Habonim Dror Cultivates A Sophisticated Take on Jewish Identity

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By Mira Sucharov
12/11/2013

Amidst all the hand-wringing brought about by the Pew Study on Jewish Americans, a new study released this week reveals that fostering a progressive, critical-thinking culture among North American Jewish youth about Israel actually works to instill commitment to the Jewish homeland.

In “Building Progressive Zionist Activists: Exploring the Impact of Habonim Dror,” Steven M. Cohen and Steven Fink find that fostering a critical wrestling with Israel apparently serves not to alienate Jewish youth from Israel, but rather to shore up their attachments. Habonim Dror North America is a progressive, Labor Zionist youth movement whose guiding principles include “[building up] the State of Israel as a progressive, egalitarian, cooperative society, at peace with its neighbors; actively involved in a Peace Process with the Palestinian people with the common goal of a just and lasting peace; and as the physical and spiritual center of the Jewish people.”

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