"It's a location for heated debate and ideological exploration; the voice of our youth movement."
It is with enormous pride that I bring you my first article as Editor of the Young Zionist. I hope to make this evolving publication increasingly relevant in our movement, and within the Jewish community as a whole. Alongside the historic lineage attached to the position, this role has brought with it a personal sentiment. My experiences as a member of a Zionist, pluralist youth movement have empowered me to explore any and all facets of what being Jewish means to me, all of which have lead to my election as the Editor of this publication. It’s also for this reason that the value of the Young Zionist cannot ever be understated. It’s a location for heated debate and ideological exploration; the voice of our youth movement. So too should it be a place of expression. While maintaining the current variety of politically focused articles, I endeavor to improve the blog’s creative pursuits in an effort to facilitate the platform for anyone who wants to explore their identity as a young Jewish person.
For my maiden voyage into writing for the Young Zionist, it seems fitting that I begin with my thoughts on Veida 5779.
Veida 5779 // A Snapshot
Tzedakah is more important than ever
At this year’s Veida, there was an unprecedented amount of debate surrounding tzedakah. The first of which was the proposition of a constitutional amendment to change our aim of Tzedakah to Tikkun Olam. The delegates ultimately voted to uphold Tzedakah, which clearly set the tone once motions began to be discussed. No fewer than 4 motions concerning charity were mandated, in addition to the selection of 5 charities that FZY will officially support this year: Grief Encounter, Shalva, Friends of Roots, Aleh and Krembo Wings. Our movement’s increasing focus on charity work ought to be extremely positive, provided we commit to our mandates and follow through on doing more for the charities which we’ve voted to support.
Year Course Stand Up
At Veida, only delegates who are present are able to vote on motions and amendments. Over the years this has been a limiting factor in the expression of voices from the movement who are unable to attend Veida; of this group of people is our annual cohort of Year Coursers. In an effort to go some way to solving the lack of relationship between Year Course and the movement in the UK, 2 motions were passed. The first proposed the election of the Bogrim Ambassador to Year Course, an individual that has been a Year Course participant and will be responsible for maintaining meaningful contact with current Year Coursers. The first member to hold this role will be Lauren Smith, who graduated the programme in 2018. The next motion concerning Year Course was the strong suggestion to have a current Year Course participant visiting Veida annually, on behalf of their cohort. They will be able to present the motions and amendments that Year Coursers want to pass but aren’t able to due to their inability to attend the conference. We hope that both of these motions will go some way to improving the connection between Year Course and our other members, which ought to further benefit the achievement of our Zionist aims.
The Two-State Solution Confusion
Recent Year Course graduate Peter Strauss proposed a motion that will be remembered for its process just as much as its purpose. In his motion there were multiple strong suggestions, mandates and affirmations, the most controversial of which was to affirm that FZY officially supports a two-state solution. Soon enough however, the steering committee were hurriedly scouring the constitution for the rules with regards to voting on each of these mandates separately, after the delegates called for the motion to be pulled apart. What ensued was a laborious democratic process where the delegates had to vote on whether they wanted to have a vote on the separate demands in the motion. Though once the nit-picking was over with, the debate over our stance on a two-state solution brought out a very valuable discourse. The discussion ultimately concluded in the rejection of the motion, under the grounds that it would compromise the pluralist values central to our organisation. Although, what was passed during this process is the uptake of our official condemnation of the BDS movement. Soon after this hour long ordeal, the clamour for “plen' till four am” quickly died down, likely a result of this tiring, yet pivotal motion.
The “Banter Box” Was Dry
In a surprising turn of events, the oft fabled “Banter Box” did not live up to its name sake. A mainstay at Veida since 2016, this box is a place where delegates put funny jokes to be read aloud during drawn-out plenary sessions. While this comedic institution has lightened up plenty plenaries of the past, perhaps we’ve just run out of funny things to say. I’ve heard some proclaim that the box itself is to blame, drawing accusations that it had a hole in the bottom. The Steering Committee have been contacted for comment.
A new Mazkira
While Imi Wise ran for Mazkira unopposed, it certainly didn’t show in her election speech. She spoke with fire and passion about providing a platform for activism, with the intention to empower our members to enact changes that they want to see in our movement, and in society at large. Considering our renewed commitment to improving our charity efforts, this policy appears to be particularly suited to the current direction of FZY’s members.
Special mention goes to the Steering Committee for facilitating another successful Veida, and to the Movement Team for organizing the seminar as a whole.
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