Rosh Hashana Message 5778









AZM Rosh Hashana Message 5778






The Jewish high holidays are indeed a time for reflection and renewal. In that spirit the American Zionist Movement is entering 5778 with an emphasis on recognizing our roots and celebrating the importance of Zionism in Israel’s history and the future of the world Jewish community.

Zionism is the modern political movement rooted in the thousands-year-old determination of the Jewish people to return as a sovereign nation in Israel, our ancestral and indigenous homeland. In recent years, Zionism has been misrepresented and slandered by those who oppose the very existence of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Zionism is a cause and ideology deserving of universal support.  It should serve as inspiration to all oppressed minorities, but instead the good name of Zionism has been sullied.

This is a critical moment for Zionism, and solidarity with Israel is necessary in these difficult times.

Your gift to the AZM today will help fund programs supporting Zionism in America.

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. Our member organizations engage in a variety of philanthropic, educational and advocacy activities on behalf of Israel, with a collective reach to millions of Americans with a diverse array of perspectives, but who all identify as Zionists.

AZM is committed to reclaiming the good name of Zionism! Israel is under ceaseless attack at our universities and on social media. Both bold and thinly veiled anti-Semitic tropes and libelous accusations are peddled under the guise of “Anti-Israelism”. This rhetoric is influencing our youth and the new face of anti-Semitism is spreading rapidly.  

Support of the AZM will help educate Americans on why they must support Zionism.

The truth is:  Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism deny the history and future of our people.  Support the American Zionist Movement in our quest to right this wrong and to proudly stand up for Israel and the Jewish People.

AZM spoke out publicly against attempts to conflate Zionism and White Supremacy last month. AZM is prepared to tackle the Boycott Divest and Sanction movement (BDS), and confront the issue of the exclusion of Jews from academic environments, parades and public discourse. Join us in our effort. 

AZM is the one organization in the United States where Zionists of all beliefs, ideologies, religious affiliations and viewpoints come together in unity on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

We are taking a three pronged approach toward unifying the vision of modern Zionism. Education – to educate our youth on the history of the Jewish people, anti-Semitism and Zionism.  Unity – to engage in civil discourse and unify on our unique similarities that arise out of our faith, our principles, our teachings, and our obligation to be dignified and respectful to each other, rather than focus on our differences. Impact – to remind the world of the rich contributions that the Jewish people, Israel and Zionism have and continue to make on society.

Help to create a unified voice for Zionism, please join the AZM today.

The AZM recently implemented a new forum for dialogue with the Presidents and Executive Directors of AZM’s member organizations, an important step toward unification. Our first meetings were held this summer and are already leading to greater engagement and cooperation in the Zionist community. We are growing and strengthening our movement every day.

Read our just released “Six-Month 2017 Report of Activities and Achievements” – Here.

Support the American Zionist Movement in 5778.

In 2018, the AZM will mark a significant anniversary, as it was 25 years ago that we became the successor to the American Zionist Federation, which evolved from the American Zionist Council formed during the Holocaust to unite American Zionists to push for the creation of the State of Israel. In May 2017, to honor our predecessors and founders, we launched the “Year of Zionist Anniversaries” which will run through May 2018. In partnership with our member organizations and the broader Jewish community, we will conduct programs and events throughout the United States.  This work, these teachings, these efforts, require resources.  

This year we celebrate important Zionist Anniversaries:

  • 120 years since Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in August 1897;
  • 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was issued in November 1917 by the British Foreign Secretary;
  • 70 years since adoption of the United Nations Partition Resolution in November 1947;
  • 70 years since the founding of the State of Israel in May 1948; and
  • 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, our holiest City, following the Six Day War in June 1967;

Please help reclaim the good name of Zionism and celebrate AZM’s “Year of Zionist Anniversaries.”

This Fall, an “American Zionist Shabbat” series will launch, starting on October 28, 2017, to coincide with the Shabbat before the Balfour Declaration anniversary through December 2, 2017, the Shabbat after the Partition Resolution anniversary. We are preparing programming, lecture materials and arranging speaking opportunities with Rabbis and Community leaders across the spectrum of AZM’s organizations. Contact AZM to learn more.

We invite you to join our AZM Washington National Leadership and Policy Conference in Washington, DC on November 15-17, 2017, to be held in conjunction with the Department of Diaspora Affairs of the World Zionist Organization and the Balfour Initiative of The Israel Forever Foundation.  Join us at Congress for the “Celebrate Balfour 100 Symposium” The Conference is an important piece of our goal toward education, unity and impact. Join us.  Be thereParticipate.  Support us

Theodor Herzl said “If you will it, it is no dream; and if you do not will it, a dream it is and a dream it will stay”. The AZM continues to “will it” and is working hard to move “Zionism Forward”. We hope that you are excited about our progress, our activities and our commitment to renewing the good name of Israel, the Jewish People and Zionism.     

Your donation will help move “Zionism Forward” and help ensure Israel’s 70th is honored with dignity and pride.

Join UsStand UpSpeak Out for the good name of Zionism, Israel and the Jewish People

Please donate today in the spirit of the New Year.

Thank you,

Richard D. Heideman, President

Francine Stein, Chair

Marlene Post, Vice President

Herbert Block, Executive Director

Karen Rubenstein, Executive Director Emerita

download AZM’s 5778 Rosh Hashana Message

AZM 6 Month Report

AZM_RGB+Heb_ART - Copy (002)






September 2017




March – September 2017


This report is a compilation prepared by the President of AZM, Richard D. Heideman; Chair of the AZM National Board, Francine Stein; AZM Executive Director, Herbert Block; AZM Program Director, Alicia Post; and the AZM Leadership Cabinet.


AZM BIENNIAL ASSEMBLY & LEADERSHIP: At the AZM Biennial Assembly on March 5-6, 2017 in NYC, with 175 participants, new leadership for AZM was elected, including the following officers: Richard D. Heideman, President, Francine Stein, Chair of the AZM National Board; Marlene Post (VP for Fundraising Development), Paul Golomb (VP for Programs), Marilyn Wind (VP for Inter-Organizational Affairs) and Alan Silberman (VP for WZO Relations).  Each is in the process of building out their portfolios, including working with various Committees that have been or are in the process of being established.

AZM Executive Director, Herbert Block began in his role in March 2017, succeeding Karen Rubinstein, who was named Executive Director Emerita upon her retirement.  Alicia Post was named AZM Program Director in April 2017.

A video of Richard’s acceptance speech and written remarks as incoming President are available online. Click here for selected press links.    

AZM Treasurer Jim Schiller has revamped our fiscal accounting and reporting functions and will be  preparing an initial 2018 budget draft for early review by the AZM National Board at its November, 2017 meeting.

AZM Secretary, Shelley Sherman, has prepared extensive minutes of all the meetings of both the AZM National Board and the AZM Leadership Cabinet.


AZM LEADERSHIP CABINET:  The AZM Leadership Cabinet has met March 30, May 17, June 20, July 11 and is convening on September 14


AZM NATIONAL BOARD:  The AZM National Board met on March 6, June 5 and will next convene on September 14.


AZM PRESIDENTS & EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS:  We have convened meetings of the AZM Presidents & Executive Directors of the various member/affiliate/youth organizations.  This new forum, convened on June 5, July 11 and September 12, has proven valuable in exchanging ideas and in expanding the thinking on issues as we strive to address concerns of the various organizations within the spectrum of AZM.


PROGRAMS:  AZM has sponsored or participated in the following programs during the past six months; 


  • Yom Yerushalayim commemoration – MD (5/23)
  • Anniversary of Reunification of Jerusalem – Capitol Hill (5/17)
  • Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha’atzmaut Flag Raising Ceremony – Bowling Green, NY (5/1/17)
  • Ambassadors Against BDS – UN (3/29)


YEAR OF ZIONIST ANNIVERSARIES:  AZM has announced and is pursuing activities in 2017-18 under the banner of the “Year of Zionist Anniversaries”, including the following. The program announcements can be found here:

  • 75 years since the convening of the Biltmore Conference in NY in May 1942;
  • 50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem, following the Six Day War, in June 1967;
  • 70 years since the journey of the Exodus refugee ship in August 1947;
  • 120 years since Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in August 1897;
  • 100 years since the Balfour Declaration was issued in November 1917 by the British Foreign Secretary;
  • 70 years since adoption of the United Nations Partition Resolution in November 1947;
  • 70 years since the founding of the State of Israel in May 1948


AZM WASHINGTON NATIONAL CONFERENCE:  AZM has announced its Washington National Conference, November 15-16-17, 2017, 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). 


AZM and WZO:  AZM is working closely with the WZO on multiple activities and recently hosted Avraham Duvdevani, Chairman of the WZO as guest speaker at the AZM National Board Meeting; Esther Serok, WZO US Representative at the Herzl in the Park program; and Gusti Yehoshua Braverman, Chair of the Department of Diaspora Affairs of the WZO, at a special meeting of AZM Presidents, Executive Directors and Leadership.


AMERICAN ZIONIST SHABBAT:  AZM has announced the dates of October 28-December 2, 2017 for communities to hold an American Zionist Shabbat program, providing resource materials to Rabbis, AZM organizations, synagogues, schools and communal leaders so they can speak about Zionism during this period.


AZM COMMITTEES/TASK FORCES/WORKING GROUPS/INITIATIVES:  AZM has created, or is in the process of appointing, leaders to participate in various AZM Task Forces, Working Groups and Initiatives.  Interested leaders can self-nominate, or recommend others, to join the following groups being considered by the AZM Leadership Cabinet:

  • Communications and Website
  • Constitution (WZO and AZM)
  • Fundraising & Resource Development
  • Israel 70th Anniversary
  • Membership Outreach  (organizational and individual)
  • Policy Review & Issues
  • Programs and Events
  • Strategic Planning Implementation
  • Washington National Conference Planning
  • Youth Development, Young Leadership and Education
  • Zionist Shabbat Planning


AZM FUNDRAISING DEVELOPMENT:  For AZM to succeed, we must group our fundraising and development resources.  That means contributions, grants, bequests.  Please make your own contribution and solicit others.


AZM STRATEGIC PLANNING:  AZM adopted in September 2016 a new Strategic Plan.  AZM is following the plan in all respects and is updating the Strategic Plan as a working tool to guide our growth.


WZO RELATIONS: Under the leadership of the VP for WZO Relations AZM has been actively involved in discussions on possible revisions to the WZO Constitution and Regulations and has presented many items to the WZO for its consideration.  AZM has also been preparing for the upcoming Zionist General Council (Vaad HaPoel) meeting in Israel at the end of October in consultation with our organizations and others.


COMMUNAL ORGANIZATIONAL INVOLVEMENT: AZM leadership has participated in meetings of the following organizations of which it is a member: Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; AIPAC National Council; National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry; and, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.


MEETINGS and OUTREACH:   The new staff of AZM have been meeting individually with each of the 25 AZM constituent organizations in order to learn more about their work and how they can best be connected to programs and mission of AZM.  Staff have also met with many other national Jewish and pro-Israel organizations in order to brief them about AZM and connect our activities.  Staff have also begun to develop connections with colleagues at Zionist federations in countries across the world.


HELYN B. REICH Memorial SCHOLARSHIP FUND:  Reich scholarships are awarded each fall and spring to a limited number of American students who choose to study at one of several designated Israeli universities or attend post-college long-term programs. The scholarship seeks to recognize candidates who have demonstrated academic excellence, pro-Israel activity in their personal lives, and a dedicated commitment to future involvement with the Jewish and Zionist community in the United States.  The latest class of award recipients was announced in September 2017.  Read more at:


AMERICAN ZIONIST YOUTH COUNCIL (AZYC): This initiative, funded by WZO and operated through AZM, brings together the leadership of the Zionist youth movements and other national Jewish youth organizations in America, for coordination of activities and joint programs.  You can read more on AZYC March Shabbaton here.


AZM LEADERSHIP MEMORANDA:  AZM has issued the following Leadership Memoranda to a broad list of AZM leaders from its Board, Zionist and Jewish organizations and other communal leaders:


PUBLIC STATEMENTS:  AZM has released various public statements on selected issues, including:

  • With Zionism Under Assault American Jewish and Israeli Dignitaries gathered in NYC to Celebrate the Birth of the Movement August 28, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • AZM Denounces Richard Spencer Calling Himself a “White Zionist” August 17, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • 75 Years after Historic Biltmore Conference, AZM Launches “Year of Zionist Anniversaries” May 11, 2017 | Read Full Text



On June 29th AZM sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the controversy concerning the Kotel. The letter can be seen here;


PRESS INTERVIEWS AND COVERAGE:  We have had numerous press articles, listed here:  

AZM in the News

  • Celebrating the First Zionist Congress (Queens Chronicle) August 31, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • In KGH, Jewish Community Leaders Celebrate Herzl, 120th Anniversary Of First Zionist Congress (Queens Jewish Link) August 30, 2017 | Read Full Text | Click for Community Snapshots
  • Zionism Under Assault (New York Jewish Life) August 30, 2017 – Leaders Gather in NYC to mark the birth of a movement | Read Full Text
  • US Jewish leaders from right to left back metal detectors on Temple Mount ( July 21, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • Moving Zionism Forward: A Conversation with the President of the American Zionist Movement (Patheos) June 15, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • Jewish Survival Through Jewish Unity, Theme of New AZM President (JewishPress) May 17, 2017 – Heideman’s task will be to fashion unity from a widely-disparate consortium of Zionists | Read Full Text
  • Zionism Forward (JPost) April 25, 2017 – Why are American Jews so fazed by the question- Are you a Zionist? | Read Full Text
  • New AZM President (LIJW) March 31-April 6, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • Four Questions: Herbert Block (New York Jewish Life) March 21, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • Ex-Louisvillian elected president of AZM (Jewish Louisville) March 17, 2017 | Read Full Text
  • ‘News and analysis’ (The Chronicle of Philanthropy) March 10, 2017 – Grist and American Zionist Movement Name New Top Executives | Read Full Text
  • ‘Impact of BDS is worse than most people Realize’ (JPost) February 26, 2017 – Richard D. Heideman, one of the foremost legal experts on fighting the BDS movement, seeks to repair the tarnished name of Zionism | Read Full Text



The following additional announcements were sent by email to AZM’s contact list:

August 15 2017: Join us 8/28: Celebrate 120 years since Herzl\’s Zionist Congress:

July 18 2017: 70 Years Ago Today: Exodus Commemoration:

June 20 2017: Moving Zionism Forward:

June 2 2017: Celebrate Israel with AZM – Sunday, June 4th:

May 19 2017: Celebrate Jerusalem Day in Potomac, MD – May 23rd:

 Apr 27 2017: NY area Yom Hazikron & Yom Ha\’atzmaut Events:

Apr 26 2017: Zionism Forward, Today\’s Jerusalem Post:

Apr 06 2017: Passover Greetings, Zionism Forward:

Mar 23 2017: Join AZM at the UN on 3/29, Ambassadors Against BDS:





PROGRAM – March of the Living 2018 – AZM/WZO

Sunday April 8

Arrival to Budapest (late night). Light supper and check-in

Overnight – Budapest


Monday April 9 

Welcome at the ICC Budapest.

Tour of Budapest: In the footsteps of Herzl: His birthplace, Dohany synagogue, Jewish museum, Jewish quarter. Shoes on the Danube bank memorial. We will understand the roots of Zionism and get to know the unique situation of the Hungarian community now and in the part.

Overnight – Budapest


Tuesday April 10 

Morning – Depart to Vienna (3.15 hrs. bus drive).

Tour of Vienna:

  1. getting to know Herzl as a journalist – including sitting at his favorite café.
  2. The raise of antisemitism in Austria and the Jewish community during the Holocaust. Visit to the university and Opera house.

8:35pm flight to Krakow

Overnight: Krakow


Wednesday April 11 

Tour of Jewish Krakow: Jewish Ghetto and Jewish Quarter, Old City of Krakow, Temple Synagogue, Rama Synagogue, Alte Schule.  Krakow, the one-time capital of Poland, was home to a Jewish community that dates back to the 10th Century. Left mainly intact due to its use as a Nazi headquarters, Krakow has recently seen a renaissance of Jewish Culture. 

Departure to Auschwitz

Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau: the notorious death camp where 1.5 million people were murdered – 90% of which were Jews.

Departure to Krakow

Overnight: Krakow


Thursday April 12 (Holocaust Remembrance Day) 

Krakow Ghetto/ Pharmacy Square

Oskar Schindler Factory and Plaszow Concentration Camp: A forced labor and concentration camp on the outskirts of Krakow. Plasow was featured in the movie Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.

Depart to Auschwitz

March of the Living 2018: Join over 13,000 students and youth from all around as they march 3 kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau. This year’s March commemorates the 30th year anniversary of the March of the Living.

Return to Krakow

Overnight: Krakow


Friday April 13 

Depart to Lodz

Lodz: The second largest Jewish ghetto in Poland. Tour remnants of Jewish Shtetl and ghetto, Lodz Cemetery and Radegast Monument to the Lodz Ghetto Holocaust.

Depart to Warsaw

Arrive Warsaw

Shabbat Services

Shabbat Dinner

Overnight: Warsaw

Saturday April 14

Shabbat Services

Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Walking tour of Warsaw Ghetto: Sites include the remnants of the old Jewish ghetto and ghetto wall, the Rappaport Memorial to the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Mila 18 – the bunker commemorating Mordechai Anilewicz, commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the Umshlagplatz (collection point) – monument built on the site where many Jews were deported to death camps.

Shabbat Lunch

Optional walk through Old Market Square: Home to old, yet charming, architecture. In warmer weather, the square is filled with cafe tables and artists performing outside.

Overnight: Warsaw


Sunday April 15 

Warsaw Cemetery

Yeshiva Lublin 

Depart to Majdanek

Majdanek: One of the six death camps in Poland. Majdanek remains virtually untouched and unchanged from the last days of its use.

Return to Warsaw


MOTL openmoves

AZM – WZO Program MOTL 2018

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.


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.

in the spirit of balfour dc conference square SM

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.

Commencing at noon on Wednesday, November 15th with opening sessions and an evening celebratory event, we will be on Capitol Hill on Thursday November 16th through the afternoon.  Additional programs will include a Thursday evening cultural program and discussions on Friday morning November 17th before attendees depart 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


For more details contact or call 212.318.6100

August 28: Celebrate 120 years since Herzl’s Zionist Congress



Beit Ha’am Supplement – Pray for the Wellbeing of Jerusalem (PDF)

Or online:


Year of Zionist Anniversaries: Exodus Commemoration

Exodus 70 years

Exodus 70 years

70 years ago today – on July 18, 1947 – a seminal event in Zionist history occurred in the Port of Haifa, when the S.S. Exodus finally reached the shore of the land of Israel.  This ship, carrying 4,515 Holocaust survivors seeking refuge from Europe, had a harrowing week-long journey from France to bring new Jewish immigrants to Israel, then under the British Mandate for Palestine.  Along the treacherous sea voyage the boat was attacked by the British Navy and three passengers were killed and 147 injured.  After the Exodus ship arrived in Haifa its passengers were forced by the British to return to Europe in another horrible voyage.

News of the story of the S.S. Exodus reverberated throughout the world and helped turn public opinion in favor of the formation of a Jewish homeland in Israel.  It was just a few months later, on November 29, 1947 that the United Nations voted in favor of Partition, leading to the creation of the State of Israel in May 1948.  The late great journalist Ruth Gruber called the S.S. Exodus the “The Ship that Launched a Nation.”

The American Zionist Movement (AZM) is pleased to commemorate this historic S.S. Exodus anniversary, by sharing the materials below prepared by the Israel Forever Foundation (IFF), an AZM affiliate organization.  This outstanding compendium includes links to many articles, essays and photos on the S.S. Exodus, and a comprehensive “Journey to Statehood” informational booklet which can be downloaded here.

The American connection to the S.S. Exodus is significant, as it was an American vessel, originally sailing from Baltimore, which was purchased by American donors to transport refugees and its crew were American volunteers.  Today, in Haifa a memorial to the S.S. Exodus was dedicated, under the sponsorship of the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. AZM encourages all American Zionists to pause today to remember the significance of the S.S. Exodus and to share the IFF materials widely with your friends, family and colleagues.

Remember the Exodus: Support Zionism Today



Shalom friends,
Seventy years ago, on July 18, 1947, outside territorial waters near the coast of British Mandate Palestine, the British navy rammed a ship carrying 4515 Holocaust survivors with dreams of returning to our ancient homeland. This ship is forever known as Exodus 1947, their story forever a part of our collective experience in our fight for freedom, independence and our Jewish State.




Exodus 1947: History in the making

The war with Germany was over, but for thousands of Holocaust survivors, the fight for survival was far from won. The Exodus 1947 left France in the morning of July 11 carrying 4,515 passengers who could never envision the fate that was about to unfold.

Read More



The Exodus 1947: A global cry for Jewish justice

By Tamar Ben Tzvi

Global support for the plight of the Jews aboard the Exodus 1947 had a major influence on the Jewish connection to Israel and the move towards re-establishing an Independent State of Israel.

Read More



Names, Memories And Legacies:

The Meaning Of Exodus

By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

The value of the Exodus story isn’t in its romanticism. It is in the impact it had on Jews around the world in understanding the need for a Jewish state, the fulfillment of the ancient dream that would soon become reality.

Read More



Children Of The Exodus

The lives of the children of the Exodus is aptly captured in the historical film created by UJA on their quest to trace what became of the children after they built their lives in Palestine.

Read More



Teaching Exodus

It is the transmission of memory – of the human experience and the events surrounding it – that will carry the legacy of the Exodus into the future. Now is the time to connect the next generation with the story of the Exodus and its significance as a step toward statehood. Come explore our resources, testimonies, discussion questions, and art activities to bring to your community now or anytime throughout the year.

Read More


Just as we inherit the memories of the Shoah, so too, must we learn from and transmit the legacy of the Exodus as a part of their story. We must know the facts, and understand the circumstances. We must teach of the passion which drove the volunteers, passengers and fighters to endure endless struggles toward the fulfillment of our ancestral dream. We must inherit their determination and imbue tomorrow’s youth with a shared commitment toward the continuation of our nationalist vision – to protect our land, our history, our heritage, our memory, our peoplehood, our freedom in our Jewish sovereign state.



Exhibit it at your synagogue, community center, school, camp or library.

Now or anytime throughout the year!

Exodus 70 years


Donate to Support Zionism in America


Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu 6/29/17

Click here to view pdf: AZM Letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu






June 29, 2017

5 Tamuz 5777


H.E. Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister of Israel

3 Kaplan Street

Jerusalem, Israel


Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu:

As you know, the American Zionist Movement (AZM) represents a broad and diverse spectrum of Zionist organizations in the United States from across the religious and political streams of the American Jewish community.  We are united in our support for Israel and the unity of the Jewish People connected to the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital.  In the past we have strongly rejected the statements of UNESCO and others who wrongly choose to revise history in rejecting the rights of Israel, and the Jewish people, to our ancestral homeland and in denying the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.   

We emphasize in our work that Israel has long stood for the principles of providing, assuring and protecting freedom of and access to the holy sites for peoples of all religions in Jerusalem and its Old City, whose quarters are precious and holy to the great religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and the peoples of the world who share the Old City in the Jewish, Christian, Moslem, and Armenian Quarters. Indeed, for the Jewish community, the Western Wall, our “Kotel” – the holiest site remaining from our Temple, is more than a symbol, it is the centerpiece for Jewish communities throughout the diaspora and must be preserved in perpetuity and dignity for all Jewish people.

A full delegation of leadership from the American Zionist Movement and our organizations was in Jerusalem this week for meetings of the Jewish Agency for Israel.   They have shared with us their concerns as to the developments of this past week which have been elevated to near crisis level.  Indeed, we regret the decision of the Cabinet of the State of Israel on Sunday to suspend the prior agreement regarding expanded access to prayer areas at the Kotel for all denominations and practices within Judaism.  AZM is a member organization of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and we note with support their letter on this matter which was sent to you yesterday.

In our view, Mr. Prime Minister, it is imperative that the Kotel remain a place that represents the unity of our Jewish nation and faith.  The unity of the Jewish people, in connection to the land of Israel, is a key element of the Zionist movement, since it was launched 120 years ago at the First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl.  

We believe, Mr. Prime Minister, that this is a time for leadership and unity within the Jewish community.  It is not a time for actions that lead to further divisiveness that conquers our spirit, destroys our will, and sends a message to our enemies of weakness and lack of respect for own people, who must be free to worship in their own way and in a manner respectful of others. 

Therefore, Mr. Prime Minister, we appreciate the steps you have immediately and subsequently announced to lay a path for the Government of Israel to assure freedom of prayer expression at the Kotel and expeditiously move forward on plans for greater access to worship areas for all streams of Judaism.

We stand ready to assist in addressing these issues of concern to you, the people of Israel and the Jewish people.  Our commitment is to an approach to be taken, through the unity of our wide coalition of American Zionists, so that all Jews and Zionists feel and remain connected to Israel and its capital Jerusalem as we commemorate 50 years of the reunification of Jerusalem and approach and honor the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.


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Richard D. Heideman                  Herbert Block

President                                       Executive Director


Zionist Membership Organizations: American Forum of Russian Speaking Jewry  •  Ameinu  •  American Zionist Youth Council  •  AMIT  •  ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America)  •  Aytzim  •  Bnai Zion  •  Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America  •  Herut – N.A. •  Mercaz–Zionist Organization of Conservative Judaism •  NA’AMAT –  USA  •  Partners for Progressive Israel  •  Religious Zionists of America  •  Zionist Organization of America   Affiliated Organizations: Baltimore Zionist District  • B’nai B’rith International  •  Friends of the Israel Scouts  •  Israel Forever Foundation  •  Jewish National Fund   Zionist Youth Movements: B’nei Akiva  •  BBYO (B’nai B’rith Youth Organization)  •  Habonim – Dror  •  Hashomer Hatzair  •  NFTY (National Federation of Temple Youth) • USY (United Synagogue Youth)  •  Young Judaea

Celebrate Israel Parade NY 2017 – Photos and Video