WZO Brings Israel and Zionism to the Union for Reform Judaism Biennial
The Reform Movement in North America gathered in San Diego, California to discuss an array of issues. For the first time the WZO was there to bring relevant Zionist content
Last week, the Reform Movement in North America gathered in San Diego, California to discuss an array of issues. There were tens of workshops, lectures and engaging “intensive” discussions, on subjects such as Israel and Judaism that took place throughout the five-day conference. For the first time, World Zionist Organization was invited to the conference as major partner and content provider, through Gusti Yehoshua Braverman, Head of the Department of Diaspora Activities, who was appointed to her position by ARZENU - the International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists.
Within the framework of the WZO’s commitment to bring relevant Zionist content and programs to all streams of Judaism, the WZO offered a number of “Tachles” Hebrew Learning workshops, Beit Ha’am “Z-Talks” and its Monopolity program in full cooperation and partnership with the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) and the Israel Engagement department of the Union for Reform Judaism.
In addition to the different interactive learning opportunities that the WZO offered to conference participants, the Head of the Department for Diaspora Activities, Gusti Yehoshua Braverman, was a panelist alongside leading scholars, dignitaries and Israeli government officials, such as David Siegel, Israel’s Consul General of the Southwest United States, in addressing the issues of “Engaging Israelis in our Communities”, “Addressing anti-Israel Bias Across the Globe: Moving Beyond Advocacy and Forging a New Conversation” and “Why the WZO Matters”. The Chairman of the WZO, Avraham Duvdevani, also attended the conference as a special guest of the Reform Movement, affirming his commitment to promoting Zionism and Israel education across the world.
The WZO presence at the conference culminated in “Ben Yehuda’s Birthday Bash”, where over 200 participants joined the WZO and ARZA in celebrating Hebrew, Zionism and Israeli culture within the framework of “Hebrew Language Month”. The attendees were met with “Hebrew conversation starters” and Israel trivia at their tables, and received information about bringing WZO programs to their own communities. The highlight of the night was the performance by two different stand-up comedians who kept the crowd laughing for over an hour with jokes about Judaism, Hebrew and Israel.