Former National President of NA’AMAT Reflects on Her Experiences in Habonim

Liz Raider, bogeret (graduate) of Habonim from Workshop 8 and former president of NA’AMAT USA, shared her reflections about how her time in Habonim has influenced her life and work.

I was recently asked what were some of the most outstanding events during my time on the 8th Habonim Workshop (year program in Israel). This was not a simple question as Israel was so “new” in 1958 – and I thought about the excitement and pride of sitting on a rooftop in Tel Aviv and watching the National 10th Anniversary Parade of the State of Israel, and the opportunity to meet Ben Gurion in person as he was taking his morning walk in the Negev – the reality of a dream come true.

Joining Habonim was a major factor in setting me on a path that has influenced my life in many ways, including my long-time membership in NA’AMAT USA and the Labor Zionist movement.

I met my husband Dave in Cleveland Habonim, we were on the 8th Workshop together and we still maintain very close ties with many of these Workshop friends (“our chevra”) and other Habonim members from all over the USA and Canada.

Our three children were all active in Habonim as campers and counselors.

Mark was 12 when a friend invited him to a Habonim camp weekend, and soon Danny and Lani became campers at Gilboa. Throughout their junior and senior high school years they all actively participated in local meetings, activities and seminars.

Those years were defining moments for all of them as they spent great summers at Camp Gilboa, learning about Habonim through communal work, sharing, and discussions about Israel, while forming lasting personal friendships.

Betty Rath, president of Detroit Pioneer Women, addressing the 33rd Veida of Ichud Habonim in December of 1978.

Our house was always a gathering place for Habonim and NA’AMAT USA, with much of our lives revolving around support for the 2 organizations. During the school year, the many local LA activities of Habonim, the preparations for the annual Habonim play/musical production (Neshef,) and getting Camp Gilboa ready for the summer camp season were major events.

Then came their own Workshop experiences: Mark (31st Workshop, 1981-82, Kibbutz Urim), Danny (33rd Workshop, 1983-84, Kibbutz Gesher Haziv) and Lani (35th Workshop, 1985-86, Kibbutz Gezer). Mark was very involved in LA activities and other Habonim camps in the early ‘80s, and took time off from his university studies to become the North American Mazkir (Director) for Habonim Dror in the late 1980s.

Fortunately, Dave and I and our kids have all visited Israel many times, including the experiences of other numerous long-term stays, affording us the opportunity to see Israel evolve into a dynamic country and to know that we all had a part in working towards this goal. For all of us, our active involvement with Habonim Dror still remains a basic focal point in defining a connection with the American Jewish community and Israel.

Lani Raider on a tiyul on Workshop 35 (Kibbutz Gezer, 1985-1986)

NA’AMAT USA, originally known as “Pioneer Women”, was founded in 1925, and was the basis for the senior movement support for Habonim, with many of our members active on both levels. The Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Councils of Pioneer Women/NA’AMAT USA were staunch supporters of Habonim activities, lending financial and moral support to the annual Habonim Neshef, encouraging summer camp enrollment and volunteering for work weekends at Gilboa. Habonim’s dance group was featured in numerous Pioneer Women/NA’AMAT events.

From 2010-2016 I served as the National President of NA’AMAT USA, the American “arm” of NA’AMAT Israel. We are a worldwide movement with nine other countries, ensuring the dream of continuing to build a strong and secure Israel through our efforts of creating a myriad of social services: day care centers, community centers, youth villages for education and training, scholarship programs for advanced education for women, and family counseling. We are known as the “go-to place” in Israel, with NA’AMAT as the largest provider of social services after the Israeli government. We work in tandem with NA’AMAT Israel to maintain a network that reaches every level of Israeli society.

Habonim Dror and NA’AMAT USA have been partners in both the United States and Israel in promoting the goals and ideals for the continuity of building a progressive and growing network for a new generation of “builders and dreamers”. This is a bond that remains a unifying and important effort in realizing our mutual efforts to sustain a strong connection with Israel and a commitment to ensure that future generations will experience our unique legacy.

Habonim Dror North America among Ten Organizations that Launch New Progressive Israel Network

June 24, 2019

Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, Hashomer Hatzair, The Jewish Labor Committee, J Street, The New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, and T’ruah Join Together To Support Progressive Vision For Israel

Today, ten leading organizations representing Americans who are committed to pursuing democracy, equality and peace in Israel announced the launch of the Progressive Israel Network. The new coalition will provide a strong, unified voice in support of its members’ common goals: democracy and equal rights, religious freedom and pluralism, and a two-state solution that would secure a peaceful future for Israel and end the 52-year-long occupation.

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Winter Camp 2018


Each year, Winter Camp is Habonim Dror North America’s biggest gathering, filled with education and fun. This year, all movement members in 10th grade and older are invited. Come and join us!
Click HERE to REGISTER TODAY for Winter Camp 2018!
HDNA Winter Camp is a time to gather, discuss, and have fun with your friends from Habonim Dror! You will go through a collaborative educational process, meet with your national kvutza, prepare for the summer at machaneh, and take action on pressing issues in the movement and in society. We’ll do it all through the most creative learning methods, incorporating fun and magic into each day.
WHAT: Winter Camp 2018
WHO: HDNA members 10th grade and older
WHEN: Dec. 26-31, 2018
WHERE: Poconos Environmental Education Center, Dingman’s Ferry, Pennsylvania
COST: $450 USD for Americans, $350 USD for Canadians, with scholarship available:
Bonimot Tzedek @ Winter Camp 2018
For high school participants, Winter Camp includes our annual Bonimot Tzedek National Seminar. Bonimot Tzedek (Building Justice) is HDNA’s social justice and Jewish leadership program for high schoolers. High school HDNA leaders from around North America will gather to learn the ins and outs of social change, and decide together how to shape their local and movement-wide activism.
What can you expect each day at Winter Camp 2018?

Each day of Winter Camp has a special focus! We start with a day learning and bonding with our kvutzot (age groups). Then, we learn and play together during a themed Yom Meyuchad (Special Day), full of games, skits, and new knowledge! Yom Tnu’a gives us a chance to come together as movement members for a day of discussion and democracy. And during Yom Machaneh, we decide how we want to bring it all home to machaneh this summer!

Through it all, we’ll pause for games and check-ins, and of course plenty of meaningful HDNA-style Shabbat activities, like a collaborative oneg and a night of rikkud ayam!

Join us! Sign up here: