Announcing November 15-17: AZM National Conference


The American Zionist Movement is proud to announce its Washington National Conference:  Zionism Forward in the Spirit of Balfour, to be held in Washington DC, November 15-17, 2017.


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The American Zionist Movement (AZM) will convene its Washington National Conference:  Zionism Forward in the Spirit of Balfour, which will be held in partnership with the Department for Diaspora Activities of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Balfour Initiative of The Israel Forever Foundation (IFF)

Participants will take part in a range of events and activities that will highlight November “Zionism Anniversaries Month”, which will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Resolution. 

Our gathering during this 120th year of modern Zionism (since Theodor Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel, ultimately leading to the creation of the State of Israel) will reaffirm our commitment to Zionism and its contemporary relevance. Today Zionism continues to connect the Jewish People worldwide with our ancestral homeland.

The conference is open to all American Zionists, including leadership and representatives from AZM and its 25 member organizations, invitees of the WZO, all Zionist and pro-Israel organizations, as well as guests from among the government, diplomatic, public affairs and political circles in Washington.  In keeping with AZM’s commitment to a continuation of inspiring new and future American Zionist leadership, we invite young professionals, student leaders and Zionist youth movement members to attend the conference.

Program Details

Conference registration and networking will commence at 11:00 am in the “Zionist Shuk” on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 followed by an afternoon program of opening sessions and panels featuring key officials and communal leaders. That evening we will attend a celebratory “Balfour Gala” event at the Embassy of Israel.  On Thursday November 16 we will be on Capitol Hill for sessions and a Congressional, Ambassadors and Diplomatic Luncheon with US Senators and Representatives, Diplomats and other public officials for a formal commemoration of the Balfour Centennial and recognition of this Year of Zionist Anniversaries.  After the conclusion of our conference sessions at Congress on Thursday afternoon and an early evening reception, the program will continue with the WZO Symposium on Diaspora Affairs, including an evening cultural program.  The WZO symposium will continue on Friday morning November 17 until 11:00 am for those who are able to remain in Washington before leaving for home to celebrate Shabbat. 

The program includes:

  • Presentations, panel discussions and forums on Balfour at 100 and Zionism – historically and its meaning and relevance today
  • A program and luncheon on Capitol Hill to mark Balfour 100 and the Zionist anniversaries with members of Congress
  • Examination of the continuing Anti-Israel, Anti-Zionist and Anti-Semitic attitudes confronting Israel and the Jewish people
  • An exclusive session with government officials and diplomats, from the US, UK and Israel
  • The “Celebrate Balfour” Gala

Speakers and Panel Discussions will include:

  • Zionism Today in the Context of Current Israel and Mid-East Affairs
  • Zionism: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities
  • Anti-Zionism = Anti-Israelism = Anti-Semitism
  • Fighting the Battle for the Dignity of Zionism on the Campus
  • Zionism Across the Spectrum: Unity Among the Zionist Community
  • Why the Balfour Declaration Matters: Bold Diplomacy and Historical Relevance
  • The Legacy of Justice Brandeis as Inspired by Lord Balfour
  • In the Spirit of Balfour: The US – UK – Israel relationship 
  • Zionism in the Court of Public Opinion
  • The American Jewish Voice – Advancing Israel-Diaspora Relations.



For more details contact or call 212.318.6100 x6947


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.


Celebrate Israel Parade NY 2017 – Photos and Video