Interactive Timeline of the URJ’s Israel Programs & History

Use the resources below to learn more about Israel advocacy, travel options and to develop programs for your youth group!

Ha'aretz One of Israel's leading daily newspapers, often referred to as the "Israeli New York Times" Jewish Telegraphic Agency JTA is an international news service that provides up-to-the-minute reports, analysis pieces and features on events and issues of concern to the Jewish people. The Jerusalem Post Israel's largest circulating English-language daily newspaper Yediot Acharonot Up-to-the-minute headlines and news stories from Israel's largest circulation daily newspaper Responding to Crisis Check out the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland's resource
Hebrew Songs A vast collection of Hebrew songs with transliteration and English Translation Israel Radio A great website with a wide selection of Israeli radio stations broadcsting Hebrew and American music
Awesome Seminars - Israel Politics Neil Lazarus from Awsome Seminars spoke to Netzer at Veida a few years ago. His site has a wealth of information about Israeli Politics Geneva Accord The Geneva Accord is a citizen-based initiative led by Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo. This “HaAretz” special feature explores every angle, every criticism and every hope for this ambitious plan. The Medium is the message: Jerusalem Archeological Theme Park You have never seen such age presented in such hi-tech ways. Jerusalem’s amazing history, buildings, and key personalities are presented here using incredible technologies: 360 pictures, interactive time-lines, streaming video, The Works. It’s not like going there, but it gives you a great feel…
Reform Jewish Platforms on Zionism Timeline of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Interactive Map of Israel This site gives you an incredibly interactive map of Israel on which you can zoom down to a level where you can see trains and planes across the landscape. Key sites have their own mini-site with photos and information. A virtual guide to get you ready for NFTY in Israel, EIE or the Netzer gap year program, or just remind you of wonderful times spent in your other home.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) AIPAC is America's pro-Israel lobby. AIPAC's mission is to advance the U.S.-Israel relationship through effective political action. The American Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel A great organization dedicated to the preservation of nature and wildlife in Israel. Full with information about nature and wild life in Israel and ways to preserve it. Anti-Defamation League The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) ARZA is the Zionist arm of the Reform Movement and an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism. ARZA Canada ARZA Canada is an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism and its Canadian Council. We are a member organization of ARZENU, the International Association of Reform Zionists, and the Canadian Zionist Federation. With over 6,000 members, their mandate is to connect with Reform communities throughout Canada, foster connections with and strengthen our ties to the Reform Movement in Israel, and work to realize the vision of Reform Zionism. ARZENU ARZENU is the umbrella organization of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists. Founded in 1980 as an "ideological grouping" or Brit Olamit within the World Zionist Organization, ARZENU has constituent groups in ten countries and represents the interests of these groups and of Reform and Progressive Judaism worldwide in the governing bodies of the World Zionist Organization and in the Jewish Agency for Israel. Eye 2 Israel Eye 2 Israel website, which features articles written by Israeli teenagers in an attempt to share their experiences of growing up in Israel with the world. Inter Agency Task Force on Israeli Arabs Issues An umbrella organization dedicated to the advancement of Israeli Arabs in all fields of life in Israel Israel Aliyah Center The Israel Aliyah Center is the professional service which assists North American Jews who consider making Aliyah to Israel. The Israel Aliyah Center is the most reliable and updated source of information regarding making Aliyah from North America to Israel. Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ) During the past 100 years, the Progressive Jewish movement has made a dramatic ideological and physical return to Israel. Reform Judaism’s founding platform excluded principles of Jewish nationhood; the 21st century begins with Progressive leaders actively promoting Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel), while validating Jewish life and community wherever Jews live. Indeed, Progressive Zionism today strives to strengthen the personal, historical and spiritual relationship of all Jews to the homeland of the Jewish people in Israel. Israel Religious Action Center The Israel Religious Action Center is the public and legal advocacy arm of the IMPJ. The Center's mission is to advance religious freedom and pluralism, tolerance, social justice and civil liberties in Israel, based on the belief that these values are intrinsic to and stem from a liberal understanding of Judaism. Israel21c Fascinating insights into daily life in thriving Israel 'Beyond the conflict'. A resource focusing on Health, Technology, Global Democracy, Culture, Personal Profiles and more. This site is a glass-bottom boat on the rich reef that is Israeli society! The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism The site of the Israeli Reform Movement! Learn about Reform Jews in Israel, what programs the national movement runs and links to individual communities, schools and more. Even NFTY gets mentioned. Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) As the world's major global Jewish partnership organization, the Jewish agency is committed to assuring the future of the Jewish people with a strong Israel at its center. Click on the link above to read about JAFI's main goals. Jewish National Fund The Jewish National Fund appropriately calls themselves the “caretakers of the Land of Israel.” This organization has planted many trees, given aid to children and many other humanitarian activities. Leo Baeck Education Center in Haifa Founded in 1938 as a small kindergarten for German Jewish children, the Leo Baeck Education Center, an institution of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, has earned the reputation as one of Israel's most progressive centers for education and humanitarian outreach. Rooted in the Jewish tradition of social action, Leo Baeck has striven to provide leadership and excellence in education, and creative services to populations at risk, since its inception. Makom MAKOM is a partnership between Jewish communities and the Jewish Agency for Israel, trying to create a more complex level of discussion and engagement with Israel Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) MEMRI bridges the language gap which exists between the West and the Middle East, providing timely translations of Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew media, as well as original analysis of political, ideological, intellectual, social, cultural, and religious trends in the Middle East Netzer Olami Netzer Olami aims to serve the educational needs of all young Progressive Jews and Reform Zionists wherever they may be, helping to create a strong and meaningful bond with Israel and Jewish tradition through shlichut (emissaries), Israel programs and camps around the world. Netzer Olami is currently active on six continents and provides services to all communities that make up the World Union for Progressive Judaism. Rabbis for Human Rights Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) is an organization of Israeli rabbis committed to defending the human rights of all people in Israel and in the territories under Israeli control: Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims, Christians, and Jews, young and old, rich and poor, citizens and foreigners. Simon Wiesenthal Center The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international organization that confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism by promoting human rights and dignity, standing with Israel, and defending the safety of the Jewish people. United Jewish Communities The UJC works hard to promote strong relationships between the Jewish community in America and Israel through education and travel opportunities. They fight to keep Israel strong, safe and thriving. Women Of the Wall An organization of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox women fighting for their right to pray at the Westren Wall as equals. World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) The World Union For Progressive Judaism is the international umbrella organization of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1,200 congregations with 1.7 million members in more then 40 countries. The WUPJ is based in Jerusalem.
Israel Embassy Provides information about cultural and other activities sponsored by the embassy with links to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Israel government website of the Foreign Ministry, containing up-to-date briefings, press releases and information about foreign relations. The Knesset The Knesset is Israel's parliament or legislative body, consisting of 120 members The State of Israel's National Photo Collection The State of Israel's national photo collection is open and available to the general public! Years of events, people, landscapes, peace and war, industry and culture... Type in keywords and the picture will appear before you. United States Embassy in Israel Information on Visas, US-Israel Diplomacy, travel warnings and policy statements
ARZA Concerning Zionism ARZA is the Association of Reform Zionists of America and is Zionist wing of the Reform Movement. NFTY is an affiliate and close partner of ARZA. ARZA offers resources in helping explain the relationship the Reform Movement has established with Israel. Central Conference of American Rabbis Responsa Concerning The CCAR is the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which is the organizing body of our movement’s rabbinate. The CCAR offers many resources that are usable by the youth and other affiliates of the URJ. Netzer Olami Platforms Concerning Zionism Netzer Olami is the worldwide Progressive Zionist youth movement of which NFTY is a snif or branch. NFTY Resolutions Concerning Zionism Union for Reform Judaism Resolutions Concerning Zionism Discover the basic facts about Zionism and the state of Israel. The resources below will be useful tools in helping you plan engaging programs and advocate on behalf of important issues regarding the State of Israel Zionism Timeline This is a basic Timeline of Zionism as it emerged as a movement from the 19th century until today. Most of it is based upon the events and actions of major Zionist leaders, but there is also some background about the world as it was during the time of the many emerging Zionist movements. Types of Zionism This document explains the many different forms of Zionism, their historical roots as well as their similarities and differences. Zionism 101 Learn the basics of Zionism with this easy to understand article on how you can best advocate for Israel. Israel Quiz Test your knowledge about Israel!
On the RAC Blog: Israeli Elections Results Commentary Elections 2006: Israeli Earthquake Viewpoint: Make no mistake about it: These elections most dramatic in years. Initiatives for New Governments Viewpoint: A discussion of future prospects for negotiations between the newly elected Israeli government and Hamas.
Israel elects its national legislature, the Knesset, by proportional representation on a national list basis. Each party presents its list of parliamentary candidates to the voters. The Knesset has 120 members, elected for four-year terms. The Israeli electoral system has a low electoral threshold of 2%, making it more favorable to minor parties than systems used in other countries. Israel has a multi-party system and generally no one party is able to form a government, requiring the parties to form coalition governments. The President of Israel bestows the job of forming the government on the member of Knesset most likely to form a coalition, usually the leader of the largest faction in parliament. That MK (Member of Knesset) becomes Israel’s prime minister. As leader of the majority coalition in parliament and head of the government, the prime minister of Israel is the strongest figure in Israeli politics, while the head of state is the President of Israel who wields almost no political power. The President is elected for a five year term by the Knesset
Below you will find a list of the political parties in Israel that currently are present in the Knesset, as well as the number of seats and percent of the total that each won in the last election. As you can tell, the Labor Party is currently the largest party in Israel, and Ariel Sharon is the leader and current Prime Minister. Recently, due to disagreements over the Palistinian Conflict, the Labor party divided, and a new party, Kadima, was formed with Ariel Sharon as the Leader.
Party Name Number of Seats Percent of Total (120)
Likud 38 31.6%
Labor 19 15.8%
Shinuy 15 12.5%
Shas 11 9.1%
Ichud Leumi 7 5.8%
NRP 6 5%
Meretz 6 5%
Judaism of the Torah 5 4.1%
Hadash 3 2.5%
Balad 32 2.5%
Am Echad 3 2.5%
UAL 2 1.6%
Israel BaAliyah 2 1.6%
A Parliamentary Democracy: Israel is a parliamentary democracy, meaning that individuals vote for a specific party and each party then appoints people to represent them in the parliament, called the Knesset. The 120 members of the parliament then vote on who is going to become the prime minister of Israel. Due to the high number of minority parties who are voted into parliament, the majority parties must form coalitions in order to secure a vote for their choice of prime minister. As a result, the minor parties play a much larger role in Israeli politics than in American politics.
How To Write Letters to Government Havdallah Service Tikkun Olam Activities A great resource with information and activities for combining social action and Israel. Israel: Am, Torah V'Eretz Check out these great programs that you can adapt and use in your NFTY Region or Temple Youth Group.

Connecting Shabbat to Israel through Torah Study, Storytelling, Music & Food - by ARZA This is a guide for planning a Shabbat observance in your community that highlights our people’s connection to the land of Israel through Torah study, story telling, music and of course, food. Prepared by ARZA.

Interested in traveling to Israel?

NFTY is part of URJ Youth, which offers thrilling teen travel experiences in Israel. NFTY in Israel is a fun, immersive, inspirational program and, if you choose, can include a trip to Prague & Poland before traveling to Israel. If you're interested in science and technology, you can go with our 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy for a hands-on learning experience in Israel. Mitzvah Corps Israel offers a trip dedicated to social justice and service.  URJ Heller High (Formerly NFTY-EIE) offers fully accredited high school semesters (or summers) in Israel.  However you want to experience Israel, we have a program for you!