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WHAT WE DO

            Brandeis Gala           

Learning opportunities

                        On-site classes

                                    Zionist History

                                    Zionist Thinkers

                                    Israeli Writers

                                    Spoken Hebrew

                        Webinars

                        Podcasts

            Focus on issues

Speaker series

Blogs

Op-eds

Book reviews

 

            VIP missions to Washington

 

            Y’meiYisrael

Yom Ha-atzmaut

                        Yom Ha-zikaron

                        Yom Yerushalayim

 

            Israeli Film Festival

 

            ‘Salonim’ social group

 

            Youth Engagement

                        Teen Israel Experience

                        Scholarship program

                        Tzofim (Israeli scouts)

 

            Economic Development & Tourism

                   Israel Expo

                    Women’s Israel Investment Club

                   Trips to Israel

                   E-commerce/shopping

 

            Crisis emergency response

                        Rallies

                        Letter-writing campaigns

                        Rallies

                        Media monitoring

                        Blogging                        Media researchviolence?

The hijacking of ‘Zionism’ by Israel’s enemies

Can a Critic of Israel also be pro-Israel?

An Insider’s story about Israel,the start-up nation

Can Arab and Jew solve common problems: A case study of success

How Arab money on campus sways public opinion against Israel

Defense with a conscience: exploring military ethics in Israel

 

Join the conversation by participating in one of our many live and virtual programs listed throughout this website.

 

Speaker series

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Confused by biased media reports reporting news and events about Israel?  Searching for answers to questions prompted by those reports?  Seeking diverse points of view articulated by knowledgeable pundits, media types, authors, scholars, and diplomats?  Then register nowto learn about upcoming programs and speakers. 

 

Ever since Israel declared statehood, BZD has invited the public to these informative talks and panel programs.  Our speakers are provocative.  Our goal is to inform and to raise our guests’ consciousness about issues of concern to Israel, US, and American Jews.

 

Here is an abbreviated calendar of programs scheduled for Spring, 2015:

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            Blogs

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Connected by the internet we can view events in real time.  That means a dynamic exchange between bloggers on BZD’s website whose thoughtful posts are stimulating, timely, and educational.  Our bloggers live in Baltimore, Tel Aviv, New York, and all across the globe.  Sign up now to receive their blogs.

 

Op-eds

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Why bother checking multiple websites to read the columnists who matter to you.  BZD saves you the work by scouringthe leading print media in both the secular and Israel-oriented press and selects the most important, interesting, and stimulating op-ed pieces of the day.  If you want to be in the loop, you’ll want to check our website regularly.  Register here to receive the latest postings.

 

Book reviews

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It’s amazing that Israel, the size of the State of New Jersey, garners so much attention in the media.  Needless to say, it is also the subject of new books published on many different aspects of Israeli life.  We’ve prepared for you a list of current and more classic titles available from Amazon or your local library.  Click here for the most up-to-the-minute list.

 

VIP missions to Washington

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Several times a year BZD sponsors a VIP Mission to Washington.  Our day-long excursion to the Capitol usually includes visits to the Hill, to the Israeli Embassy, the US State Department, a college campus, or the offices of a major think tank.  We meet with scholars, diplomats, politicians, authors, clergy, and other distinguished figures chosen for their knowledge and expertise about Israel and the Middle East.

 

While most of the time, these missions are by invitation only, occasionally invitations are extended to the public-at-large.Register here if you’re interested in receiving an invitation to join a future mission.

 

Y’meiYisrael

Yom Ha-atzmaut

Israel declared independence on the 5th of Iyyar, May 14, 1948.   It’s a joyous day of celebration on Jewish calendars throughout the world, and particularly in Baltimore.   Each year, BZD, in partnership with other Jewish communal organizations sponsors enjoyable family events that connect Jews (and non-Jews) from all over the region for a day of fun and food, music and dancing.

 

Israel’s 67th birthday celebration this year begins on Wednesday evening, April 22 and concludes on Thursday evening, April 23.  BZD’s community celebration will be marked on ______ at the J.C.C.  Sign up here, to learn more as details are released.

 

            Yom Ha-zikaron

For Israelis, Yom Ha-zikaron is one of the most solemn days of the calendar.  Formally known as "Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism" it is Israel's official Memorial Day. Traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, the national commemoration now includes all civilian victims of political violence, Palestinian political violence, and terrorism in general.

 

Each year, BZD has organized a special Yom Ha-zikaron program attended by the Baltimore Jewish community as well as Israelis living in our community.  The 2015 program will be observed on Tuesday evening, April 21st.  Program details will be announced shortly.  To receive advance notice of this year’s program, register here.

 

            Yom Yerushalayim

Jerusalem Day marks world Jewry’s celebration of the anniversary of Jerusalem’s liberation and unification under Jewish sovereignty for the first time in 2000 years.  That historic event occurred during Israel’s 1967 Six Day War against the Arab armies that attacked her.

 

In most years, BZD organizes a community-wide program to commemorate this historic occasion by offering a musical experience or keynote speaker.  Register here to learn more about the 2015 program.

 

Israeli Film Screenings

Fewpeople know that Israel has been nominated for more Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film than any other country in the Middle East.In acknowledgement of that achievement, BZD occasionally screensa recently-released film as yet another way to enrich the community’s vision of Israeli life and culture through the medium of film.  To receive advance notice of a future screening, register here.

           

‘Salonim’ social group

Do you enjoy socializing with people who love and support Israel?  Want to join or create a social group that meets occasionally on Saturday nights to explore Israeli cooking, music, poetry, Hebrew literature, politics or other aspects of Israeli life?  If so, become part of our ‘salonim’!

 

What is a salon?  Popular in 17-19th century Europe, the salon was a gathering place in someone’s home for the purpose of engaging in conversation about things serious and frivolous.  BZD has transformed that model to fit 21st century Baltimore.  Each salon group is self-directed.  Comprised of upwards of 15-20 people, each group decides its own calendar of programs.  One month might be a review of an Israeli book in translation. Another month might be a cooking class led by an Israeli chef.  Yet another month might be the screening of a recent Israeli film.  It’s an exciting new way to express your interest in and support for Israel.  It’s a terrific way to make new friends and relationships with people who share your values.  For more information, sign in here.

 

Youth Engagement

            BZD Summer Teen Israel Experience (TIE)

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Teen Israel Experience is an amazing one-month long trip to Israel.  By traveling with kids your age you’ll quickly understand why this will be a phenomenal transformational experience giving you a lifetime of memories. Thousands of teens like you have traveled with BZD over the decades.  Now it’s your turn to have that same cool time!

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Scholarship program

Because we at BZD believe this Israel experience is so important for your personal growth and identity as a young Jew, we will give you a scholarship worth about $3,000 to make your trip even more affordable!  Did you know that our BZD TIE trip costs less than 50% of most national youth group tours!  And we give you MORE experiences, more fun, and more memories as well!Your parents will like that! To register for the trip of a lifetime and apply for the scholarship, CLICK HERE.

 

BZD’s scholarship program is supported through the generosity of individuals and foundations.  Such support is generated principally from the annual Brandeis Gala and BZD’s Annual Giving Campaign. 

 

Tzofim (Israeli scouts)

Each summer BZD is the proud sponsor of the Tzofim Friendship Caravan. For many years the Tzofim Caravanhas brought excitement, energy and friendship to Baltimore with theirinspiring message of hope and peace for Israel. 

 

Each Caravan is made up of a group of five girls and five boys and their two leaders. They are chosen for the Caravan based on their maturity, fluency in English, and, of course, their talent in the performing arts.  After several rounds of competitive auditions andinterviews, the scouts spend a year training and rehearsing for their exciting summer in North America.

 

BZD reaches out to summer camps, JCCs, synagogues, and senior citizen centers to bring these young people’s enthusiasm, optimism, and unbelievable talent to young and old audiences alike.  To schedule a visit by this summer’s Caravan group, contact BZD.

 

Economic Development & Tourism

An economically strong Israel is vital to the prosperity of its citizens.  An economically strong Israel is also most important to Israel’s capacity to defend itself militarily against its enemies.  BZD’s leadership seeks to maximize its efforts to keep Israel strong by promoting Israeli products and services through e-commerce on the BZD website, sponsoring the Women’s Israel Investment Club, organizing group tours to Israel, and launching an ambitious Israel Expo in Fall, 2015. 

 

BZD Women’s Israel Investment Club

Israel has rightly earned the name as the “Start-up Nation”.  Of 200+ countries in the world, Israel is the leading country with the most businesses listed on the New York Stock Exchange. BZD launched Israel Investment Clubs in the mid-80s because we wanted to help grow Israel’s economy as an expression of our love and support for the Jewish State. 

 

Today, the BZD Women’s Israel Investment Club is guided by the principle that doing business with Israel is not only a mitzvah but it’s a fiscally prudent decision. The Club holds quarterly meetings to review economic developments in Israel affecting the Club’s portfolio. The portfolio at MorganStanley is professionally managed.

 

The only commitment you need to make to become a member of the Investment Club is a $250 minimum initial investment, followed by investments no less than $150 each quarter.Sign up here to join or to learn more about the Club’s activities.

 

            Trips to Israel

Make no mistake about it, Israel’s tourism is an export industry.  Revenue from it contributes substantially to the balance of payments, and helps drive large and ever-increasing investments. A direct employer of 60,000 Israeli breadwinners, it is an effective, credible, and direct means of disseminating favorable information about Israel: every tourist who comes to Israel gains a better understanding of the country's position, difficulties, and accomplishments.

That’s why BZD is in the business of organizing tours to Israel, whether it be the Teen Israel Experience, or tours for adults and affinity groups.  Frankly, tourism serves as a bridge for peace and the best link with Diaspora Jewry, whose visits to Israel reinforce their bonds with the Jewish State.  And, yes, tourism is also sometimes the first step toward aliya - immigration to Israel. Sign up here to learn about forthcoming BZD tours to Israel.

            E-commerce/shopping

BZD plans to stand up to the BDS movement’s boycott of Israeli goods by encouraging Baltimore’s Jews and non-Jews to support Israel’s economy through the purchase of products clearly marked "Made in Israel".  Acknowledging a dramatic expansion of on-line shopping, a special committee of BZD is now charged with vetting Israeli businesses of integrity that will sellhigh quality merchandise, manufactured in Israel, to BZD’s shoppers at fair market value.  Under consideration are firms selling health and beauty items, fashion & accessories, gifts, art & Judaica, jewelry, and books.  To learn more about this important initiative, register here.

 

Crisis Emergency Response Team

While other organizations in the community were silent during the summer of 2014, BZD drew media attention to and support for Israel’s high-stakes war against Hamas.  In times of crisisfor Israel, we call upon our volunteers and other community activists to respond in meaningful ways by participating in rallies, monitoring media for evidence of biased reporting, asking volunteers to write letters to the editor, and invitingothers to post blogs.

Passionate about Israel? Want to be part of our Crisis Emergency Response Team?  Sign up here.

 

            Rallies and vigils

While Israel was militarily engaged in fighting “Operation Protective Edge” in the 2014 war against Hamas in Gaza, BZD helped coordinate a rally at Penn Station where 1,000-people demonstrated support for Israel.  Days later, BZD brought the “Bomb Shelter Museum” to the Greenspring Shopping Center where upwards of 2,000 people gained a first-hand, multi-sensory experience of life in a bomb shelter.  One week later, BZD organized a prayer vigil marking the tragic, but heroic deaths of 66 Israeli soldiers killed in the conflict.

 

            Letter-writing campaigns

Do you care about Israel, especially in times of crisis? Care enough to sit down and write a letter to the editor in support of Israel? If so, we’d like to add your name to the list of letter writers when Israel counts on us for that support.  Join our list now.

 

            Media monitoring

US media, print or electronic, is often very biased in its coverage of Israel, especially in times of military crisis.  BZD serves as a whistle-blower when such bias unfairly criticizes Israel’s actions or policies.

 

If you routinely read the Baltimore Sun, Wall St. Journal, NY Times, Washington Post, the Guardian, or other publications, then let us know when you read an item that is inaccurately reported.  Join our list today to let us know we can count on your support!

 

            Blogging

Are you particularly gifted in writing?  Do you hold strong opinions in support of Israel?  Are you experienced in blogging?  If you’re interested in joining a small circle of bloggers, please contact BZDto submit a writing sample.  If invited, you’ll join a club of talented bloggers whose opinions will be posted to BZD’s website.

About BZD
 

The Baltimore Zionist District (BZD) exists for the sole purpose of nurturing the bonds between Baltimore and the State of Israel.  

Baltimore Zionist District (BZD) uses its direct Israeli connection as a home base for the creation of cultural and political programs and educational activities which deal with all aspects of Zionism and modern Israeli life. BZD works with and reaches out to Baltimore’s Jews across the religious and cultural spectrum and the greater Baltimore community.

 
 
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BZD Newsletter

The latest Israeli and Middle East news as well as programs and events from BZD.

 

BZD Newsletter