The Religious Zionists of America (RZA), the American branch of World Mizrachi – Hapoel Hamizrachi movement, is an ideological and educational organization that aims to instill in the American Jewish community a commitment to Religious Zionism.
Mizrachi (a Hebrew abbreviation of merkaz ruchani – “spiritual center”) was founded by Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines in 1902 to serve as an umbrella organization for the Religious Zionist movement. Religious Zionism is an ideology based on the synthesis of a Jewish religious and national outlook and is dedicated to the preservation of Jewish political freedom, the enhancement of Jewish religious life in the land of Israel, and the promotion of Aliyah. The movement is inspired by the slogans of Mizrachi, “The Land of Israel, for the People of Israel, According to the Torah of Israel,” and Hapoel Hamizrachi, “Torah Va’Avodah” (Torah and Labor).
In a world of shifting commitments to Zionism, the RZA is the sole organization whose singular mission is to be an engine of pro-Israel advocacy, educational programming, and the driving force behind the organized leadership of the Orthodox community in its quest for activities on behalf of the State of Israel.
The RZA seeks to reach all segments of the American Jewish population through adult educational programming in regional chapters, pro-Israel advocacy, promoting aliyah, strengthening and developing a creative curriculum on religious Zionism for Jewish day schools, and encouraging the knowledge and use of Hebrew as an important modality of expression.
RZA supports its affiliate organizations that help imbue these values, including Bnei Akiva, the religious Zionist youth movement, and its Camp Moshava network of summer camps. Of prime importance to us are the Torah MiTzion Diaspora Zionist Kollelim, a dynamic new program that brings the spirit of Religious Zionism to the American campus and community. The work of Tehilla in encouraging and facilitating aliyah from North America remains a basic objective of the RZA. Additionally, our commitment to supporting the Yeshivot Hesder movement is a major goal toward strengthening Torah values in Israel.
In light of the climate for Jewish students on the campuses of secular American colleges, the RZA works to strengthen and support Yavneh Olami, the religious Zionist campus organization in the battle against anti-Zionist and assimilationist forces on these campuses.
The RZA is committed to growth in the 21st century by reaching out to our emerging generations as the future leadership of our organization. The American graduates of the Israeli Yeshivot Hesder and Michlalot represent the future of religious Zionism and we will work to harness their full potential.
Religious Zionists are uniquely positioned to articulate a theological argument for Zionism to the full spectrum of the American Jewish population. The ideals of Torah im Derech Eretz and Torah u’Madah are part and parcel of the vision of religious Zionism. By fostering an ideology of both we strive to transmit, by living example, to American and Israeli Jews the power inherent in the amalgamation of Torah values in the modern world. By educating about and supporting programs that promote these values and ideas, RZA can help confront some of the challenges that Zionism faces in Israel, including clarifying the relationship between Judaism and democracy, and enhancing the Jewish character of the State of Israel.
Religious Zionists of America
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