friends and supporters to demonstrate solidarity at the Celebrate Israel Day Parade on Sunday, June 3rd. The spirit of Israel was evident through plentiful cheers, waving Israeli flags, decorated floats, and an enthusiastic crowd of over 30,000.

AZM followers marched alongside a unique float with a slogan that read “Unleash Your Inner Zionism”. Children, young leaders, and adults of all ages were dancing and singing to the sound of Israeli tunes provided by one of Israel’s finest and most talented, DJ Or Tregger.  The crowds on the sidelines were filled with excitement as AZM/WZO tote bags and chocolate “Herzl’s” were distributed.

“This was the best parade ever thanks to AZM… the float was so cool, I better be invited back next year”, said a 10 year old marcher named Tomer. His positive approach reflected the overall mind-set of this beautiful day. “Nothing stopped our spirit, not even being rained down”, said Jeremy a Young Leader involved with ViZionYLD.

Happy 64th Birthday Israel… till next year!

*ViZionYLD is AZM’s Young Leadership Division.

American Zionists Salute Israel

Materials to Celebrate Israel’s 61st Anniversary

American Zionist Movement | World Zionist Organization | ARZA |
Jewish National Fund | Hadassah | MERCAZ | Israeli Consulate | Other

AZM

Israel at the Movies: Your Guide to 8 Israeli Films

Celebrate Israel by exploring important themes in Israeli society – through eight easily-accessible Israeli movies. This guide provides background information, activities and questions for discussion for your synagogue, community center, class, film group, Israel club or group of friends.
| Read more

Ideas for Yom Hazikaron

We remember those men and women who gave their lives for a free and secure Jewish Homeland by observing Yom Hazikaron each year. Here are some suggestions and materials for commemorative programs and ceremonies. | Read more

WZO | Visit

Fulfilling the Dream: Celebrating 60 Years of Israel’s Challenges and Achievements

This special exhibit contrasts early scenes of the State of Israel with modern scenes using a hologram form of photography. A joint venture of the Department for Zionist Activities (WZO) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel. Available immediately after Passover. | If your organization, community center, or synagogue is interested in displaying this exhibit in honor of Israel@60, please contact AZM at azm@azm.org.

ARZA | Visit

One Heart, Two Homes


ARZA’s five-session adult education program that addresses the deep, personal issues surrounding the question, “Why should I, an American Reform Jew, have a relationship with Israel?” | More information

Faces of Reform Aliyah


ARZA’s Educational Kit with materials designed to engage congregations with authentic and familiar stories and to expose them to a unique dimension of Reform involvement in Israel.
| More information

18 Ideas ARZA Can Share with Your Congregation

ARZA can help you organize sessions to deepen your connection with Israel, with these creative ways to expand your congregation’s Israel programming. Assistance can range from a quick phone consultation, on-going consultation for new Israel/ARZA committees or a congregational visit from a lay or professional leaders. | View Ideas

The Reform Israel Experience: A Guide to Programs and Organizations to Engage with Israel

ARZA created this guide in order to encapsulate the Reform Israel Experience in an easy-to-use encyclopedia of programs and organizations geared toward Reform Jews and Israel. | View Guide

Hadassah | Visit

Israel Is

Hadassah’s multi-faceted program which showcases the side of Israel not often covered by the media. | More information

JNF | Visit

JNF Educational Programs

JNF provides programs and materials for students ranging from elementary school through college, synagogues and their leaders. Programs include Blue Box Bob, Yom Ha’atzmaut Israel Independence Day, GoNeutral Education Programs, Caravan for Democracy and Speakers’ Bureau. | Learn more

MERCAZ | Visit

Celebrating a Green Israel

A special program guide about the State of Israel’s environment, complete with suggested activities appropriate for different age groups.| View Program

The Road to Sixty

The Conservative Movement’s new program of study and celebration for use beginning in November, but suitable throughout the year. | View Program (PDF)

Celebrating the Zionist Dream: Educational Package

A synagogue activity kit and a 40-page book of essays suitable for adult education from the Conservative Movement. Includes “If You Will It” (PDF), a dramaticization of Zionist issues. | More information

Service to Celebrate Yom Yerushalayim

Mark Yom Yerushalayim