Why Zionism and its founder are more relevant than ever

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.”
Not only good advice when Maria Von Trapp teaches do-re-mi. It is equally good advice – and especially important – when thinking about Israel, especially when the world demonizes it and questions its right to exist.

There are multiple possible beginnings to the history of modern Israel: the covenant made to Abraham or the exile after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD being possible starting points.

For me, the story begins with Theodor Herzl.

Herzl was born in Hungary in 1860 and died in Austria in 1904. Only the last eight of the forty four years of his life were dedicated to the cause of the Jewish people. However, the fruit of his dreaming, his vision, his effort and his sacrifice is the State of Israel(…)

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”Nefesh B’Nefesh sets up grants to boost ‘Zionist Innovation’ / Nefesh B’Nefesh crea becas para impulsar la “Innovación Sionista”

Money available for new immigrants with “Creative Ideas” in business and social innovation that can impact Israeli society

Dinero disponible para nuevos inmigrantes con “Ideas Creativas” en la innovación empresarial e social que pueden impactar a la sociedad israelí

For many new immigrants to Israel, the decision to relocate has both an ideological and an economic component — participation in the Zionist project and attraction to the Jewish state’s growing economy. Now one aliyah-facilitating organization is trying to bring those two elements together in a program designed to give grants and marketing support to entrepreneurial-minded new immigrants.

Para muchos nuevos inmigrantes a Israel, la decisión de reubicarse tiene un componente tanto ideológico como económico: La participación en el proyecto sionista y la atracción a la creciente economía del Estado Judío. Ahora, una organización facilitadora de aliyah está tratando de reunir estos dos elementos en un programa diseñado para otorgar subvenciones y apoyo de marketing a los nuevos inmigrantes con mentalidad empresarial.

Nefesh B’Nefesh — an organization dedicated to “revitalizing Aliyah from North America and the UK by removing or minimizing the financial, professional, logistical and social obstacles of Aliyah” — is partnering with Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel and the Avram and Sharon Blumenthal and Family to launch the “Initiative for Zionist Innovation.”

Nefesh B’Nefesh – una organización dedicada a “revitalizar Aliyah de Norteamérica y el Reino Unido eliminando o minimizando los obstáculos financieros, profesionales, logísticos y sociales de Aliyah” – se está asociando con Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel y Avram y Sharon Blumenthal y Familia para lanzar la “Iniciativa para la Innovación Sionista”.

“The Initiative for Zionist Innovation was created in order to empower olim [immigrants to Israel] to take their creative ideas, through social and business innovation, and transform them into reality,” said Nefesh B’Nefesh executive vice president Zev Gershinsky.

“La Iniciativa para la Innovación Sionista fue creada para capacitar a los Olim (inmigrantes a Israel) a tomar sus ideas creativas, a través de la innovación social y empresarial, y transformarlas en realidad”, dijo el vicepresidente ejecutivo de Nefesh B’Nefesh, Zev Gershinsky.

“We would like to help and support Olim who are making a difference for themselves, their peers and community in Israel,” he said.

“Nos gustaría ayudar y apoyar a Olim que están haciendo una diferencia para sí mismos, sus compañeros y la comunidad en Israel”, dijo.

In a statement, Nefesh B’Nefesh said it is “seeking the next generation of leaders and innovators looking to change the face of Zionism and Israel.” In order to be eligible for IZI grants, applicants must have immigrated through Nefesh B’Nefesh with a confirmed relocation date on or before November 30, 2017.

En un comunicado, Nefesh B’Nefesh dijo que está “buscando a la próxima generación de líderes e innovadores que busquen cambiar el rostro del sionismo y de Israel”. Para ser elegible para las subvenciones IZI, los solicitantes deben haber inmigrado a través de Nefesh B’Nefesh con una fecha de reubicación confirmada el 30 de noviembre de 2017 o antes.

Candidates must present a basic business plan and mission statement in their applications. The project hopes to attract applicants “with a passion for contributing to the Zionist story to pursue their creative ideas in both business and social innovation, thereby impacting and bettering Israel and Israeli society as a whole,” the statement said.

Los candidatos deben presentar un plan de negocios básico y una declaración de misión en sus solicitudes. El proyecto espera atraer a los candidatos “con una pasión por contribuir a la historia sionista para perseguir sus ideas creativas tanto en negocios como en innovación social, impactando y mejorando así a Israel ya la sociedad israelí en su conjunto”, dijo el comunicado.

The organization said it is prepared to distribute up to $50,000 for each project selected.

La organización dijo que está preparada para distribuir hasta 50.000 dólares por cada proyecto seleccionado.

Nefesh B’Nefesh prides itself on providing a strong support network for new Israelis, underlining that 90 percent of its more than 50,000 immigrants have stayed in Israel. It sees the new project as an extension of its mission, the organization said.

Nefesh B’Nefesh se enorgullece de proporcionar una sólida red de apoyo para los nuevos israelíes, subrayando que el 90 por ciento de sus más de 50.000 inmigrantes se han quedado en Israel. Considera que el nuevo proyecto es una extensión de su misión, dijo la organización.

“Inspired by early Zionists, coupled with the resources of today, our new initiative hopes to impact Israel’s future,” said Gershinsky.

“Inspirado por los primeros sionistas, junto con los recursos de hoy, nuestra nueva iniciativa espera impactar el futuro de Israel”, dijo Gershinsky.



Was it the sound of Theodor Herzl’s gavel that set the delegates’ hearts racing at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel in December 1901?

(…)Theodor Herzl’s voice resounded through the hall of the Basle Casino, where the Fifth Zionist Congress had convened (…)

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Nefesh B’Nefesh is grateful to Avram and Sharon Blumenthal and Family for their leadership and generosity in establishing the Avram & Sharon Blumenthal Nefesh B’Nefesh Entrepreneurial Fund.

The fund will award aspiring Nefesh B’Nefesh Olim entrepreneurs with grants in the amount of up to $10,000 to launch or expand a low-tech or small business in Israel.

To read the full article: August 22, 2016