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24 Jan Posted by | Comments

Tu B’Shvat in Israel is a Time for Rebirth

AZM Tu B'shvat in Israel

When I was a kid, Tu B’Shevat meant coming home from Hebrew School with a bag of fruits from Israel. It contained things that I’d never tasted before – dates, figs, bokser (carob tree pods); and, as a kid, those were things that I often hoped to never taste again. I still remember the time that a teacher told us that bokser tasted best if put in the toaster. The horrible smell in our home that night became a story that my family would not soon forget. For many of us, our first perceptions of Israel would come from a sensory picture painted for us of its nourishment and taste, a description of Israel as a land flowing with milk and honey. Even before we had an opportunity to visit Israel – or if we’ve never been so blessed –...

30 Oct Posted by | Comments

“Myself. One People. Our Israel.”

WZC 140

It was a slogan that was used to mobilize Israel’s supporters from all walks of life in the United States to vote in the World Congress elections. Vote you did. The results came in, delegates were elected and the slates that were chosen reflect those many voices; lots of diversity. With that diversity comes…. disagreement. The slates have very different views on what Israel stands for, what Israel should be, what American Zionism should look like, what Israel’s policies should be on many issues and even more! Yet they came to Israel as one delegation; as one community of American Jews who share a love for Israel. A delegation with a passion for Israel strong enough to have them leave their jobs and families to hash out and consider those disagreements not only with each other but with Jews from...

15 Apr Posted by | Comments

In Three Minutes, You Can Effect Change For Israel

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the JUF-JF Board meeting in Chicago, discussing the importance of the current Israel vote; not the recent Israeli elections in Israel, but the most important Israel vote that we in the Diaspora can participate in, the World Zionist Congress (WZC) vote – happening now. Being president of the American Zionist Movement, (AZM) I understand how Zionism has different meanings and emotions depending on one’s relationship with Israel.  However, I cannot stress enough, as Jewish Americans, regardless of our definition, it is our right and opportunity to vote on behalf of Israel.  The more votes America has, the stronger our voice can be heard for Israel and for Zionism. Why is voting so critical this year?  With the State of Israel besieged on many sides, with the current state of relationships between the State...