What happens when you take six Jewish teens and six Catholic teens to Israel? This was the very question that Roger Tilles and the late Fr. Tom Hartman hoped to answer in 1988 when they organized Project Understanding.
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In November 2006, I set out with a pack on my back to walk the Land. I knew that before I enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, I wanted a more intimate relationship with the country that I had made my home.
While many are acquainted with the "fathers" of modern Zionism (Theodore Herzl, Leon Pinsker, David Ben Gurion, and others) early women Zionists have been largely overlooked. Their contributions to Zionism and Jewish kibbutzim were vital to establishing the state of Israel. It's time that their work was celebrated and recognized.
Here are some ways you and your community can support Israeli democracy and the Israeli Reform Movement during this critical moment.
Heller High aims to build deep, lasting relationships between North American Jewish teens and Israel, developing the next generation of Reform Jewish Zionists. The Heller High program gives students the opportunity to learn from and get to know different groups of Israelis.
Nearly two months ago, our Just Zionism group landed in Israel as the election to cement a far-right government in the Knesset was taking effect. When we landed, I had a surface-level understanding of Israeli politics but was about to get a crash course on the election's implications for the activists who were heartbroken by the results.
I've been reflecting on the story of America's founding - the narrative many of us learn as children in the United States. I've recently learned a different version of that story - one that I now recognize intertwines with my own. My identities as Cuban American and Jewish have been shaped by Indigenous stories in America and in Cuba; particularly the themes of beginnings, loss, transformation, and change.
On November 2, 2022, I landed at Ben Gurion Airport for the first time. Filled with many emotions, this being my first trip to Israel, I decided to keep an open mind as I joined twelve young adult leaders on a journey to learn more about Israel, Zionism, and why Jews in the Diaspora, especially in the United States, should be engaged.
I spent months hiding inside my home after Covid-19 was declared a global health emergency. During that time, the Talmudic description of evil spirits resonated with me. It was certainly how I felt, surrounded by invisible threats just outside my door. Since I am a children's author, I channeled these fears into a picture book featuring a supernatural spirit.
Beejhy Barhany (she/her) is an entrepreneur and activist who was born in Ethiopia, raised in Israel, and currently resides in New York. Today, she is the chef and owner of an eclectic Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem, New York, Tsion Café, that incorporates cuisine from the many places that have influenced her journey.