ISSN 1756 - 5510
2 The Young Zionist
A WORD FROM THE EDITORS... Shalom FZY!
great developments and challenges for FZY, notably the testing impact of rising tuition It has been way too long since an issue of fees on the movement’s gap year proThe Young Zionist landed on your doorstep. gramme which has remained successful in After one hundred and ninety-seven previthese difficult times. Those lucky Brits on ous editions and seventy years of publishing, Year Course 2012-13 set off in September for we were never going to allow this journal to what will be, without any doubt, the best fade into the Federation of Zionist Youth hisyear of their lives. tory books. We are delighted to announce that, after a two year absence, this ideologiNow that the Young Zionist magazine has cal journal has made its much overdue remade its comeback, we are looking forward turn. to seeing it go from strength to strength over the coming years. Many thanks to all those During the preparation of this edition, we who have written the articles that you are spent many hours in the attic of the FZY about to read. We know you’ll enjoy reading Bayit perusing through previous publications them. of the Young Zionist. Every edition provides a fascinating insight into the feelings of the B’ahava movement’s members at that particular time, and we hope that this edition will do Eytan Halon & Charlotte Collins the same for many years to come. The Young Zionist Co-Editors The last two years have seen major developments in Israel. Who could have predicted the return of Gilad Shalit, en masse boycotts of cottage cheese and even, most unbelievably, a working tram in Jerusalem? It would take a brave (or foolish) individual to predict the next 12 months with any confidence. The true impact of the Arab Spring is still unknown and the issue of Iran is far from being solved. The same stretch of time has seen equally
HEAD OFFICE: 25 THE BURROUGHS, HENDON , LONDON, NW4 4AR
The Young Zionist 3
Contents Fluffy Zionism
Josh Marks Paying It Forward
Jessie Mayer Could We Stand With Israel?
Nicola Levy How Israel has the Power to Reinvent Our Society
Charlotte Collins March Of The Living
Tami Addlestone The 21st Century Jew
Adam Cartier Israel’s Archaeology
Anna London FZY: Just An Incubator For Leaders?
Elliot Hunter A Glimpse of Tel Aviv (1936)
Nathan Goldenberg O.B.E. A More Recent Glimpse of Tel Aviv
Eytan Halon Hollywood, History & The Boycott
Sandy Rashty Is This Really Goodbye?
Sasha Gold My View: FZY Tour
Sophie Goodman My View: Year Course
Zoe Edelman Home: Gilad Shalit
A Resident of Mitzpe Hila It’s What We Do That Matters
Daniel Zweig Who are the “Movement Team”?
4 The Young Zionist
Fluffy Zionism By Josh Marks (FZY Mazkir 2011-12) @joshuabmarks
What is Zionism? Three short words, but a fundamental question for FZY as a Zionist youth movement. This year at Veida, FZY’s annual conference, we repeatedly heard the argument that because ‘FZY is pluralist’, Zionism is whatever you want it to be. Such a view is a fundamental misunderstanding both of what Zionism actually is and of what it means to be in an ideological youth movement.
These aims are formulated in a document known as the Jerusalem Programme, which is voted in by the World Zionist Congress, a democratic body of all different types of Zionists from around the world. The last Jerusalem Programme was published in 2004, and since last Veida, it forms the basis of FZY’s ideology, available in our Constitution and on the website. I would like to pick apart some of the key ideas, so that we can underZionism is not simply whatever you feel it stand more closely what Zionism means should be – by such logic, Zionism could to FZY. be a belief in fluffy pillows. Rather, Zionism is a defined ideology, and this is fun- The Jerusalem Programme (2004) introdamental to our identity as a youth duces Zionism as “the national liberation movement. Being part of a youth movemovement of the Jewish people”, and ment involves subscribing to an ideologi- thus introduces Zionism as concerned cal platform, coming together to advance with “the Jewish people” as a people. a certain set of beliefs; otherwise FZY Zionism is thus Jewish nationalism, and could just be a youth club, travel agency Judaism is viewed not only as a religious or other form of organisation. identity, but also as an ethnic or national identity. Whilst some contest this nationNow, subscribing to an ideology does not al identity, from the start of the book of mean belonging to a cult. We do not ex- Shemot (Exodus), we learn all about Am pect everyone to have identical views, Yisrael (the people of Israel); an identity but it is important to recognise that beforged in Egypt and established in full at longing to FZY requires belief in a certain the end of Shemot. set of principles. For FZY, Zionism has a specific meaning, and we need to move The second component of this passage is from a state of ‘fluffy’ Zionism – where the notion of Zionism as a ‘liberation’ Zionism means whatever you want it to project – an idea that has caused quite a mean – to a more fluid Zionism within stir in the Jewish student community. certain defined boundaries. Liberation campaigns may be familiar to many students as campaigns concerned For our younger chanichim (participants), with equality – and Zionism can be conwe simplify our definition of Zionism ceived in such terms. Zionism is about the down to five words that capture its esequal right of Jews to a state; just as all sence – Aliyah Nimshechet (moving to other peoples should have a state, so to Israel to live out FZY’s ideoloshould there be a state for the Jews. An gy), Magen (the defence of Jewish alternate interpretation is that Zionism is rights), Tzedakah (acts of righteousness) a movement to liberate Jews from perseand Tarbut (Jewish culture). This is a cution whilst under the rule of others – great way to communicate to young an idea which resonates powerfully given members of FZY about our ideology and that Israel was established so soon after explain Zionism in easily digestible ideas, the Holocaust. but with maturity, these ideas should hopefully develop into a broader frame- Zionism is then presented with the task of work – an intellectual leap we sometimes building a “Jewish, Zionist, democratic fail to make. and secure State of Israel”, a sentence which highlights both a Jewish and demoFZY’s ideology is therefore not whatever cratic state are desirable. This issue is you want it to be, nor five words, but particularly relevant in light of the future rather the aims of Zionism more broadly. of the West Bank and the settlements,
with millions of Palestinians living in this region. If these Palestinians receive equal democratic voting rights, then their large numbers would compromise the Jewish nature of the state, but depriving them of votes forces Israel into an undemocratic system. This tension has led many in FZY to support a two state solution, although this is not the only way to resolve this conflict. Each one of FZY’s four aims can be derived from this definition of Zionism, with further commitments to education and pluralism. For example, “Aliyah to Israel from all countries” is an unsurprising statement of our aim of Aliyah, whilst the idea of “strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character”, provides an example of Aliyah Nimshechet, the desire to move to Israel to improve it. Pluralism, which I accused others of wrongly using, can also be seen in the Jerusalem Programme, through the ideas of “the unity of the Jewish people” and “mutual respect for the multi-faceted Jewish people”. FZY’s belief in political and religious pluralism is thus established with an over-riding concern for Jewish unity. As we argue in FZY, what unites us is far greater than what divides us, and even though we may not agree with other’s interpretations of Judaism, we recognise others’ free right to choose these viewpoints, and prioritise the desire to create an inclusive environment where all Jews feel comfortable. I hope this close textual analysis has given you some food for thought, and allowed you to gain a deeper understanding of FZY’s ideology. As I come to the end of my time as Mazkir (National Director) of FZY, I am excited to see the next generation of Zionists taking the mantle of leadership in our movement, and hope they stay true to the Zionist mission of our movement.
The Young Zionist 5
Paying It Forward By Jessie Mayer (Year Course participant 2012-13) www.pifexperience.org
I thought I would take this opportunity to share with the FZY community the tale of how 90 minutes on FZY Ofek Camp 2008 changed my outlook on life – a drastic statement, yet entirely true.
to be passed on in doing the act of kindness. I contacted Charley thinking I’d hear nothing of it, but was pleasantly surprised to receive a small cardboard box containing 25 bracelets on my doorstep in March 2011. I later learnt that the reason for the It was one of those miserable days in delay was that they were out of stock as Wales; grey and overcast with Keith (site Charley funded the first million bracelets owner) in a particularly bad mood. The out of his own pocket, receiving not a Madrichim (leaders) therefore decided to penny in return, and simply couldn’t give us a less intense peula (activity), a afford it anymore. I had been accepted showing of the film Pay It Forward. I vivid- onto my school’s annual trip to Zambia ly remember walking into the room and the week prior to receiving them and I seeing one other boy in there and thought that this would be the perfect wanting to turn around and walk out, yet opportunity to play my part and take Pay the Madrichim coaxed me in and there I It Forward to Africa – and I did! stayed for the duration of the film whilst others filtered in or fell asleep. For those who have never heard of ‘Pay It Forward’, it is based on the idea that one person does three acts of kindness for three different people, and then trusts them to do the same, eventually spreading these small acts of kindness. Such a simple concept. Such an instrument for change. I came home from camp and couldn’t stop thinking, thinking of how I could make the world a better place by spreading these small deeds. This was obviously accompanied by many frustrated inner dialogues and, more productively, extensive google-ing of the Pay It Forward concept. I firstly found out that the film was a screenplay of a novel written by Catherine Ryan Hide entitled Pay It Forward, and then found myself on a rather tired looking website of the Pay It Forward Foundation. This was set up by Catherine yet as an author, she had little time for the upkeep of the website. However, I saw an advertisement for the ordering of Pay It Forward bracelets and this is where things began to kick off. Charley Johnson, a 30-ish man who lives in Salt-Lake City, had designed a rubber wristband and was shipping them all over the world, entirely free of charge, to spread the Pay It Forward message. The only condition of the bracelet was that it was not to be worn as a fashion item, but
speak on their behalf and set the date in stone with him for the 29th of March. I then realised that as incredible as it was that I had organized Charley to come into school, these talks are only open to those in years 11 and above and hence the younger years would miss out on an incredible opportunity. I therefore approached the Deputy Head with an extensive plan, and told her I would be holding a Pay It Forward week that week of Charley’s visit - she just couldn’t say no!
I did an assembly to the entire school on the Monday morning, something that had never previously been done by a single student, and organised events ranging from a film showing to a biro collection for Zambia to an Un-run for comic relief. Everyone in my school, staff and stu“90 Minutes on Ofek 2008 dents, also received a Pay It Forward changed my outlook on bracelet too. I just wanted everyone to life - a drastic statement, acknowledge the simplicity of the movement and the power of the ‘human conyet entirely true.” nection’, as Charley coins it, that we so often forget in favour of our monotonous daily routine. It really is as simple as planting a smile on someone’s face for I distributed the 25 bracelets I received to letting them out in traffic or holding a the 24 girls who went out to Zambia with door open. me and felt like I was passing a baton of Charley’s visit was the perfect culminapower into their hands. One boy out there, Elias, ensured me he would make tion to nearly three years of contact, sure that his bracelet reached every per- stemming right back to my initial googleing after Ofek. So thank you to whoever son in his compound. It was here that came up with that peula on Ofek, you things fell into place and I thrived off knowing that I was, step by step, making indirectly paid it forward to me! my mark. Charley has since become the president of the Pay It Forward Foundation and reBut Zambia wasn’t enough; I needed to invented the website make sure everyone knew about Pay It Forward. I’d been keeping in contact with as www.pifexperience.org where people can share their stories of how they paid it Charley over Facebook and had always said he should come to Europe to spread forward. I know that Pay It Forward is the message through his inspirational and getting bigger in Israel too, particularly heartfelt speaking. He decided he and his because a mainstream children’s cereal company has decided to use Pay It Forwife would come to Europe for a month from March to April this year (2012) and I ward bracelets as the included toy. I look forward to paying it forward this year in thought at this point that I needed to bring him into school. We have the choice Israel on Year Course! of four lectures every Thursday for an hour at NLCS that girls organize through different societies. I convinced the Charity Committee to let me invite Charley to
6 The Young Zionist
Could We Stand with Israel? By Nicola Levy (Year Course participant 2009/10, Mazkirut 2012) @nic_levy
Last summer on July 14th, the despair of one Tel Aviv film student’s failure to find affordable decent accommodation caused her to move into a tent at the junction of Ha’Bimah Square and Rothschild Boulevard, the location chosen due to the stark contrast between her economic hardship and the most expensive real estate area in the country.
chose to oppose the protestors at every opportunity.
As the summer continued, more peaceful protests and rallies were organised, including a Shlomo Artzi concert. The media again said that the people were only there for the live music, choosing not to support the movement which astonishingly saw 80,000 people walk silently The student that I am, of course, talking through the street of Tel Aviv culminating about is Daphne Leef, a founder of the in rare handshakes between Arabs, West J14 social protest tent movement. Bank settlers and soldiers just to name a few. This provided a stark contrast beLeef set up a Facebook event asking anytween the war torn country, as seen in one and everyone to join her camp in the the international media, and showed that “tent city” to show that Israeli citizens the social welfare of the country affected were no longer apathetic, that they were everyone. taking a stand showing their blatant disapproval of the country’s social welfare People seemed to push their personal policies, which they believed were no politics aside in exchange for the quest longer effective. for social justice. Despite City Hall causing problems and threatening all those who took part with a criminal record, the first event saw 25 tents and around 1500 people taking to the streets. Leef quickly became a figure of hope to many disgruntled citizens and even received a call of support from Tzipi Livni, leader of the Opposition, praising her for empowering citizens. Leef’s response to Livni was that she too was a citizen and she too could make a difference.
“Israel could still become the utopian country we all long for it to be”
The culmination of a summer of protesting came on September 4th, when 500,000 people (7% of the population) came to protest. Leef described the event The movement swept Israel like a storm as a positive one, feeling like a new socieand, at its peak, there were 130 tent ty was established, which stood up to say cities all over the country, including many “we deserve better!” Arab and Druse villages, showing this In the protestors’ eyes nothing seemed to wasn’t just a Jewish cause – it was the positively change from their actions, the responsibility of every Israeli citizen to government just seemed to ignore their speak out. pleas and, instead, the price of electricity With the mass media hailing the protest- rose by 30%, leaving many people quesers as “sushi eating, narg smoking lefttioning the democratic capacity and the wing potheads”, it was clear that the gov- potential corruption of the current government and media were strongly opernment for simply overlooking the issue posed to this cry for help which had unit- of social justice. ed the country. Some good however has come out of the The protestors didn’t believe that they movement; Israeli society seems to have were political activists; they saw themchanged for the better. Regardless of the selves as standing up for morals and for lack of governmental policies, individuals social justice. National pride had never have developed more of a brotherly attibeen greater but many were left feeling tude, caring for the poorer members of disappointed with the government who society and ensuring that food and blan-
kets are available for those sleeping rough. An Israeli band called the Balkan Beat Box have promoted the terrible conditions of the ‘cardboard neighbourhoods’ filled with migrant workers living in terrible conditions. The Israel of today might not be what Herzl, Ben Gurion and Ha’am had in mind when they began their individual quests to found the Jewish State, however with the changing attitudes of individuals, spurred on by the J14 movement, hope is not lost. Israel could still become the utopian country we all long for it to be, to quote Herzl himself “if you will it, it is no dream”. On Year Course we were immersed into Israeli society and felt part of it. The expensive price of food, low quality of living provisions and the presence of so many homeless people showed me the poverty that existed in Israel that would never be allowed to happen in Britain. The issues that affect me and the rest of you are the same issues that affect every Israeli too on a daily basis. We felt the anguish that Israelis, just like Leef, felt going around the supermarket realising that on our small stipend we simply couldn’t afford everything in our trolley. As FZY is looking for a new project to support since Gilad Shalit’s release, then maybe investing in a project related to poverty and welfare within Israeli society is an issue that all members can relate to and support all year round and one that is so close to all of our hearts as well as every Israeli.
The Young Zionist 7
How Israel Has The Power To Reinvent Our Society
By Charlotte Collins (Young Zionist Co-Editor, Year Course 2009/10) @charlottelco
I really love Galina. The wooden decking outside that allows you to peer out onto the vast expanse of passionate black sea, the hot dog stand in the corner by the entrance that satisfies those pain-staking 3am hunger pangs, and the throngs of dark skinned, loose haired Israelis inside, so tightly packed in that every trip to the toilet is resemblant of a Masada hike. Additionally, I really love Arad. The tranquillity of the Negev town with no traffic lights but enough restaurants to please the master chef judges is almost audible in the dusty streets, and the sandy haze that hangs over the mountainous desert and its surrounding sporadic play areas is tangible from the comfort of low rise apartment blocks. Finally, I really love Har Herzl. In the final few weeks of Year Course 2009/10 those of us who had opted out of the Marva programme were instead armed with yarhzeit candles and water bottles, as on a stifling day in May hundreds of thousands of Israelis descended upon this burial site to pay tribute to their lost loved ones, neighbours, fellow citizens. An atmosphere of chaos nearly resembling festivities was rife - people bumped into friends and acquaintances from their past as we struggled against our newly gained year course weight, weaving and running through the crowds to ensure no one was without Evian.
bound old lady’s relentless wail, quiet tears and a harsh moan, enduring the full two minutes of reflection. Being an intimate witness to someone’s raw grief is distressing, humbling and significantly moving, and for this reason Har Herzl will personally always be placed on a pedestal of utmost importance and reverence. On a cheerier note, this summer I led Tour. Cue habitual doesn’t-really-seemlike-your-sort-of-thing-did-you-haveaccess-to-straighteners comments. Despite the deeply offensive shallowness implied through these remarks, my usual polite response when people demand why I wanted to sacrifice my summer to traipse 40 kids around Israel FOR FREE is this: an ever-increasing amount of young Jews in Britain are becoming disassociated from what has been sold to them as ‘Judaism’. As a disconcerting number of our synagogues are struggling to keep up with the interests and turn-ons of modern Jewish teenagers, through leading camp and exposure to Jewish teens I saw that a worrying percentage are only connecting to their religious roots through their social life.
This crisis of belief is understandable; given the fast-paced nature of our society the fact that there is little room for God is unsurprising. However, at the risk of sounding like an Evangelical preacher, I have been blessed with a gift. My time spent on Year Course allowed me to gain Suddenly, everything stopped. As the exposure to both physical and environsiren sounded a whole nation stood still, mental areas of Israel beyond the typical tangible through the microcosm of Israeli tourist traps; from the complexities of community that bowed its head in unison political and religious issues to the pleasaround the thousands of graves. The ure that can be found in spending six world’s loudest silence ensued, apart hours on a Saturday afternoon trekking from one lone sound; a wheel-chair through water on the Yehudia hike.
The crux of my point is always, without exception, this: Israel is a country. A whole country. Whether your interests lie in clubbing, restaurants, city life, hiking, swimming, politics, museums or even God, Israel is a nation that has everything to offer. I was presented with the opportunity to display this Jewish land to forty chanichim, be they detached or not from their religious heritage, so surely I could make each and every one of them fall in love with some aspect of Israel in those four short weeks. My initial attitude had been that as long as they each had a positive experience in Israel, I had achieved my goal of igniting a small passion for Judaism back into my community. So was I successful?? 8x chanichim in tears at the Kotel. 4x chanichim in tears at volunteering. 7x chanichim in tears at Har Herzl (as I tried desperately to restrain my celebratory dance). My chanichim showed continuous engagement and passion for things they had never previously experienced, each connecting in their own way with at least one activity or site within the month of tour. I have never been prouder. My advice therefore to all YZ readers is to take what you can from Israel. Within this edition you will be exposed to the many different ways FZY’s members have interpreted their relationship with our holy land, so take their advice and build your own connection, in whatever way shape or form, to your religious roots. See first three paragraphs for recommended starting points.
“Build your own connection, in whatever way, shape or form, to your religious roots”
8 The Young Zionist
March of the Living By Tami Addlestone (Year Course participant 2008/09, Tour Madricha 2011) www.marchoftheliving.org.uk
This April, I was lucky enough to take part her town and all her friends. Mala and
I truly believe no one can really under-
in the March of the Living trip in Poland.
Yuval together made our journey an un-
stand the in depth the horrors that oc-
Before I got there, I thought I knew so
forgettable, heartbreaking and an inspir-
curred during the Holocaust unless you
much, only to find out a few hours later
were there to see it for yourself. The clos-
that my knowledge surrounding the Holo-
est thing in trying to understand it all
caust was so minimal. It was an indescrib-
would be going to Poland to see what we
able experience, every day I was clinging
saw and feel what we felt. If you're Jew-
on to our educator’s – Yuval - thought
ish or not, I believe that everyone should
provoking words and it filled me with joy,
experience it, no one should shy away
anger, inspiration but most of all education.
out of fear or anything else because it's Inspirational Survivor: Mala Tribich
up to us to never let the memories die.
Being with FZY and BBYO was a unique
Being Jewish is so much more than big
I still struggle with the whole concept of
experience. The focus of the tours sur-
black hats and curly black hair. We're
mass murder, I can't understand why
rounded issues regarding youth move-
here today because just enough people
nothing was done sooner and I can't un-
ments and their empowerment during
survived torture, humiliation, starvation,
derstand why there weren’t a thousand
the war. The inspiring stories lit a flame in loss and depression within those haunted people like Schindler who bravely and my heart telling me that we can all do
camps that we were able to walk so
heroically saved the lives of helpless
smoothly across. It was as if ghosts were
following us, telling us to remember, tellThe trip has given me the drive to move
ing us to never forget.
forward as part of a youth movement, striving to stand up for our beliefs to make a better and safer world for us to live in that brings people from all corners of the earth together. Having Mala, a
Now I realise that instead of trying to understand all the horrors, I have to be
“We didn’t die then,
thankful for the bravery and feel lucky
we’re still here today,
that I can be here to tell the tales today
let’s ensure we’ll still be
and ensure that these events will never
be forgotten. We're the last generation
Holocaust survivor, with us gave us an
able to hear the stories from the survi-
even deeper understanding of what it
vors themselves and I know from now on
was like living in such horrendous condi-
Seeing eleven thousand Jews come to-
I will not let an opportunity pass me by.
tions. She made it all feel even more real, gether for the March itself was breathand as a group we saw her as the most
taking. When we sang Hatikva and the
We didn't die then, we're still here today,
incredible, brave, fascinating woman.
sun came out covering just the areas we
let's ensure we'll still be here tomorrow.
were standing, we knew that those lost in None of us could stop listening when she
the horrific murders were smiling down
opened her mouth to explain tragedies
on all these Jewish people saying “we're
that happened to her and her family and
Interested in ‘March of the Living’? 3rd - 9th April 2013 Contact Claire at FZY: 0208 201 6661
The Young Zionist 9
The 21st Century Jew By Adam Cartier (Year Course participant 2009/10)
The ‘21st Century Jew’ has a very different role from that of his ancestors. This Jew needs to get rid of the ghetto and victim mentality and enter a new world of balance and compromise based on true Jewish values. At one end of the scale there is the religious Jew, at the other end of the scale there is the secular Jew. In the middle there is the traditional Jew who, although not religious, preserves his Jewish identity through Jewish culture and traditions which range from the Seder night table, to celebrating a child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah and to keeping kosher at home but not out. But wherever you are on the scale there ought to be a common base of true Jewish values, and that means no extremism. Extremism destroys everything. Even the most secular Jews need to have the base of Jewish values - we all essentially want the same thing - to live honestly and decently in our Jewish homeland but even in secularism, there is extremism. It may be that this extremism arose in the aftermath of the Holocaust when the existence of God was seriously questioned or perhaps it is the result of the daily life of Jews in Israel who lead intensive lives and serve in the Israeli army. But even these factors do not excuse extremism, which is destructive of the true values of Jewish life.
Israel, but it scarred Israel as a democratic and peace striving State. Yigal Amir (an orthodox right-wing Jew) was responsible for the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin when he took significant steps forward to making peace with the Palestinians and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in November 1994. The opportunity for peace was destroyed as a result.
the world the right way to behave and earn the respect of the world as a result.
In the same way that Israel needs to maintain its standards, so too must the Palestinians. The solution to what can only be described as a crisis currently in Israel is the underlying strength of decent Palestinian moderates. I believe that the moderates in Palestinian areas (i.e. Gaza I am proud of my Jewish heritage and my and the West Bank) have the potential to Jewish ancestry. Two years ago on Year overthrow the corrupt leadership of PalCourse I went to Poland where I visited estinian politicians. They can overwhelm various concentration camps and learnt the regime of terror that they are under about the tragedies within my Polish fam- as well as well as the harsh conditions ily during the Holocaust years. While that they live in. Palestinians that turn to learning about the horrors that my family terrorism are not only destructive and experienced, I realised how important it counterproductive to the quality of life of is for me to maintain my Jewish values. It the Palestinian people; they also lack inis impossible to reconcile the violence dependent thought and true values. They and aggression of extremism with Jewish clearly have not fully grasped the fact values such as keeping a kosher kitchen that they need character in order to use or wearing a Kippah. It is these latter val- diplomatic means to reach compromise ues which should always be accepted as with Israel. In the same way that the part of the Jewish culture. modern Jew has had to break with the past but retain its values, so too must the Palestinians.
“Those who are not aiming towards peace should wake up to the reality that they could live a happy and peaceful life without the need for extreme religious ideals or hatred towards another creed of people.
I hope that in the 21st century those citizens who live in the Middle East will achieve their long-term goal of peace in the area. Those who are not aiming towards peace should wake up to the reality that they could live a happy and peaceful life without the need for extreme religious ideals or hatred towards another I believe that those who have a very excreed of people. Those Jews who turn to treme approach to Judaism and to the violence should carry as much guilt as any existence of the State of Israel have been Palestinian terrorist. If Israel can neutralresponsible for holding back Israel’s ise the extreme elements of Judaism that peace process and have dented Israel’s There is of course a justification for Israel exist within Israeli society, then perhaps international reputation. Goldstein (an to take military action in order to protect Israel will have the chance of being American born Yeshiva student) entered its citizens, but it needs to remember to looked upon as an inspiration. If the Palconduct itself in accordance with Jewish estinians will reciprocate then peace for the Cave of the Matriarchs in the city of Hebron killing 29 Muslims at prayer there standards and not overreact. The world is all concerned will become a reality. watching and Israel’s actions are being and wounding another 150 in February televised on a worldwide scale, which is a 1994. This outrageous attack was celewonderful opportunity for Israel to show brated by the right wing extremists in
10 The Young Zionist
It’s Ancient History… But we’re still talking about it... By Anna London Last summer saw the opening of recently completed excavations in East Jerusalem, the Ophel City Walls site. According to Eilat Mazar, who led the excavations, the site contains a royal house and one of the original city walls, built by King Solomon in the 10th century BCE.
Herzl, is a movement which came about as a reaction to the rise of European Nationalism in the early twentieth century. Jews, a nation without a homeland, could not fit into this new political ideology without a territory, and so became ostracised, and the victims of pogroms. The solution was obvious – the Jews needed a As described by The Jewish Chroniterritory. Where would this territory be? cle, visiting the site is exhilarating. Its It would be the land of their collective finds bring to life the biblical accounts of past, the land of the Bible, Israel. King Solomon’s reign. The Israel Antiques In this model the national history of a Authority, which opened the site, said, people is of the upmost importance in “visitors will now be able to touch the justifying a claim to a particular territory. stones and walls whose construction tells The biblical stories of David and Solomon the history of Jerusalem throughout the are a fundamental part of Jewish national ages.” history; proving their authenticity through archaeology has become one Sadly, although the site makes for a lovely significant way in which to substantiate a day out, its authenticity is highly quespolitical claim to the land of Israel in the tionable. Mazar has verified her site currently hostile political arena. through reference to the Bible, which says of Solomon, he finished building his Does Zionism therefore fall apart without house, and the house of the Lord, and the archaeological proof of David and Solowall of Jerusalem round about (1 Kings mon? From a nationalist, political per3:1). However, some years ago an article spective, its claim to the land does seem by Israel Finkelstein shook the world of to be on very thin ice. But there is an albiblical scholarship by suggesting that ternative model. Another important Zionother archaeological methods such as ist figure of the last century, Ahad Ha’am, carbon dating showed that all ruins tradi- argued that authenticating the Bible is tionally attributed to Solomon should be irrelevant; the Bible’s value lies rather in dated a hundred years further forward, the cultural identity it gives the Jewish to the reign of King Omri in the people. In an essay entitled “Moses”, he 9th century BCE. writes, “Even if you succeeded in proving beyond all doubt that the man Moses This is not to say that Solomon did not never existed, or that the actual Moses exist. Other evidence suggests he did, but was different from our picture of him, this should not be the focus of the dethat would not in the slightest degree bate. The question is rather why it affect the historical reality of the ideal matters. Moses. His character is equally clear to me, and no archaeological discovery can To correctly identify archaeological finds alter it.” is a task important for its own sake. In Israel however, the land and its history For Ahad Ha’am, Zionism meant the reseem to hold a special resonance whose kindling of Jewish culture. The creation of implications are brought into the current a state was necessary in his eyes to proclaim to territory. Yes, incorrectly identi- tect that culture, as a centre from which fying a site does a disservice to its Jewish culture would emanate to the Dimemory, but more importantly for Israel, aspora and save its Jews from assimilathese errors are used to justify a political tion. In this model, a provable historical claim to land at the expense of other na- narrative carries less importance. The tions whose claim we brush aside. Jewish claim to the land goes deeper than a chronological history; it instead lies in The Relevance of History within the land’s centrality to Jewish tradition, Models of Zionism culture and heritage. Israel, in particular Jerusalem, has been the focal point of Political Zionism, the Zionism of Theodore Jewish life since God promised it to Abra-
ham, has remained an object of longing since the fall of the Second Temple, and has been immortalised through prayer, practice and even popular culture. Israel’s Cultural Significance for Three Faiths Just as the Jewish claim to the land can be justified through its cultural significance, the same can be said for Christianity and Islam. If Jerusalem’s walls could speak, they would tell the stories of Jesus’ crucifixion and Mohammad’s night journey alongside the Jewish history, and every monument would be forgiven a case of confused identity. The Jewish Holy of Holies lies deep within the Dome of the Rock, which in turn spent many years acting as a Christian church, to give but one example. Our histories are so entangled that we have become part of one another. This idea is remarkably well depicted by Anton Shammas, an Israeli Arab Christian writing in Hebrew. In his novel Arabeskot (Arabesques), he challenges the notion of Israeli identity as being separable into different peoples, and instead presents a composite image of Israeliness that is susceptible to redefinition over and over again. An example is his description of the village Fassuta. This small patch of land has exchanged hands so many times that the notion of ‘belonging’ loses all meaning, and the histories of all three peoples are inextricably linked in such a way that to untangle them would be to deny a part of their individual histories. Israel’s archaeology reveals the story of three faiths, and their historical narrative which has been written over time and time again. Each claim to the land has been washed away in the blood of those massacred to establish a new order, and this still continues today. We must learn that no one historical narrative has supremacy over another, and that tangible history (buildings/monuments) left behind by those who have gone before are not sufficient grounds on which to legitimise or de-legitimise a state. Our histories are intertwined, and the land belongs to us all. Let’s start sharing it.
The Young Zionist 11
FZY: Just an Incubator for Leaders? By Elliot Hunter (Rakaz Tochniot/ Director of Educational Programmes 2011-12) @ellhunter
“I exist not to be loved and admired, but to love and act. It is not the duty of those around me to love me. Rather, it is my duty to be concerned about the world, about man.” Janusz Korczak, Warsaw Ghetto Memoirs of Janusz Korczak
nities for our chanichim (participants). Today, Kedmaniks (post-Tour/sixth-form members) can be madrichim (leaders) on Tour seminars and Summer Camp, and gain tangible experience of what it means to lead FZY chanichim, before going on Year Course or contributing to vibrant As I approached the twilight hours of my Jewish life at University. Being a leader is unforgettable FZY journey, I couldn’t help a very big responsibility. A leader is emreflecting on the movement’s present powered with the ability to influence othand, more critically, its future. For me, ers, or as Janusz Korczak – director of a fundamental to this is defining its purWarsaw orphanage who voluntarily led pose as a proudly Zionist youth movehis orphans to Treblinka extermination ment in Britain with members spanning camp – states, “to be concerned about 12 shichvot (age groups). As an ideologi- the world, about man.” cal movement, our mission statement, recently updated at our prestigious Veida (Annual Winter Conference), is: ‘To in“Without this, FZY would spire and educate every British Jewish simply become an youth to take part in the future of the Jewish people, and its ultimate expression incubator for leaders, in the State of Israel.’ But what does this mean? Should we measure our movement’s progression on the number of members who live and breathe our four aims – Magen (Defence of Jewish Rights), Tarbut (Jewish and Israeli Culture), Tzedakah (Righteousness, or Charity) and Aliyah Nimschechet (moving to Israel and improving society) – or just by those who achieve the last of the four? In terms of numbers, is it about how many young people we connect to Israel and Judaism on one of our educational summer programmes, or about how many engage every week at a local chavura? Or do we measure our success by the quantity and quality of leaders coming through the movement – be that chavurot committee members, Hadracha Coursers, bogrim staffing our programmes, or movement workers facilitating the members? Whilst these are difficult questions to answer, it is the last question which holds the key.
who don’t lead their chanichim anywhere and don’t drive forward the movement that never stops.”
Empowerment, a concept rooted in Jewish history, has long been a dynamic tool for any youth movement – it enables people to stand by their values, take responsibility and enact change in society. In fact, it has always been the youth who have dared to change the course of history whilst refusing to accept reality. Just recently, I participated in the March of the Living trip as part of a FZY delegation and learned how Dror, a Polish-born youth movement was the driving force behind the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. In much happier times, FZY’s chanichim should not merely be inspired by what FZY stands for, but by what FZY can stand for; the opportunity to shape the moveTraditionally, FZY has always had a strong ment and change society. A good leader bogrim kehilla (community of Year Course should not only behave positively and graduates and university students) but in inspire their chanichim to feel positive the past 5 years, there has also been a towards the movement’s ideology and shift towards placing an increasing emidentity, but also set a dugma by how phasis on hadracha (leadership training) they live their life and what they can and creating practical leadership opportu- achieve.
Similarly, it is incumbent upon us to remember that madrichim exist because of chanichim and not vice-versa. Members of any group need something tangible to connect to which they can apply to their lives, and use to positively influence the lives of others. In order to have a meaningful role in the movement, FZY’s members must gain specific knowledge about FZY, Judaism and Zionism – which they positively associate with and feel inspired by. When unpackaged, this can be broken down to many smaller components of chinuch (education): FZY’s 102 year-old history for example or the meaning behind Ben Gurion’s grave. Each one appeals to chanichim and madrichim in their own unique way, but all of them are integral. As the movement worker who facilitated Israel Tour, my work has been motivated by the fact that our chanichim are empowered and developed, but without this depth of knowledge they cannot fulfil FZY’s ideology. They cannot grasp the notion of Jewish peoplehood, embrace the possibility of social activism, and articulate their love for Israel. And, crucially, they cannot positively impact the future of the Jewish People in the State of Israel. Without this, FZY would simply become an incubator for leaders, who don’t lead their chanichim anywhere and don’t drive forward the movement that never stops.
12 The Young Zionist
A Glimpse of Tel Aviv By Nathan Goldenberg (August 1936, The Young Zionist)
It is very difficult to form any connected impressions of any country in so short a space as eleven days. I happened to visit the country at an abnormal (and therefore interesting) time, whereas when most Young Zionists go to Palestine, time is usually spent in the colonies, whereas I was unfortunately forced to remain in Tel Aviv.
their daily work. But it is a feeling impossible to describe.
My visit to Tel Aviv revealed to me the essential unity of this very cosmopolitan Jewish town – and especially the unity of the Youth. But even more striking than its unity, which one could feel at all times but which was so obvious that it was hardly ever discussed, was the behaviour The first and predominant feeling was of the people in the midst of a really unthat of being thoroughly at home all the pleasant situation. In spite of all the troutime. Here for 11 days I could forget that bles of the present times, the Jews just feeling of being a strange and unwelcome carried on as though nothing was hapguest among a people alien to me in its pening, and went about their daily work outlook on life, its ideals and its reaction as usual. to life, although in the day-to-day routine of life, no such differences were noticea- This, in spite of the fact that they knew ble. It was a strange but welcome experi- that Arab snipers on the outskirts of Tel ence to see not a single non-Jew for alAviv could always make things unpleasant most 11 days and to feel that life was all for everyone not absolutely in the centre the more worth-living for that. of the town. Especially in the evening it would not be very difficult to leave exploFor the first time in my brief existence did sives lying around the streets and yet this I understand and feel the meaning of stopped no one from going about their “Shabbat” in Jewish life. The peace and business or their pleasure as usual even quietness that reigned everywhere on on the sea-shore at midnight. This is sureFriday evening and on Saturday were a ly a safe indication that we have acquired revelation. in Palestine that self-reliance and sangfroid which are the hall-marks of a people Here, one felt, “Shabbat” was raised from living on its own soil. It could be seen its doubtful place as a purely religious and everywhere – in the heroic, calm Jewish half neglected ceremonial of the select bus-drivers as they went about their busirich Jews of the Galut to something far ness, in the tiny tots who played unconmore inspiring and important, that of a sciously on the beach, or in the passenNational Traditional Day of Rest for the gers on the bus from Ras-el-ain to Tel entire Jewish Nation in its best sense, Aviv, or the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv, when they can rest from their labours who were all exposed to a very real danand think of things unconnected with ger and yet behaved as though they were
in Middlesex, calmly taking the tube home. It was very difficult to leave Palestine after being there only eleven days; how much more so would it be after a stay of a few years or so, even if the absence be a temporary one. And I still feel a queer irrational thrill whenever I think of the sunlit streets of Tel Aviv stretching down to the calm blue sea, with the hazy outlines of the Judean hills in the distance in the opposite direction, or of the Jewish bus-drivers unconcernedly carrying out their vital duties, each knowing full well that the next journey may well be his last. Cruel fate may force some of us to spend a part, and the best part, of our lives in the Galut, but for those of us who have been to Erez Israel, there is but one place which we can call home and where we can solve our Jewish problem. The theoretical question of the relative importance of Palestine and the Galut ceases to exist, our place is Palestine, and there we will eventually find our way, for we also feel, as the entire Yishuv feels, that, come what may, Palestine is the only country where the Jew can live a natural and dignified life among his fellows and contribute his tiny quota to our resettlement on that soil which the Jews and the world at large have always regarded as belonging to the Jews.
The Young Zionist 13
ECENT R E R O M
A Glimpse of Tel Aviv By Eytan Halon (Young Zionist Co-Editor, FZY Mazkirut 2012) @eytanhalon
Nowhere in Israel can you feel further away from the conflict that seems to plague its reputation than in Tel Aviv. People are too involved in their own lives to worry about existential threats from rogue nations that might possibly be armed with nuclear weapons in the near future. Tel Aviv’s residents already have enough to worry about, whether that means finding the money to pay next month’s rent or the never-ending traffic jams on the Ayalon Highway. For any holidaying Jew from Britain, the sight of the golden beaches and endless Aroma coffee shops (and, of course, Japanika sushi stores) barely begins to tell the story of this fascinating city. Only 100 years ago, this financial capital of Israel was nothing but grains of sand and convoys of camels - an almost unimaginable sight. If only, like everything within Israel’s borders, those sand dunes could tell us the stories of the astounding changes in our homeland over the last century. Now nicknamed ‘Silicon Wadi’, the town originally established by a group of sixty Jewish families has become the thriving merkaz (centre) of the ‘start-up nation’. Shiny offices and funny-shaped shopping centres tower above the Tel Aviv skyline.
These magnificently modern structures sit awkwardly next to the rather more modest Bauhaus architecture, a UNESCO proclaimed World Heritage Site, which should be a great source of pride for Tel Aviv. The old and the new gives us a tantalising glimpse of the history of this place. Like many young Brits wish to live in London, most young Israelis aspire to have their own apartment in central Tel Aviv after the army. As loudly proclaimed in the recent social protests, establishing a life in this vibrant city is no easy feat. Money is tight, and secure, well-paid jobs are hard to find. This is a city which contains both extremes of the financial spectrum: the towering hotels next to the seashore, playing host to the Jewish community’s wealthiest holidaymakers, are directly overlooking the slums of downtown Tel Aviv where tensions are running high between the poor Israeli nationals and the even poorer immigrants. It is sometimes easier, however, to look away from the troubles of others on your doorstep. It’s understandable too, with bills to pay and traffic jams to navigate. Although only separated by a short motorway, Tel Aviv is a world away from the golden streets of Jerusalem. As the holy
city grinds to a halt on a Friday afternoon, Tel Aviv is just waking up. For many inhabitants, irreligious and ready for the weekend, Friday night dinner was a tradition that was shunned long ago. Absent in the streets of Tel Aviv as Shabbat approaches is the distinct scent of freshlybaked challah that wafts through the crisp Jerusalem air. The Jewish nation is divided more than ever; financially, politically and religiously. Yet it is this shattered dream that I and others love so much, and it can be hard to put your finger on exactly why we love it so much. No matter how much we disagree and argue, in the way that only Jews can do, these disputes are only possible because we are in control of our own fate for the first time in thousands of years. Having lived on the outskirts of the city, in Bat Yam, for several months, Tel Aviv is a place that I deeply appreciate. Its vibrancy is not replicated anywhere else and it has an ability to charm anybody who visits for even the shortest of times. Very little has changed since August 1936. The attitude of the residents has stayed exactly the same, and it’s definitely still not perfect. But, unlike 76 years ago, at least it’s ours.
14 The Young Zionist
Hollywood, History & The Boycott When did the Arts collide? By Sandy Rashty @SandyRashty
Rudyard Kipling once said, “If History were taught in the form of Stories, it would never be forgotten.” Mr Kipling was right. The monotonous lecture of a textbook teacher cannot share the memorable effect of a lesson taught through the vessel of Once Upon a Time. Even large chunks of biblical text are better remembered when illustrated through the image of Adam, Eve and the sinful Serpent. In short, a story’s ability to make the political more personal has elevated the Arts to the forefront of the socio-political conversation. Yet, even this simple principle – like so many other principles facing the State of Israel – is being confronted with campaigning resistance. The latest wave of boycott-happy activists have supported a Palestinian call to exclude Israel from the international cultural conversation, from the Arts. Israel’s continued presence in “occupied territory” – they argue – has left the public with a moral duty to boycott and withdraw from commercial and social relations with the nation State. Now, I’ve never been one to take a boycott call too seriously. They tend to beat to a rather boring and repetitive tune. The leaders are usually of the Hyde Park speakers’ corner breed; the followers are fleeting; and the arguments are so distorted that they rarely receive publicity. In fact, if the whole concept wasn’t so offensive, I might laugh.
Zion secretly controlling the USA, there’s el take their seats, and my optimistic not much I could do to silence that view, head began to quickly deflate. beyond voicing my challenge in a rational I sat with disdain as the ‘conference’ or sarcastic manner. transformed into an Israel-bashing sesWhat did bother me was the ‘boycott’ sion supported by old Irish folk comparitself. ing the situation to British colonialism. “Palestine will be free,” one overweight Firstly, the recent attempt to prevent man spontaneously combusted. Israel’s Habima theatre performing The Merchant of Venice at the Globe, was The actors wiggled their heads and timely akin to silencing free speech. looked at the floor at the mention of Habima. “Tel Aviv security was a nightmare Secondly, the artistic boycott was led by for us. They touched our private places. It people in the Arts – by people who have is very hard for us,” they mourned to the made a lucrative living from exploring gasping and tutting audience. politics through performance and exercising free speech through storytelling. The That’s all very well, I thought, but what irony behind a group of storytellers did the panel’s emotional obsession with attempting to prevent another from exer- security checkpoints and “psychological cising the same liberty was bizarre if not imprisonment” have to do with Habima repulsive. performing a Shakespearean play on London’s Embankment? – Something the Ashtar panel had freely completed one hour ago. I didn’t get my answer and scowled at the confused panel as I left “The irony behind a the conference room.
group of storytellers attempting to prevent another from exercising the same liberty was bizarre if not repulsive.”
Though the boycott wasn’t successful and Habima were permitted to perform, the ‘happy ending’ element of the story was minimal. I couldn’t help but feel that the issue should not have existed in the first place.
When 37 artists like actress Emma Thompson - the Golden Globe winner, Harry Potter star, writer and general Hollywood storyteller – are willing to preach Just before Habima were due to perform, Palestinian liberty while denying Israelis I attended the Globe to watch the Pales- the same rights, the root of the problem tinian Ashtar group freely play Richard II goes beyond the Globe theatre. in Palestinian Arabic. The actors were Stories have the power to teach history in However, my attitude flipped and cheeks- emotional, passionate and gave a wona memorable manner, voice a thought in reddened at the recent boycott led by derful performance that duly received a a creative way and smack away the tiring prominent people in the Arts. A group of standing ovation at the end of the recital. droll of old-age politics. actors, directors and writers supported a I gazed on, clapped hard and received a call to reject Israel’s cultural institutions If not for my time spent challenging boywink and wave from the actors. by the Palestinian Boycott, Divisions and cotts and hypocrisy, I might have enWalking towards the group’s postSanctions committee (BDS). closed a list of names and encouraged performance conference, I prepared my you to boycott those who signed the The artistic group’s distorted political positive review. I would tell friends and letter - ‘Dismay at Globe invitation to Isperspective didn’t bother me. With free- family how enthusiastic the actors were, raeli theatre’ – but I won’t, that would be dom of speech firmly in place (I hope), we how they were so talented and liberal in hypocritical. all have a right to have a view and distort their artistic performance. I exchanged it at our wish. If the group had just called pleasantries, flipped down my cushioned Israel a military enthusiast, an occupier, a chair, watched the Ashtar discussion panblood-sucking nation run by the Elders of
The Young Zionist 15
Is this really goodbye? By Sasha Gold (FZY Office Team 2011-12, Year Course Madricha 2012-13) @sashatalgold
For anyone who knows me, you will understand that I find goodbyes and endings very traumatic.
model. I learnt the joy and purpose that comes with responsibility and commitment. I learnt about myself and about the world from my madrichim, my peers, and As soon as we begin singing the Hatikva later my chanichim. I grew up and grew (‘The Hope’ - the national anthem of Isratowards the person I learned I wanted to el) at the end of a seminar, standing with be. arms around each other, the tears begin to fall. Something about the rousing melody as we reach the climax of "Od lo avda “The thing that makes us tikvateinu" coupled with the feeling of special is that we are togetherness with people with whom you truly a youth movement.” have just shared an experience never fails to reduce me to a quivering emotional wreck. And so, this year of movement work feels like the longest Hatikva ever - It is a very hard and emotional thing to every moment and every person I interleave a movement that you have invested act with is another note in this tune of in and that has given you so much. Right goodbye. now, I cannot imagine a life without FZY in it. However, just as I feel terrified at My time in FZY has been completely lifethe approach of every milestone and life changing. I can trace my path through the change until I get to it, at which time I movement back to my first camp and see feel ready, I can feel now that it is the how indeed, two roads did diverge in a right time to leave FZY. yellow wood, how I took the one less travelled by, and how that did make all I have been privileged this year to run the the difference. I have no idea where I London Hadracha Course, and have met would be and who I would be today had and been inspired by an amazing group of FZY never come into my life; it has comcommitted and passionate young people pletely shaped and defined my identity, who are working hard to develop their and has given me so much during my potential and going on an amazing jourformative years. ney. I see a group of incredible Year Coursers going to Israel this coming year, Being part of this movement gave me a group I have led since I was just a Year values, skills, direction and a community. Courser myself, who I have seen grow up I was given role models who I aspired to at the same time that I myself have be like, and along the way I found out grown up. I see an active and impaswho I was and how I too could be a role sioned Mazkirut who are getting to know
the movement from the inside and always looking out for its best interests. Seeing all these people, I know it is the right thing to leave the movement, giving them the same chances to take on responsibilities and lead the movement into the future as I had. The thing that makes us special is that we are truly a youth movement; when we say we care about youth leadership and empowerment we mean it. The movement is kept constantly dynamic and fresh because FZY is the people in it. We go through a journey, pass on our wisdom, influence those younger than us until they take over and we move on, carrying our experience with us, allowing it to inform where we go and what we do. Because of course this is not really a goodbye at all. How can I forget all the experiences I have had, lessons I have learnt, and people I have met? Just as the words of the Hatikva become a part of our identity, our beliefs and our hopes, staying with us long after we finish singing at the end of the seminar, FZY will always remain with us. I want to end by saying thank you to everyone who has made my time in FZY so fulfilling and special, from the beginning until the end. I cannot wait to see where you all take the movement now that I have finished.
16 The Young Zionist
My View: FZY Tour By Sophie Goodman (FZY Israel Tour participant 2011)
So firstly I must apologise for the title. I just didn’t think “My Amazing Tour Experience” screamed originality. If you are a member of another youth movement reading this then I suggest you stop reading now. 80% of this article will be my talking about the most fantastic, unbelievable, amazing, unforgettable experience I had on Israel Tour and you’ll probably just get angry at the fact I had such a fantastic, unbelievable, amazing, unforgettable experience with FZY and wouldn’t consider any other Tour but FZY if I had to choose again. So, a year after Israel Tour and here I am trying to gather my memories of it together for an article. What have I gotten myself into?
ing how whatever is going on in your life, good or bad, you can go to the Kotel and instantly forget everything. It’s peaceful and really serene.
in any of the competitions but it was definitely the taking part that mattered. It was fun, exciting and I would do it again tomorrow if I could.
Before going on Israel Tour, there were many options as to which ‘track’ I’d like to choose. For me, the volunteering track sounded perfect. At FZY, one of our main charities is called the EBF: The Ethiopian Barmitzvah Fund. As it says on the tin, we raise money for children from Ethiopia, who now live in Israel, to experience their very own Bar/Batmitzvahs.
Before I end my ode to Tour, I’m just going to give you 5 Top Tips about Tour which I learnt the hard way: 1. Bring extra sun cream. Even when you think 5 bottles is enough, bring more.
2. If you haven’t already, start saving up now. When you go to Eilat (or Eischmat as I like to call it) you’ll want to Volunteering (or Tikkun Olam as it’s widebuy everything! ly known) gave me the chance to experience their bar/bat mitzvas and share the celebrations with their families. This was 3. DO NOT FORGET YOUR HAT. It goes without saying that meeting eve- an experience never to be forgotten. The rybody in your Tour, who you will be celebrations took place at the Jerusalem 4. Israeli vendors are really easy to spending a month with, is nerve wracking Great Synagogue which was an experihaggle with. Haggle away like you’ve nevbut it didn’t take Tour 4 long to settle ence in itself. er haggled before. down with each other and, by the first day, everybody seemed like they’d known During my time in FZY I have raised moneach other for a lot longer than they real- ey for the EBF doing simple things such as 5. It sounds really ‘Disney channel’ ly had. bake sales, car washes etc. and to see the but I really did find my confidence on Israel Tour and it was a life changing exmoney that we raise as a youth moveMy first highlight of Tour was definitely ment going into such an amazing cause is perience, so I think the most important the Haas Promenade. No, I didn’t know a feeling that could only be described as thing you can do is be yourself. Trust me, it goes a long way. what it was either until I arrived. The perfect. Haas Promenade is a viewpoint in the middle of Jerusalem and I’ll never forget the views you could see when stood in the middle of it. I found it amazing how “The most important you could see so much of one city stood thing you can do is be in just one place. With it being my first yourself. Trust me, it time in Israel, I really didn’t know what to goes a long way” expect but after going there on the first day I could tell that spending the next 29 days in such an amazing country wasn’t going to be difficult. I couldn’t wait to explore it. The final part of Israel Tour that I’m going Next, I have to choose the Kotel (Western to highlight is the Maccabiah. The MaccaWall). Sorry to sound cliché but you can’t biah Games is FZY’s answer to the Olymgo to Israel and not be amazed by it. It’s pics. Think Olympics, change all the counimpossible. tries to 12 Tours and change all the rules to just 1: WIN. There are lots of aspects I just found the whole Kotel experito the Maccabiah including football, volence unforgettable. So many messages leyball, basketball, tug of war and, my are written about loved ones in the wall. personal favourite, ruach (spirit). FZY Tour 2012 There were even people praying and crying against the wall. I find it really inspir- Unfortunately, my Tour didn’t do too well participants
The Young Zionist 17
My View: Year Course By Zoë Edelman (FZY Year Course participant 2011-12)
My name is Zoë Edelman and I have just come home from the amazing experience that was Year Course 2011-2012 and I have had the time of my life! I have made the most amazing friends, had incredible experiences and have discovered who I really am.
now know my way around the old city, as well as the rest of Jerusalem, because it is such a special place with so much history and so much to do.
the Park Rangers sometimes with clearing the paths, guiding people to some of the sights and then telling them off for starting to smoke nargila there!
In Bat Yam, just outside Tel Aviv, I was lucky enough to volunteer in Magen David Adom. The course was so much fun. Since I first got involved with FZY and my There were people from all over the sister went on YC I knew that I would world. The medical stuff wasn’t that hard come to Israel before attending universi- as I had learnt a lot of it previously in ty. But it’s not just for FZY ‘keenos’ like school and some was just common sense. me; the experiences I have had here have The Hebrew, however, I found hard. I not depended on my past but the individ- came to Israel with none so by the point ual that I am. it was still very limited. I only got 76% in the test, 4% under the pass mark, but Due to university fees tripling, this year’s with a promise to continue to study they FZY group was much smaller than the passed me. year before. This made for an unusual orientation in Israel. We began on SepVolunteering in MDA was very exciting; tember 1st. I say began because only half even when I got the simplest of calls of us actually travelled together to Israel. where we are only transporting people For 4 days there was a permanent awkfrom house to hospital, seeing into so ward silence. It wasn’t that we didn’t like many other people’s homes and families each other, we just had nothing to say. and receiving such gratitude from so During orientation we had an opportunity many people makes me feel like I was to dive right into Israel society. We truly making an impact on Israeli society. I attended a protest in Tel Aviv about the may not have been able to communicate difficulty of affording to live here. I knew with most of the patients, due to my mina little about this issue but it was amazing imal Hebrew, but I could see that they did to see how relevant this was in Israel. appreciate the help.
Some people thought I was crazy choosing to pay the higher university fees but I’m 100% sure it was the right choice. If I had come to Israel for only a few months I would have had such a different experience. I didn’t realise how much I had learnt here until my friends came on an FZY trip. Suddenly I was the know-it-all who knew where to go for this and that and what this Hebrew word meant. It worried me that I was the one with the most Hebrew! I now feel like I live here and that I am an Israeli. I know my way around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv pretty well and I can actually interact with people in Hebrew. I also now understand so much more about Israeli culture, not because of what I’ve been taught in FZY activities and those few times I bought falafel from a stand, but because of living deep within the culture.
I’ve grown a lot as a person this year – I’ve become emotionally a lot more stable, I’ve gained a lot more self-esteem and I’ve quite simply matured. I’ve also learnt to cook! I really missed home, and In Jerusalem we took part in classes such My 3rd semester was spent in Arad, a there were times when I wished I could as Hebrew, Jewish Concepts, Israel Advo- small city in the Negev (south of Israel). be there. But realistically, why on earth cacy and G-d Talk. My Jewish beliefs were Although there is little to do in Arad there would I give up Year Course? I’ve had an challenged to the point that my perspec- always seemed to be just enough going incredible year and am so grateful to my tive on Judaism and G-d have significantly on for me to be amused, whether it be parents for letting me come here. I think changed, and I am now a lot more confi- karaoke, a movie night or a trip to Muza – that if anyone is slightly considering going dent to advocate for Israel on campus one of the few bars in Arad. I volunteered on FZY Year Course then they definitely and feel that I know enough to be proin Ein Gedi – one of the most beautiful should, and I would be happy to answer active about Israel. I was in a ‘Judaism in places in Israel. We helped with the bio- any questions! Jerusalem’ class and, with it, took many logical research there on the human classes to the old city. It’s amazing that I effects on dragonflies. We also helped
18 The Young Zionist
HOME: GILAD A VIEW FROM MITZPE HILA - HOMETOWN OF GILAD Dear friends. Here we just had three completely crazy, fascinating and joyful days, and I thought it might interest some of you to hear about them. THE DAY BEFORE
atmosphere around me I was still biting my tongue – so as not to miss out on any small "we lived through this" moment. EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY… (I HOPE): THE DAY OF THE RELEASE
We were lined up in long rows holding flags and flowers, and blowing shofars, and within me are a lot of thoughts – why the national flags? Is it appropriate after five and a half years?
And in the distance are two huge helicopYesterday (the day of the release) I was ters. And with them our excitement already on tenterhooks from seven-thirty jumps to highest point since the anin the morning. nouncement of the release.
The day before the expected release - I found myself going to Ikea. They assured me that there was not yet anything much I went to the Mazkirut in order to know to do at Mitzpe, and that I’d just go crazy what to do, as did others who wanted "to at home. do something" no matter what it was; the important thing was to do something. We So I went. I went as far as I could imagine left and we went up to Mitzpe (anyone myself driving in one day. I went and I who has been here once knows how thought a lot of bad thoughts and happy steep it is!) And we tried to "do", whatevthoughts and prayed a lot, and touched er we could, no matter what, the main on every possible piece of wood and thing was to prepare, to prepare to deal crossed my fingers and fought to hear the with something until it is. radio over the sat nav. We hang and we cut, we tie and we fasIn the evening they opened the pub at ten. Journalists are upon as from every Mitzpe to commence the celebrations direction, and want to interview us and and festivities for the dozens of media want to ask and to know; our every halftypes and techies who had been here step is photographed and documented. since the morning. They photograph us when we enter, when we go out. When we hang or take We drank beer with Yoav Limor, sangdown, spread flowers, plant olive trees along with Ayala Hasson, gossiped with (Aviva's special request), when we assemSivan Rahav Meir and joked with Yael Dan ble in lines to wait for Gilad. And every (but unfortunately Danny Kushmaro had one of us (easily identified – as for each not arrived yet - and the girls of Mitzpe resident of Mitzpe they brought out a felt his absence...). We experienced some beautiful new shirt on which was written: sort of experience where we maintained "How good that you came home") is bea facade in front of everyone, as if we did coming famous for a moment. not care about anything – but inside me my stomach was churning – I just hope THEN HE ARRIVED… everything will be ok - and with all this
And someone starts a song that doesn’t catch on, and instead we shout, and clap, and don’t exactly embrace but also don’t move away from each other. And we look at the sky. And from the sky emerge two helicopters that cross the just setting sun right in the middle, like E.T. crossed the moon on his bike. The helicopter that approaches the ground blows up a huge column of dust, that brings to mind for a moment the pillar of smoke that took us out of Egypt. And the next moment – like nothing. Small black figures are coming out of the helicopter - and we all know one of them is Gilad, and two others are Noam and Aviva! And excitement is bubbling in the veins of my head and my heart is jumping. That’s it, he is here, at home. "Shehecheyanu" Two minutes later and they are in the middle of Mitzpe. And we wave as hard as we can and throw the flowers. Trying to see through the black windows of the Savannas from which of the cars Gilad is watching us.
The Young Zionist 19
SHALIT And I think how many faces does he recognise and how many are new for him, whom does he recognise but can’t remember their name, and whether he thought of us there, whether he remembered me? The convoy passes us, continues to wind upwards and we tear at the police tape that holds us back, and the police together with us, simply go up after the secure convoy that had passed by. And there is no singing, no hugging, and yet no silence and no distance between us. We go up joined together. Rejoicing. We stop for a moment the black humour, and stop for a moment the thoughts and just go up. We stop at the entrance to their street, waving flags, and weave a path between photographers and reporters, get lost in each other and rejoice. In the evening, we go home to watch the news which they are filming fifty feet or so from our house, and the TV is on all night long, and I made marzipan which always seems like food appropriate for celebrations. And that's it, then I went to sleep, My body hurt from all the events on that same day, whether the tension or the relief was not clear. And at night I dreamed about babies. Without imprisonment and without hostages, without police and without cameras, just babies and the kindergarten I may open one day, and in the morning I thought maybe it was really a sign that everything will be all right now. THE MORNING AFTER… Today - clean. Within an hour and a half, Mitzpe is squeaky clean to an almost alarming level. We lowered and folded the banners, tore up and threw out the signs; we cut all the yellow ribbons, not leaving even one. Not even on the arms of the chairs in the moadon, so that within a year when Mitzpe will return to anonymity no one will ever find a reason to remember what was here. As if it wasn’t here.
All the signs were taken down. Our signs, and visitors’. And the big sign that has accompanied us for five and a half years – which has by now become a symbol of Mitzpe: "Gilad, we are waiting for you at home", is removed and vanishes. All the flags were folded and police barricades were removed. The luxury mobile studios left in the morning, and there remained only a few photographers who work freelance and wait to see if Gilad will leave the house.
“You have returned home, and we have returned unto ourselves” - I think there are no words more appropriate than these.
After our last shift on watch at the gate, we drove to Tarshicha to eat at "A la mer", not to celebrate, just no one there had any strength left to cook, or to chop or wash. We had had enough folding, rolling and gathering for a lifetime.
below me, not in my closest circle of friends but certainly not a stranger. Someone who played with the little brothers of my friends; someone who studied with me in school. In kindergarten we used to play "King of the Boys and Queen of the Girls " - he always was the King of the Boys in the game – I do not know why, I think it had to do with who runs faster or punched hardest or something like that appropriate to the age of five. Someone with whom I travelled on shuttles for 11 years and after that I waited with him to hitch-hike in the square on the way to the army, or by the exit of school. Someone who was no closer to me than a distant relative. Someone who is part of my life, part of the landscape. Someone that because I know him like this, I care about him a little more than for someone I do not know. I am very very happy Gilad is back home I bless his return. And wish him all the best. That he will get back to normal right away.
I hope that the medical staff around him won’t create in him fears or problems that aren’t there. I hope he will know how much we love him here, and how much we waited for him and how much Then finally the adrenaline starts to fall - we really felt here that he was and with the understanding that that is it, "everyone’s son" and I hope he will never we cut all the yellow ribbons. And there is have to know what it is like to be on the no longer a need to feel only "half-happy" other side - and to wait and to love. And I every time we celebrate or travel or do wish we all would never have to experisomething. And inside me a question ence even a tenth of what the Shalit famiforms - would Gilad not want to have ly has gone through. seen what we did? He only passed by here once - he surely could not have seen And you're very welcome to come and the amount of effort and good will that visit Mitzpe, and rejoice with us - and of was here. It wouldn’t have been a good course, always to give us strength from part of the therapy? To see how much afar. love we have to love him? In his broadcast blessing to Gilad, Shimon Peres said: "You have returned home, AFTER EVERYTHING… and we have returned unto ourselves" - I think there are no words more appropriI knew Gilad to the extent that I knew him from Mitzpe. Those of you who grew ate than these. up in a small village know what I mean. He was always someone here, one year
20 The Young Zionist
It’s What We Do That Matters By Daniel Zweig (FZY’s Jewish Agency Shaliach in London)
In one of my conversations with a Boger (Year Course graduate) from the movement (let’s call him DJ for now), he said to me that even if he thought of moving to Israel, surely now is not the right time. It’s not the right time, as he said, mostly because: here in the UK it’s much better economic wise (which may be true), job wise (in the amount of opportunities and options - well, it’s a bigger market I told him, though Israel is quite successful considering its size) and socially - he did not just mean the fact that his friends are here, but mostly because he doesn’t really like the direction Israel is being led to, socially. That’s why, if and when he will transfer his life to Israel and make Aliyah, it will be when Israel stops being “problematic”, “hard” and “frustrating”. Beyond the fact that some of the things DJ (a fake name) said I do agree with, it is difficult for me not to ask myself, and DJ of course, when is the time? Beside that, I also wonder what if the same arguments were being made by the Zionist men and woman pioneers, Olim and Olot, that built the state, that moved to an even younger country, of empty land, needing to be bloomed.
The same applies to the Olim of the five Aliyot and the millions of Olim that immigrated to Israel throughout the years. No doubt that some of them arrived to Israel fleeing persecution in their own country, seeking refuge in the new land. However, every single one of them knew that the new life, the consequence of the fleeing from their homeland, would not be easy but a battle in itself. The difficulties surrounding immigration to Israel (“Aliyah”) are not solely related to the Olim’s personal emotions. True, Israel is not ranked today at the top of the table. Israelis earn less, the options are limited, the dangers, as DJ mentioned, regarding sending his children to the army, are large and those sacrifices can be unfathomable to some.
However, all these problems are no reason not to take the plunge and make Aliyah to Israel. They are exactly the reasons to pack your stuff and move. In about a month and a half from now, on January 22 2013, elections to the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) and the government will be held in Israel. Come and vote, influence the direction your homeland is going to. Both before and after the elections, it is time to join. Help correct the wrongs, help improve Israeli society. The State of Israel and Israeli society needs, even more than in the past, young people to come and make the desert bloom, to come and move the country forward. The Zionist project has not been completed. Fania Sillies, the members of Ha’shomer Hatzair, the youth of the second, third, all Aliot, the pioneers of the Palmach, the Etzel, they were the beginning. But with them, the work was not done. Now it’s the turn of the new immigrants to come. Contribute to the Israeli life; improve the community. Immigrants from the United Kingdom, who will come and work the land, will plant new seeds and help create a better state for the Jews to have.
DJ’s arguments with regard to Israeli society and the direction that Israel is being led are partially true. Many claim that the settlement “factory” makes it difficult for the existence of a normal and sane social life, forcing Israeli society into discrimination, racism, and as the former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, brings them to occupy another nation. Yes, this “factory” and many other injustices are real prob- It was never comfortable to immigrate to When Fania Sillies, the hero of Shulamit lems are facing Israeli society. Israel. There were always excuses and Lapid’s great book “Gei-Oni”, moved to reasons not to. So I say to DJ: “Do not be Attitudes towards foreign workers, the Israel, she did not expect a convenient disappointed with the direction in which refugees from Africa, the conflict beand luxurious life. She arrived to a counIsrael is being led. That’s what is so wontween religious and secular Jews, fiscal try of desert, swamps, diseases and lots derful about it. The State of Israel is led discrimination against the Arab (and othof sacrifices. This was the same for the by its people. So come! Help move the er) sectors, the recession, the real-estate members of Shomer Hatzair from the country in the right direction. Because crisis, wars, Iran, UN criticism, hypocrisy USSR, heroes of the great book Habayita eventually,” I say to DJ, “in life we are not towards Israel at the UN, the Arab Spring, written by Assaf Inbari. They knew that judged by what we say; we are measured the Russian Winter, nuclear, corruption, they sacrificed a great deal to establish a by what we do”. violence, racism. There are so many probstate, creating a new society. It was all lems and issues we have to deal with. part of the revival of the Jewish people.
Pioneers: A pre-state Youth-Aliyah Group from Germany in 1934
The Young Zionist 21
Who are the “Movement Team?” By Harry Jardine (FZY Mazkir 2012-13)
When we refer to a “Movement Team” in FZY we mean the full-time employees. For years the structure of FZY has been that of empowerment for graduates by providing them with significant responsibility unparalleled in the wider working world. The stark contrast between university and movement life is initially a daunting thought, but after two months in the office it is clear that the “Movement Team” is more than just those who spend their lives in the FZY Bayit. The “Movement Team” is a structure that allows FZY to develop and stay relevant to our members.
the informal education surrounding our ideology we turn to our Madrichim (leaders), throughout programming it is our madrichim who lead our education. We facilitate this process through madrichim enrichment, training courses, seminars and by providing opportunities to gain experience, culminating in Israel Tour.
cific region, they have their finger on the pulse when it comes to membership needs and the closeness to our members helps create the FZY family.
The madrichim inspire their chanichim (participants). They deliver the content and are the driving force behind every action within the movement. They propel FZY in to the future whilst keep the moveWe in the Bayit are capable of facilitation ment alive. At the end of the day it is all and development of madrichim, our edu- of our members who make the differcational strategy and rationale. The ence, what is a member without its memmadrichim are those on the front line bers? Without engaged members what is delivering the content to our participants the point? There would be stagnation of and ultimately are the ones who control the movement and we would cease to If the conventional view of a “Movement the educational content. move. I for one do not want to be part of Team” is office staff, then that outlook is a motionless movement. We argue that the “Movement Team” grossly incorrect. leads the movement but if this is the case So who are the movement team? Is it just The goals of a “Movement Team” are who are the “Movement Team”? Is it just those sitting behind desks in Hendon and simple, to informally educate around our those in the Bayit? I feel it is much more Manchester? ideology, to create an inclusive environthan this. I believe that the responsibility I for one believe the Movement Team are ment, to run activities throughout the for facilitation does come from those all of those who have chosen to take on year which both empower and serve our fulltime workers, however the developroles and help to guide FZY into the fumembers, add value to the movement ment of the movement is a responsibility ture. Those who want to see the betterand ensure that we continue to be relethat spreads across all shichvot (age ment of the movement and those who vant with the changing times. The fulfilgroups). The mazkirut (FZY’s national exbelieve that FZY has a significant role to ment of these goals will ultimately dictate executive body) have an ability to shape play in the development of the UK Jewish the success of our year and therefore will the movement throughout the year by Zionist community. leave an imprint on the movement being a governing body for the movewhether positively or otherwise. ment holding us facilitators to account as For me anyone who makes a change in well as assisting with the direction of the the movement or provides education to When asked by Darren Wogman (Rakaz our members is working for the movelong term strategy. The Netzigim Tochniot Chinuchiot) how we achieve (regional representatives) are responsible ment and therefore should be considered these aims there was much discussion for community building within their spe- part of the “Movement Team”. amongst us at the Bayit. When looking at
FZY Movement Workers 2012-13, led by Mazkir Harry Jardine (centre)