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!

AZM Celebrates Israel at the 2015 Parade Amidst 50,000 Marchers

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On Sunday May 31st the Empire State Building announced the Israel festivities by illuminating the colors of the Israeli flag. By the mid-morning, Fifth Avenue was filled with over 50,000 individuals marching in solidarity to celebrate and support the State of Israel. Jewish organizations, synagogues, schools, and yeshivas from all streams of Judaism and widely ranging ideological perspectives all joined together to show their exuberance and love for Israel and the Jewish People.  Those in attendance chanted various Israeli tunes, and a combination of old Zionist and contemporary Israeli songs filled the air.

The American Zionist Movement was again a proud sponsor of a Parade float and marched with signs and banners communicating this year’s theme, “Israel Imagines”. A theme which speaks to the vibrancy and creativity of modern Israel.   AZM’s own twist on the parade theme was “Take pride in our past. Just imagine our future”. Our float highlighted this idea by focusing on the innovations of traditional Zionism, in particular, the Kibbutzim and its pioneering immigrants, while marchers referenced contemporary Israel’s hi-tech contributions and humanitarian values.  Overall the AZM theme focused on the progress Israel has made in developing from an agricultural society to a modern high-tech hub. With a little imagination, it is indeed easy to foresee what Israel could become in the next years.

Our participating member organizations also had a thrilling time. They constituted a considerable marching group, demonstrating how the Parade was a gathering of Israeli pride, excitement, and joy. The collective celebration included participants from AMIT, Ameinu, B’nai B’rith, Emunah of America, Habonim Dror, Hadassah, Hashomer Hatzair, Hebrew Tabernacle, Mercaz, and Or Shalom.

AZM Returns From TribeFest With Over 1500 Attendees!

AZM RETURNS FROM TRIBEFEST!

This year, AZM was fortunate to have the opportunity to be a partner organization of TribeFest, Jewish Federation of North America’s gathering of over 1,500 Jewish young adults from around the US. Taking place in Las Vegas, Sunday, March 25- Tuesday, March 27, participants came together to explore and celebrate Judaism through the lens of politics, entertainment, art, music, and of course, Zionism.

AZM led two exciting breakout sessions at TribeFest!

On Sunday, over 100 attendees participated in our first session, QUIZrael, a panoply style event requiring members of teams to work both together and individually to come out on top and win great prizes! Obviously, the most important part for the participants was, of course, the chance to snack on Bissli, Bamba, and assorted Israeli chocolates! But, the content of the quiz was focused on Israel and Zionism. From an Israeli logo challenge, to Sudoku, teamwork was put to the test! Did you know the first Zionist Congress took place in a casino? Well, our participants do now!

Co-sponsored by JTA Archives, and prizes were provided by Jdeal LA.

Tzedek Hevrati! Israel’s Social Protests in the Global Context was a powerful session taking place Monday afternoon. Following the morning’s community service project organized by TribeFest, the 40 session participants were eager to investigate and discuss the parallels in the global protests movements — Israel’s Social Protest, the Arab Spring, and the Occupy Movement — and explore the unique aspects of Judaism and Zionism that encourages and supports social justice. Stav Shaffir, one of the leaders of Israel’s J14 social protest movement, spoke about her personal experiences. Stav’s introduction was followed by facilitated roundtable discussions addressing the major issues contributing to the various protest movements, as well as their global impacts.

Co-sponsored by Jewish Federations of North America and New Israel Fund.