The Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped Habonim Dror

The Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t stopped Habonim Dror from providing high-quality socialist Zionist education, Jewish friendships, and leadership experiences to a diverse group of Jewish youth–but we need your support in order to continue building the next generation of Zionist leaders.

The Coronavirus pandemic has significantly changed the day-to-day activities in HDNA. College students and high schoolers who used to meet regularly to run in-person activities for younger children have shifted to running programming online. We brought our Workshoppers from Rishon L’Zion, where they were serving in community centers, to live and work on Kibbutz Ravid. There, they were able to help the country’s struggling agricultural sector by working in the fields. All in all, they planted 20 dunams of avocado trees!

This type of rapid response to the needs of our community is built into the DNA of HDNA. In our movements’ history books members read stories of how past generations of madrichimot shifted their movement activities and took part in such historical events as the rebellion in the Warsaw Ghetto and the foundation of the state of Israel. We’re called a movement because we move–rather than remain stagnant, we respond to the needs of the moment. But HDNA needs support in order to keep moving. Due to the cancellations of summer programs, HDNA is facing serious threats to our financial health. We are depending on our community to step up and support us so that we can continue to provide meaningful Jewish experiences and socialist Zionist education to the next generation of Jewish youth.

1 – In May, we brought together more than sixty ma’apilimot, representing all of the machanot, for an online Ma’apilimot Seminar. Over the course of a weekend, the group celebrated Shabbat together, discussed our connection to Jews around the world, and shared ideas for how to be the madrichimot that today’s youth need. Check out two testimonials from participants in the seminar:

Habonim Dror Zoom Call

“I found the whole seminar really inspiring, especially after not being involved for a while. I’m taking away that because we’re a youth movement our 

movement is really dynamic and we’re able to adapt to things like coronavirus. It’s all about what our goals are as a movement and what we want to see.”

“My takeaway is that yes, we are feeling the same sad reality that camp’s not happening. But we are extra lucky in that we have the energy and drive and momentum to build an alternative. I want to throw myself into that as much as I can.”

2 -Since the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, we’ve continued our regular online convening of different cohorts of ma’apilimot, including ken leaders, rashim, rakezei Bonimot Tzedek, and rakezei chinuch. Each of these groups have worked together to develop strategies for leading the machaneh communities and engaging chanichimot. Beyond just helping share ideas, these meetings have been a source of joy, inspiration, and togetherness for the participants. Even in these socially distanced times, we know the power of community.

3 – Many alumni and other supporters have been eager to engage with HDNA during this difficult time. Since the Coronavirus crisis began, we’ve held two large online community events—one commemorating Yom Hashoa with a testimonial from a participant in the Warsaw Ghetto resistance, and one sharing about the mutual aid efforts of HDNA alumni in Israel. These community events engaged hundreds of alumni, ma’apilimot, and families. Stay tuned for more such events on the horizon!