The series of Yamim, (days) that took place in April left me with an uneasy feeling of being a ‘good Zionist’. However as I reflected on them I began to feel that there was nothing really Zionist about my actions at all. Events like Yom Ha’atzmaot and Yom Hashoah all oblige youth movements to participate, give speeches, escort Holocaust survivors, run stalls etc, and we do it because we have to, because its required of us if we want to consider ourselves Zionist, but is it really in accordance with our Zionist ideology?
It is one thing to claim to be a Zionist youth movement; it is something else to actually put it into practice.
Having a Zionist ideology for youth movements in this day and age is hard enough to contain. Zionism is no longer that fight to establish a state, no matter what the cost or what it would truly be afterwards. A century ago, that’s what the youth movements did, fought, protested, emigrated and set up kibbutzim, toiled the land, ‘made the desert bloom’ as it were. Their dedication was clear, their motives were clear and their actions were clear.
Today, with a state established and thriving, what role or agenda do us in the youth movements of the Diaspora have to ‘enhance ‘our track record of commitment to the Jewish State? Do we merely do our bit’ at community functions? , Sing Hatikvah every morning?, Count the number of Aliyot we have?, note the number of anti – Zionists we debated? But what happens if we disagree with some of these things? What happens if we don’t want to make aliyah or aren’t completely comfortable with advocating Israel?
One solution would be that our role has moved to purely educate. However this is to be problematic in a world where every Jew has at least twice as many opinions on the Zionist State and its actions as there are people within it. Within every madrich, (leader) lies the dilemma of, which streams and opinions of Zionism do we choose to educate and which ones of those are we biased towards.
Education is of fundamental importance to Netzer, thus the Leadership Body has taken the initiative to create various committees (Ve’adot) in order to research, refine and collate proposals of topical issues, one of them being the Israel Stance Committee, to be brought up at our annual Veida,(conference) later this year. Although this provides future leaders with a solid basis and direction for Chinnuch, (education) and policy making purposes, it still leaves us without a method of actually practicing Reform Zionism that works for us and more importantly makes a positive difference.