A Zionist Nationalist Inspired by Black Power

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Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen was raised in a family he describes as “non-observant Orthodox”—keeping Kosher at home, Shabbat candles, Shabbat services, but otherwise fairly lax. He was a member of Young Judaea briefly in his teens (1965-6), but Zionism was relatively unimportant to him at the time. This changed when he entered Columbia University in 1966. As was the case for so many, the Six Day War was a turning point. “With the war, I was swept of in all kinds of pro-Israel rallies. I remember holding an Israeli flag in the street and having people put money in it walking by. And there were celebrations after the war, so on and so on.” He helped to organize a new Jewish organization on campus, Kadima, and soon was working as a liaison with the AZYF (American Zionist Youth Foundation, an extension of the Jewish Agency’s Youth and Hechalutz Department, then chaired by Gen. Morele Baron) <Read Steven M. Cohen’s story here>

A Profile in Courage

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Simone Zimmerman
Simone Zimmerman
Following a childhood in the heart of the Los Angeles Jewish community, Simone Zimmerman started college as an ardent AIPAC supporter. She became disillusioned after a nasty public fight against a UC Berkeley divestment resolution in her freshman year. By her senior year, she had become the national president of  J Street U.  A few years out of college, Zimmerman and a few millennial friends organized a grassroots response to the 2014 Gaza War. Calling themselves IfNotNow, the group spread like wildfire across the country. After a year of strategic planning, the group has emerged as a prominent voice of  its generation. <Read Simone Zimmerman’s story here>