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 participates in Hakhel conference

Habonim Dror North America, Habonim Dror Australia, Habonim Dror New Zealand, and Hashomer Hatzayir North America members gathered at the annual Hakhel conference.

HDNA members from our communities in Philadelphia, Manhattan, and Brooklyn gathered with other Jews creating intentional communities at the annual Hakhel conference — including many of our Habo friends from Australia and New Zealand, and our partners from Hashomer Hatzair!

Continue reading

The beauty of listening to the other – reflections on Yitzchak Rabin Memorial Day

Last week, HDNA took a leading role in Remember the Murder, Stand up for Democracy, a coalition of Jewish and Zionist groups in New York City that came together to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of Yitzchak Rabin. The event welcomed participants from across the political spectrum for a rare and important chance for dialogue, a way to commemorate and resist the incitement that led to Rabin’s death. Below is the text of a speech read at the event by HDNA’s own Sadie Fowler (WS 68), which she read at the close of the event. 

Last year I was in Israel on a gap year program with Habonim Dror called Workshop. I spent the year living out my values of socialism and Shivyon Erech HaAdam, or equality of human value, with my kvutza (group). While I was volunteering at a youth movement center, I got to participate in Asepha Isarelite, together with other youth movement members. 

Asepha Israelite was an amazing experience for me. When I first got there, I was immediately overwhelmed because there were so many people. All of the youth movements in Israel had chanichim there. The sixteen of us from Workshop got separated into different circles. Each circle aimed to have people from each movement there. Every circle was tasked with debating a topic about Israeli society and coming to a common decision among them. 

Continue reading

HDNA’s 2018-2019 Annual Report

Check out what Habonim Dror North America chaverimot have been up to this year in our annual report. Thousands of participants engaged at ken events across North America, a thriving teen activism program, and trailblazing Progressive Labor Zionist education…the stories are all inside. Happy reading!

Progressive Israel Network opposes Netanyahu’s annexation pledge

Responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement of his intent to extend Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank, the Progressive Israel Network released the following statement:

A democratic and peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians requires national self-determination for both peoples. Any step to unilaterally impose Israeli sovereignty over Palestinian people and territory in the West Bank is a step away from the two-state vision and toward the formalization of two separate and unequal legal systems. Both Israelis and Palestinians want and deserve to live in peace, with justice and dignity. Israelis deserve to live in a healthy and vibrant democracy. Palestinians deserve to live free from occupation.

Netanyahu’s suggested move would entrench Israel’s military occupation in the West Bank. It harms millions of Palestinians living under occupation and poses an existential threat to Israeli democracy. Israeli democracy cannot endure without putting an end to the 52-year occupation.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Bridges, Bravery, Bricks, and…Sandwiches! The Rakazei Chinuch share their themes for Summer 2019

Every summer, the rakazei chinuch (educational directors) at our six machanot choose a theme for their educational tochniot (programs). Taken together, the themes give a taste of the kind of education chanichimot (campers) in HDNA will go through this summer: active, visionary, empowering, and most of all fun! Here are this summer’s themes, presented by the rakazei chinuch themselves.

The summer mazkiriot for Summer 2019, gathered at Moetzet Mazkirut in March.
Continue reading

What happened at Maapilimot Seminar 2019?

Maapilimot Seminar 2019

This past weekend, maapilimot from shkavot 68 through 64, from all six of our machanot, gathered at Machaneh Galil in Ottsville, PA for Maapilimot Seminar 2019. The five-day seminar was packed with peulot, decision-making, bonding, and fun! Maap Sem was planned by a vaad of dedicated maapilimot representing all the shkavot and machanot.

Continue reading

Work at Camp Galil this summer!

Join us for a magical summer at Camp Galil!

Habonim Dror Camp Galil, a progressive Jewish overnight camp, is looking for radical, passionate people, ages 18 and up, to come work in Ottsville, PA., this summer. If you have an interest in social justice, education, youth empowerment, exploration of Jewish values, or cooperative and collective living, we are looking for you! Working at Camp Galil, you will live, learn, make decisions, and have fun with the people with whom you do meaningful and important work. Plus, we have the most beautiful sunsets, a huge swimming pool, and Owowcow, a delicious, local ice cream shop, just down the road! Job opportunities include working as a bunk counselor, visual arts specialist, life guard, ropes and hiking trip specialist, driver, or as a part of our kitchen staff. All levels of experience are welcome! To learn more about Camp Galil, please visit our website: http://www.campgalil.org/. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Head of Camp, Arielle Schwartz (rosh@campgalil.org) or Executive Director, David Weiss (david@campgalil.org).If you are interested in applying, the first part of the application is here: https://campgalil.campintouch.com/ui/forms/application/staff/App

Summer camp follows Moshava’s lead on inclusion

This coming summer, a California camp is taking the lead from Habonim Dror Camp Moshava by adding all-gender housing for campers. Mosh has offered such housing since 2017, two summers ago.

“While the move is pioneering, it isn’t precedent setting: According to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Habonim Dror’s Camp Moshava in Maryland has offered all-gender cabins since 2017, and the foundation itself offered the option to camp counselors attending its Cornerstone Seminar last year.”

Continue reading