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.
Related Blog Posts on ARZA, Israel, and Zionism
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.
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.
There are a few days in my life that stand out. There are the big milestones: my first days of school, going to camp for the first time, and my first homerun. Another one of those dates that stands out is December 28th, 2015. That was the day that I made aliyah and became an Israeli citizen.
As I boarded the plane to Israel in the summer of 2002 for my first year of rabbinical school at HUC in Jerusalem, my mother said, "Please, just don't meet an Israeli." As soon as the plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport, I knew that I was home. A few months later, I met that Israeli. From our first conversation, he understood that I was studying to be a rabbi, and I understood that he wanted to live only in Israel.
In meetings with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, we discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the future of the Kotel, ensuring more funding and rights for non-Orthodox Jews, combatting racism, and stopping extremist violence against Palestinians, in addition to other pressing issues.