Purim 2012 Brings Gifts and Goodies Front-line Soldiers and Children

The 2012 Purim Connection was another stunning success with lots of thank yous coming in from across Israel.

AZM with help from AMIT, Mercaz,  and many individuals and synagogues across the country brought Purim joy to schools in Kiryat Malachi, soldiers in the front line units across the country, and to many Lone Soldiers (IDF soldiers who serve without the support of their families.)


An important part of our Purim Connection is the role that young Jews studying or volunteering in Israel play in the packaging and delivery of the Purim mishloach manot. This year’s volunteers from Magshimey Herut, Habonim-Dror and the kibbutz ulpan program were all on extended stays in Israel as part of  MASA Israel Journey programs.  Among the volunteers to AZM’s Purim Connection were: Raphael Falk,  Andrew DuFour,  Benjamin Scholom, Brett Godette, Yossi Cohen,  Izzy Eisen,  and Eugene Kikoin.

One of the Lone Soldiers, Gidi, who received an AZM Purim package posted on the Kehillat Netzach’s Facebook Page, expressing his happiness and gratitude. When you see comments like these you know how important it is to participate in these programs:


Some More Questions for Your Passover Table

Mt Herzl Flyer

Beit Ha’am Passover Edition

An important part of the Passover tradition is the discussion and debate of the haggadah. It is also a tradition to add new elements into the haggadah.  To provide additional Zionist context to this year’s seder, the World Zionist Organization and AZM offer some songs and texts to be read and considered, as well as some questions to help families put the materials into the Zionist context.

The texts are part of David Ben-Gurion‘s speech at the Peel Commission; the song Out of Egypt (hear it and see it on YouTube) by Alma Zohar, which connects the Jews’ departure from Egypt to the Promised Land to today’s African refugees in Israel; and a reflection by Ze’ev Jabotinsky on the “Four Sons” from the Haggadah. The themes and questions raised in the materials include the collective memory of the Jews, whether Israel helps or impedes the concept of peoplehood, whether the Jews living in Israel and those living outside of Israel are one people,  if Jews throughout the world share a “common denominator,” and more. These questions will help your family and friends reflect on their Zionist identity and their connections to Israel and the Jewish People.

The supplement is available in English, Hebrew, and Spanish. Click below to download yours! Use it at your seder and share it with your friends and neighbors.


Passover 2012-English

Passover 2012-Hebrew

Passover 2012-Spanish

Also download the Zionist Dayenu, available here.

See the Alma Zohar video Out of Egypt here:

This Year Add a New Dayenu to Your Seder

It is part of the Passover tradition to add new songs and stories to the seder.  This year add a contemporary version of Dayenu, one which calls upon the Jewish People to give thanks for the return to Israel and for all of the accomplishments of the Jewish People since the establishment of the State.  This Dayenu ends with a question to encourage discussion around the seder table.  You might even want to add your own verses.

Click on the image below to see a larger version.  You can also download copies by following the link below.


Download a PDF of Dayenu (This is a big file; please allow time for the download.)

Donate to AZM

This Year Celebrate Tu B’Shvat with a Seder

Tu B’shvat is the Jewish New Year for Trees. As the environment is changing, and the concept of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) is changing with it, we must be more aware of how this generation has the potential and the responsibility to change current practices in our society.  In Deuteronomy 20:19 we learn “A human is like a tree in the field.”  Just as one tree does not make a forest, one person does not make up a community.  It takes all of us working together.

Materials are provided below to help individuals, families communities, and synagogues to organize and implement Tu B’shvat seders as a way to examine and celebrate our connection to the land of Israel and the people of Israel.  Tu B’shvat is an ideal time to focus on Israel and is also a way to infuse Zionist identity with a green consciousness.  

Download the hagaddah here.  


Click for More Tu B’shvat Resources


Donate to Move Zionism Forward™



Please click on the links below for more Tu B’shvat resources.

Tu B’shvat Song – כי האדם עץ השדה …….Because Man is a Tree of the Field

Tu B’shvat Hagaddah

Make a donation to AZM’s Together as One: Carmel Fire Relief Fund

Plant a tree in the Carmel Forest

Chanukah: Honoring Zionist Women


As we gather with our friends and family to light the Chanukah candles and our homes fill with light, please take a moment to reflect upon the essential and uncompromising contributions of women who are the Lights of Jewish history, the Zionist movement and the State Israel.

The word Zionism has many meanings and faces. Since Israel’s establishment, Zionism continues to contribute to the betterment of the world as a whole. This Chanukah, we honor women whose achievements have made everlasting impacts on Israel and the world. We dedicate the following Zionist blessings to these women who will always be considered lights unto the nations.

For each night of Chanukah, we offer an additional Zionist blessing to be recited before or after the traditional blessing. The blessings are dedicated to the women who embody Zionist values and their life accomplishments.

We encourage you to broaden your knowledge and read more about these inspiring women.  To assist you, we have created a linked page with a brief bio of each highlighted woman and have provided additional sources offering more information.

First night:
As we light the first Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the role of women in Jewish and Zionist leadership, an inspiring and prominent role where women, since the days of Devorah the prophetess, have led the Jewish people. Tonight we dedicate our blessing to Golda Meir who was an outstanding figure in the founding generation of the Zionist movement  Golda served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1969-1974.

Second Night:
As we light the second Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the unique contribution of women in the field of social justice, Tikkun Olam and strengthening Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state, a field where women played an invaluable part throughout Jewish history. Tonight we dedicate our blessing to Dorit Beinisch, the first woman appointed as Israel’s Chief Justice, who, throughout her life and especially during her tenure in her current position as President of Israel’s Supreme Court, fights the battle of equality for those considered weak and different in Israeli society, thereby strengthening the character of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state.

Third Night:
As we light the third Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the unique contribution of women in the various fields of culture in Israel. Since the days of Miriam the Prophetess until today, women built, promoted, educated and contributed to the creation of Israeli culture, and are the backbone of the dance, theater, art, and film industries, as well as others.  Tonight we dedicate our blessing to Baroness Bethsabee de Rothschild in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Israeli dance by establishing the Bat-Sheva Dance Company.  Today, the dance troupe performs on world renowned stages. For this, the Baroness was awarded the Israel Prize for her unique contribution to Israel’s Society.

Fourth Night:
As we light the fourth Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the unique contribution of women to the revival and development of the Hebrew language. Throughout history, the Hebrew language has been central to the lives of Jewish women. In the time of the revival of the Hebrew language, women continued to nurture and promote it. Tonight we will dedicate our blessing to Rachel the Poet, one of Israel’s national poets. Throughout her life, she combined living as a pioneer on a Kibbutz in the Galilee, with writing Hebrew poetry which describes the magical landscape of the land of Israel.  Even today, Rachel’s poems are still considered to be  some of the most popular works in Israeli poetry.

Fifth Night:
As we light the fifth Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the role of women in the field of Aliyah, one of the core missions of the Zionist enterprise. Since the days of the first female pioneers and through the women volunteers in Israel’s absorption centers today, the warm hearts of women have encouraged and helped many new Olim overcome the  challenges they face when moving to a new country.  Tonight we  dedicate our blessing to Recha Frier, the founder of Aliyaht Hano’ar (The Youth Aliyah organization). This project has helped many thousands of Olim throughout the years of the Zionist movement with their absorption in the land of Israel. For this, Recha  was awarded the Israel Prize for her unique contribution to Israel’s society.

Sixth Night:
As we light the sixth Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the unique contribution of women in the fields of science and technology, fields where women have contributed to Israel’s development and strengthened Israel’s position as one of the world’s leading countries in these industries. Tonight we dedicate our blessing to Ada Yonath, one of the world’s foremost researchers in the in the field of Chemistry. Yonath was the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize.  Through her accomplishments, she inspires young female Israeli researchers to continue their important research in the many areas of science and technology.

Seventh Night:
As we light the seventh Chanukah candle, let us reflect upon the role of women in the field of medicine, a field where, throughout Jewish and Zionist history, women worked tirelessly to improve and save lives of many. Tonight we dedicate our blessing to Henrietta Szold, the founder of  the Women’s Zionist Organization “Hadassah”. Upon Henrietta’s vision, this organization continues to build hospitals and medical centers throughout Israel, and provides top quality medical care to any person regardless of religion, race and gender affiliation. This year, we celebrate a hundred and fifty years since Henrietta’s birth.

Eighth Night:
As we light the eighth Chanukah candle, we dedicate this blessing for shalom, peace and a better future for the world, the Jewish people and the State of Israel. As we have learned, women have always been present and were often recognized for their contributions to Jewish history, the Zionist enterprise, and the State of Israel.  Let’s join together in this  blessing and hope that this important role played by women will continue to illuminate the Jewish future for peace and the continuation of the successful existence of the State of Israel.

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


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


Chanukah at the AZM

AZM wishes you and your family a Hanukkah filled with happiness and peace.
By lighting the Chanukah candles, you are united not only with family and friends with whom you share the special moment, but also with Jews around the world also celebrating the Festival of Lights. This Chanukah, take time to reflect on the power of this connection and our responsibility to each other, especially to those who place themselves in harm’s way to protect our nation and its people.

Chanukah Heroes

View online

Chanukah is the Holiday of Light. As you gather with your friends and family to light the Chanukah candles, take a moment to reflect on the heroes who are the Lights of Israel – and what we can learn from their Jewish and Zionist values.

A Zionist Chanukah

Download and print this file | View online

Each night, have in your thoughts a different aspect of Zionism which has built the State of Israel into the nation it is today and which will continue as its foundation into the future.

Remember the Soldiers

Download and print this file | View online

This Chanukah, AZM calls upon Jews to remember Israel’s abducted soldiers. Each night, as you kindle the Hanukkah candles, we ask you to think about a different soldier. AZM has provided a paragraph about each for you to read aloud. We urge you also to share the concept and the materials with your family and friends.

While you are shopping for holiday gifts, please consider giving dogtags engraved with the abducted soldiers’ names and other Zionist gifts available here.


Four More Sons, Four More Questions

Download as a Word Doc

Freedom is the central theme of the Passover seder. It echoes and re-echoes throughout the Haggadah. On this Passover, Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are not free. They remain captive, their fates unknown. Our hearts ache for them and for their families, and on their behalf we add four additional questions to our Seder tonight.

  • Why are these sons different from all other sons?
    These four sons were taken prisoner while bravely fighting for the safety and security of Israel and her People.
  • Why are these prisoners different from other prisoners?
    These prisoners have been wantonly denied all human rights which are guaranteed under international law. They have been treated not as prisoners of war, but rather as hostages. They have been allowed no access whatsoever to their families, their country, nor any human rights groups.
  • Why are these hostages different from other hostages?
    These hostages continue to be held even though all other Western hostages being held in Lebanon were freed years ago. We have no knowledge of the conditions under which they are held. In truth, we do not know whether they are still alive.
  • Why do we raise the issue of these Israeli soldiers who are “missing-in-action” on Passover?
    Of all the Jewish holidays, Passover is the one that truly represents freedom. If there is even one Jew who is being denied freedom, we must all raise our voices on her behalf.

Just as we have done throughout our history, so too, today we must come to the aid of fellow Jews. We dedicate this Seder to Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. We will continue to work toward their release from captivity, and, if our voices are strong enough, perhaps next year we will not have to repeat these extra four questions.

Yom Ha’Zikaron

Remembering Israel’s Fallen Soldiers

Since 1948, Jewish people all around the world have been fortunate to see and celebrate a prosperous and ever-growing Jewish State in the Land of Eretz Yisrael. Year after year on Yom Ha’atzmaut (The Day of Independence), together as a worldwide community, we commemorate Israel’s Independence, a modern miracle that was thought impossible just 100 years ago.

However, as we celebrate this joyous and wondrous occasion, we must remember those men and women who gave their lives for a free and secure Jewish Homeland. It is for that reason that each year we observe Yom Hazikaron (The Day of Remembrance) on the day preceding Yom Ha’atzmaut. For Jews worldwide, Yom Hazikaron is the day that we stop and remember all of the Jewish soldiers, the brave men and women, who gave their lives so that the Jewish State of Israel could become a reality and remain a free and independent nation.


Suggested Program

Considering the somber tone of this holiday, the following suggestions are commemorative rather than celebratory in nature. One possible activity would be a commemorative ceremony. Below are suggested components for a community observance:

  • Group procession
  • Torchlighting ceremony
  • Flags at half-mast
  • Appropriate Israeli music
  • Suitable scenery
  • Exhibition
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Main address by guest speaker