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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Selling Zionism to young people

Kadima MK and World Zionist organization representative Yoel Hasson is  Out to make Zionism sexy according to a Jerusalem Post article:
Hasson's top priority is getting young people around the world involved in Zionism, even in what might be one of the toughest places to sell Zionism - the state of Israel.

Under the auspices of the Zionist Council in Israel, Hasson intends to use advertising and education to market Zionism to young Israelis in their schools, universities, the IDF and even in their families. He hopes to present a new plan in September.

"The goal is to get Israelis talking about Zionism again," Hasson said. "When you ask Israelis what they do for Zionism, they say 'I live in Israel and that's enough,' but it's not enough. The younger generation needs to learn about the values of Zionism and appreciate the importance of continuing Zionism."

Hasson intends to seek international donations for spreading Zionism among Israeli youth. He also wants funding from the government, but not from the Education Ministry, so the outreach can take place in informal settings such as youth groups, Jewish community centers, shopping malls and even nightclubs.

"I want to make Zionism sexy, so young people can talk about it and connect to it," Hasson said.

To reach out to young Diaspora Jews, Hasson helped pass resolutions at the World Zionist Congress to increase the involvement of people under 30 in the decision-making of Zionist institutions, organizations and congresses. He said he hoped the resolutions would spark a dramatic change in the makeup of Diaspora Jewish leadership.

"I tell people abroad that I am worried that in a decade, Diaspora communities will be empty, not because of assimilation or aliya but because young people are not involved enough," Hasson said.

HASSON was born in Tel Aviv and raised in Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion. He currently lives in Tel Aviv and has a house in Barkan, a settlement in Samaria 25 kilometers east of Tel Aviv....

We have to agree with Hasson about involvement of young people. Why not start by having a yearly quiz on history of Israel in the Independence Day celebrations, alongside the Bible quiz? Are we sure that ideologies and beliefs can be "marketed?" Did Moses "market" the ten commandments? Did Weizmann "market" Zionism? Was it enough to ensure success?

Ami Isseroff

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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