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

A Purim to Remember: Celebrating Life With Holocaust Survivors

azm purim social mediaMarch 2017/ Adar 5777

Dear Friends,

It is almost Adar which means Purim is a close at hand.  Purim is a celebration commemorating one of many stories of Jewish survival against all odds.  The recent surge in antisemitism has us reflecting on the past, reinforcing the urgency to remember the 6,000,000 Jews murdered in the Holocaust and learn from those who went on to build inspiring lives.  “Never forget” was our commitment, so this Purim we ask you to join AZM’s campaign to remember and celebrate life with some of the Shoah’s last survivors.

Please dedicate this Purim to helping survivors feel cherished, join the American Zionist Movement (AZM) in “A Purim to Remember: Celebrating Life with Survivors of the Holocaust”.

The “Purim Connection”, initiated 30 years ago by AZM was a trailblazer program designed to bring Purim joy to often neglected soldiers.  Past recipients of this initiative included the Jerusalem border patrol, children under missile fire in Sderot, Ethiopian olim, and women and children in shelters.  This year Children in costume on Purim in the Landsberg DP camp, Germany, 1947-1948the AZM has partnered with The Israel Forever Foundation and Yad Ezra V’Shulamit to build a bridge between American Jews and Holocaust survivors.

On March 8, 2017, we will host  festive Purim events in Jerusalem and around the country for survivors and volunteers.  Together, we will package mishloach manot (Purim baskets) to be delivered to survivors.

Every gift of $18 will provide one Holocaust survivor with a basket.  How many baskets will you sponsor? Each gift counts and even a small donation will help a survivor feel supported.

As always, all components will be purchased from small Israeli businesses.  Please order your mishloach manot baskets today.

Donate online and include a personal message for survivors https://www.azm.org/purim2017 or mail a check to: American Zionist Movement, 40 Wall Street, Suite #706, New York, NY 10005.

Please help us make this Purim a special one for Israel’s survivors and help us build bridges of understanding between our communities.

We thank you for your support.

Prof. David Passig– Leading Israel Futurist– To Headline Biennial

passigProfessor David Passig, leading Israeli futurist, received his degree in anticipatory anthropology from the University of Minnesota. He specializes in technological futures, as well as social and educational futures. An Associate Professor at Bar-Ilan University, Passig heads the Virtual Reality Laboratory at the School of Education.

In what promises to be a challenging and exciting presentation, Passig will pose questions such as “does Israel need to establish a new national mission in order to survive?” Much of what he will say defies the usual expectations of those who prognosticate the future of Israel and the Jewish People.

Later, Sunday afternoon, the Assembly will grapple with critical issues facing the Zionist Movement.  Dr. Sylvia Barak Fishman will address the questions ” Israel: Center, Partner or Theme Park,” and Rabbi Josh Weinberg on “Why Zionism is Not a Four-Letter Word.”

The evening will feature a celebratory dinner honoring Karen Rubinstein who will be ending her nearly forty years of service to American Zionism.

On Monday, the Assembly will turn inward, inviting people to imagine the implementation of AZM’s new strategic plan and struggling with the ways to give substance to the plan to address major issues facing Zionism.

A thanks and farewell to Rabbi Vernon H. Kurtz for his four years as president of AZM in which he guided the organization through the future planning and the selection of a new Executive Director.

To see the draft program, please visit here

 

 

 

 

AZM Biennial Assembly and Celebratory Dinner- March 5-6

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AZM’s 12th Biennial Assembly,March 5- 6, 2017, is just around the corner.   A new president and a new administration will be installed.  AZM will say its thanks to Rabbi Vernon Kurtz and the other officers who served over the past 4 and half years. In addition, AZM will say “farewell” to Karen Rubinstein after almost 40 years of service.

Leading Israeli future, Dr. David Passig of Bar Ilan University, will present a challenging and provocative address to set the stagepassig for the Biennial; and for the future of the Zionist Movement in the United States.  Dr. Passig got his PhD in Anticipatory Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is the author of 2048  (English) published in May 2010 and Forcognito (Hebrew only at this time.)  In addition to Dr. Passig there will be ample opportunity to sample program offerings from Departments of the WZO, and to debate and discuss the AZM Strategic Plan and directions for the future.

The dinner will feature Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations., as well as others who have worked with Karen over the years.

Member organizations are asked to send representatives, but this event is open to the public and anyone who wishes come for the entire biennial, or for the Sunday night dinner alone is most welcome.  Please visit this page to make your biennial reservations.  

To register for the dinner and place an ad in the journal, visit this page.

As more details are available we will post them.  We urge you to register now and participate in what promises to be an exciting, informative and fun event.

To download and print outAZM Journal and Dinner Pledge Form

Have the Courage to Dream This Hanukkah

“All human deeds begin with a dream, and dreams they shall become.”

– Theodor Herzl

azm-flyerFrom the Maccabees, to modern Zionist heroes, national pride and sovereignty has marked the path of Jewish history.

2017 will mark numerous significant Zionist Movement anniversaries. In the coming year, the modern liberation movement of the Jewish people celebrates the 120 anniversary of the First Zionist Congress, the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, and the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War.

American Zionists played a major role in realizing these contemporary milestones, and continue to work on behalf of the people and nation of Israel. Our mission today is more heavily focused on building bridges of understanding and support between the global Jewish community and Israel.

As we begin the Hanukkah season, help us rededicate ourselves to our vital mission by making a generous year-end contribution. Please donate today.  We thank you for your support.  Happy Hanukkah

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!

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.

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.

 

 

 

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