Fighting for the Soul of Israel

Dear friends:

Every year at Passover, Jewish families gather around the table to remember the epic story of the downfall of tyrants and the struggle for freedom that gave birth to our people. Every year as we sit around our tables, we are urged to ask again what freedom means in our own generation.

Image of Habonim Dror Alumni protesting in Israel

Habonim Dror Alumni at protest in Israel

This year, all our minds and hearts are on the struggles in Israel, where our people and its dreams for a just, progressive and forward-looking future are facing what is
rightly called an existential threat. I imagine many of us will be having difficult and even heated discussions. Many of us will be asking more than just the four questions in the Haggadah; questions like “What if?” and “What’s next?”

image of Habonim Dror members protesting in New York

Habonim Dror members protesting in New York

But we will not have to ask: “Where is Habonim Dror? “ Because we know that those who have been raised with progressive Zionist and Jewish values in our machanot and on our Israel programs, and those who have made the commitment to live in Israel, are part of this struggle. They are and will continue to be on the streets and engaged in the activism that will chart the future of the vision we share.

In the words of Erica Kushner, mazkirol (secretary-general) of our movement in North America: We have a long history of holding the vision and the reality of Israel side by side. And we will not let the current government stop us from making our demand for an Israel that is democratic, Jewish and just—a place to build the dream into a reality.”

I am making a generous contribution today to the Habonim-Dror Foundation,  whose exclusive purpose is to support the work of Habonim-Dror and to ensure its future.

I hope you will join me.


Rabbi Tom Gutherz
Chairperson, Habonim Dror Foundation

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Canadians can now donate and deduct!
Canadians can donate to the Habonim Dror Foundation Canada Fund.

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Please help us reach our 2022 Annual Fundraising Goal!

Dear Habonim Alumni and Friends,

On a recent trip to Israel, I spent time with Habonim Dror olim at their urban kibbutzim in struggling neighborhoods.

In Petach Tikvah, a city in central Israel, the local “kibbutz” has established a weekly food bank for people, including foreign workers, who suffer from food insecurity in town. Building relationships with local produce merchants, they distribute fresh fruits and vegetables every week to those in need. The personal connections generated by this small initiative are only a piece of a larger network of relationships they have made in the process of living and working in the town, which allows them to be an effective agent for social change.

These Habonim Dror alumni – like so many of their chevrei throughout Israel, the US, and Canada – are leading lives guided by the core values- the pillars – that they first learned at Habonim Dror camps and movement activities.

Will you donate to make sure these values continue to inspire young Jews today and tomorrow?




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The Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund

Announcing The Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund

Announcing The Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund for participants in Habonim Dror Israel programs in honor of Isaac Merkel

Our thanks to Joan Isa Berelowitz for her generous matching grant to establish the Isaac Merkel Scholarship Fund for HDNA participants in Israel Programs and to honor her heroic uncle Isaac's  memory. Your gift will be doubled! 

Use the link below to donate by credit card or visit the Habonim Dror Website donation page for other options.

Learn more about Isaac and this enduring scholarship.

Why I Made Aliyah as a 24-Year-Old American

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By Anya Friedman-Hutter May 2018

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"Why are you here?”

It was my fourth day in Israel as a new immigrant and my first day on the job as an educator for one of Israel’s largest youth movements—and I was startled to be asked such a direct question.

​I wiped the sweat from the September heat off my forehead and looked at this ninth-grader who managed to take a selfie, smoke a cigarette and talk to me all at the same time. She continued, “You were in America. Things are fun there. Why would you come to this hole?”  Read the full article

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New Study Shows High Israel & Community Engagement Among Habonim Dror Alumni





Building Progressive Zionist Activists: Exploring the Impact of Habonim Dror, authored by Prof. Steven M. Cohen and Steven Fink describes evidence of the life-long impact that the Habonim Dror youth movement has had on its participants. The report draws upon a survey of nearly 2,000 alumni of Habonim Dror camps and other programs, ages 20 to 83. Continue reading