Meretz USA Cautiously Optimistic About Palestinian Unity Agreement

State leader elected president of Meretz USA

“Lawrence I. Lerner, chair of the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations and a longtime leader in the Central New Jersey Jewish community, was elected president of the progressive Zionist organization Meretz USA…”

Click here to read the full article on Meretz USA’s recently-elected President Larry Lerner, published in the New Jersey Jewish News.

News on Meretz-USA Sponsored Student Group – the Union of Progressive Zionists

“And more still, evidence that our community is, now and then, thoughtful, responsible, and mature. The Union of Progressive Zionists is a proud member of the Israel on Campus Coalition, an effort of 31 organizations large and small working to advance Israel’s interests on college campuses. The UPZ, though among the smaller members of the coalition, occupies an important niche: it demonstrates that one need not choose between being politically progressive and being a Zionist; these days, given the “fashionableâ€� anti-Zionism on the left, that’s a major contribution.”

Click here to read the full article by Leonard Fein, published in the Forward.

Between the Ages of 18 and 27?  Go on Birthright with UPZ

The Union of Progressive Zionists is partnering with IsraelExperts to bring you a unique Taglit-birthright Israel opportunity! This trip, which is a free gift from Taglit–birthright Israel, is designed for 18-27 (turning 27 after May 1) year olds looking to experience both Israel’s beauty and its complexity, as they grapple with the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people as a whole.

Participants will:

  • Meet with Israeli and Palestinian politicians, peace activists educators and journalists;
    • Learn about NGOs working for social justice in Israel; visit a Urban Kibbutz and learn about communal ways of living;
    • See the separation barrier and find out how it affects everyday life for Israelis and Palestinians;
    • Get a feel for the different sectors of Israeli society;
    • Tour famous sites such as Masada, The Israeli Knesset, the Sea of Galilee and have a night out in Tel Aviv;
    • Understand the complexities of the country and develop a meaningful connection to the land and the people of Israel

You are eligible for a Taglit-birthright Israel trip if you have never been to Israel on a peer group tour before. If you are eligible, don’t miss this amazing opportunity! Also, please spread the word to everyone and anyone who might be interested. Registration for spring/summer trips fills very quickly. Registration begins February 15 at 9am!

The ten day trip will leave for Israel on May 31st and return to the United States on June 10th.

Click here to register.  Please tell your friends to mention that they were referred by UPZ when they register!

Bearing the Name of Zionism in Vain

“Zionism is a point of view based on the precept that the Jewish people are worthy of a country of their own, where Jews are the majority that determines the country’s way of life. Zionism also believes in the necessity of actively working to assure that as many Jews as possible consider this country as their home and immigrate to it in order to secure the continuation of the Jewish people and to be certain that the country will exist for future generations, while guaranteeing full rights for those [inhabitants] who are not Jewish…”


Of Special Interest

CALME: Now is the Time to Support U.S. Leadership in Achieving Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Prominent Americans Are Convinced

“The Campaign for American Leadership in the Middle East (CALME) held a press conference January 22nd to highlight the importance of active and sustained U.S. leadership in promoting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”


Beilin Proposes Bill for Patrilineal Descent in Knesset

The participants of the 2006 Meretz USA Israel Symposium were privileged to visit the Knesset as Meretz chair, Yossi Beilin, introduced a bill that would require Israel’s Population Registry to register as Jews all Israelis born of Jewish fathers. The bill applies to hundreds of thousands of Jews from the FSU (former Soviet Union) and countless thousands whose Jewishness is acknowledged by the Reform Movement.