- INTERN IN ISRAEL INITIATIVE
Through our new Intern in Israel Initiative, which we inaugurated earlier this year, Meretz USA provides scholarships to young Americans seeking to volunteer their time, energy and expertise with one of the many Israeli civil society organizations committed to a just and peaceful Israel.
Our goal is not merely to allow these interns to help make Israel a better place – though that’s undeniably one of our aims. But, just as importantly, we intend to create through this program the next generation of progressive American Zionist leadership: A cadre of young men and women who care deeply about Israel, and who want to be personally involved with the country’s future – not just click a button or sign a petition.
Please click here to find an article written by our first scholarship recipient – Mike Rozensher, a student at Harvard Law, whom we helped pursue an internship at the renowned Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Mike’s experience reminds us that, far from contradictory, Zionism and liberalism, Zionism and peace, Zionism and human rights – are all concepts that are closely intertwined.
But we need lots more individuals like Mike (and like Edie, our most recent Intern in Israel) if we are going to reclaim American Zionism and take back its leadership. We need dozens – better, hundreds – of these young men and women.
Your generous donation to Meretz USA will make that goal achievable.
- PROGRESSIVE ISRAEL EDUCATION PROJECT
We also know that a progressive Zionist education needs to begin well before the college years, which is why we are currently developing our Progressive Israel Education project – a teaching curriculum based on a pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-human rights approach.
Through Progressive Israel Education, our children and grandchildren will be able to develop a love for, and attachment to, the ‘real Israel’. They’ll also gain an understanding of the progressive values that accompanied Israel’s founding, and a commitment to help it reach those lofty ideals.
If they are to build a solid connection to Israel, liberal American Jewish youth don’t need indoctrination. They need an honest education about the country’s strengths and weaknesses, its marvelous achievements and the challenges that still await.
With your backing, our Progressive Israel Education project will make that possible.
- ACTIVISM IN THE ZIONIST ARENA
With Israel facing so many problems in the here-and-now, just waiting for the next generation is not an option. That’s why Meretz USA works hard not only at educational programs and experiences, but also as part of the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization.
Thanks to our determined activism, we managed to double our strength this year at the June 2010 World Zionist Congress. Once there, our reinforced delegation was able to play a central role, surmounting obstacles and resistance, and successfully campaigning to pass a number of key resolutions – one calling for recognition of all streams of Judaism in marriage and conversion, and another declaring the WZC’s support for a two-state solution and a West Bank settlement freeze, a landmark decision for this century-old institution.
But our fight for a liberal, democratic Israel is far from over, and we need your help to continue scoring victories like this in the future until they become the norm, not the exception.
Your past support for Meretz USA enabled us to overcome the opponents of compromise within the Zionist movement and win this round. Yourongoing support will allow us to expand our influence even further.
- INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
All the while, we continue our work to keep you up to date about matters of concern to progressive lovers of Israel, whether it’s the destruction of the unrecognized Bedouin village of al–Arakib, the struggle of women to pray as equals at the Western Wall, or, of course, the renewed efforts to bring about a two-state peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
On our website and blog, via our Facebook page, through our email newsletters and “Israel Horizons” magazine, we make sure that you get the news, and the nuanced perspective, that other Zionist organizations won’t deliver.
- PROGRESSIVE MISSIONS TO ISRAEL
Year in and year out, we lead what is arguably the most scintillating, and certainly the most affordable, progressive trip to Israel – the “Israel Symposium“. Our next trip is set to take place from March 26-April 2, 2011: Please watch our website and emails for further details.
Last year’s trip took us to Beersheba and to unrecognized Bedouin communities, to Nazareth, to the Knesset, to East Jerusalem checkpoints, to Ramallah in the West Bank, and to the Golan Heights as well. We hope you’ll consider joining us on our next trip so that you, too, can meet the people who are shaping Israel’s today and tomorrow.
- JEWISH ACADEMIC NETWORK FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE
Through the Jewish Academic Network for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, a Meretz USA-supported group, we have organized the biennial Pathways to Peace Conference, a gathering of leading academics, co-sponsored by the American Task Force on Palestine, and dedicated to exploring the contributions that academia can make to furthering peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. The conference has explored solutions in the psychological, social, economic, cultural, and theological realms, amongst others, and has produced already an edited volume, “Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” that serves as one more tool in the quest for peace.
With your support, Meretz USA can continue to sponsor this conference in the years to come so that Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, and academics from all over the world can collaborate on finding solutions to the many complex aspects of this, the longest conflict of the past century.
Whether it’s the Israel Symposium, or Intern in Israel or Progressive Israel Education or any of the other projects we’re currently implementing or designing,Meretz USA is always guided by our mission to enable progressive Americans and Israelis to interact, engage and work together in the vital effort to help Israel become the country that Jews around the world still dream it could be. Help us make that dream a reality.