Sherut La Am: The loss of the American Zionist Youth Foundation during the 1980s was one of the greatest miss – fortunes of The Jewish Agency.
It was at the Conference on Israel sponsored by both the North American Jewish Student’s Network, and The American Zionist Youth Foundation April 1975 which developed the first Jewish Zionist nation wide program Israel Awareness Week during April 1976 which encompassed 246 University and College campuses in both The United States and Canada.
At the State University of New York @ Buffalo this program established the campus leadership of The Israel Information Center in which during one of its center staged seminars was Child Rearing in Israel.
Sherut La Am experience volunteer Elaine Silvers, the leader and organizer of the seminars made a historic discovery which reflected the deep, and often suppressed consciousness of young Jewish women of this time and era. That during this seminar and afterwords was the stark contrast between child rearing efforts between the Jewish peoples of the Jewish State of Israel, and American Jewry in which the acknowledge experiences and advantaged of a Jewish child being raised in Israel produce a healthier and more accomplished HAPPY CHILD. Moreover, and into the 1980s once this was discovered by various organized Jewish institutions, those who applied for various Jewish family services who has a year experience, like Elaine, were immediately hired over other applicants,
This was also being investigated by the Jewish Theological Seminary and thereby by its central focus on Sherut La Am created the innovative Masters Degree Programs which related to the various fields of social work. Sad’ly this effort was isolated as the means to deliver an effect service outreach were limited as their base was anchored around more religious institutions, than what its real need could be effective within the secular Jewish communities in their quasi – Secular Crypto Judaism.
The only means by which Sherut La Am had been able to affect a positive outcome was largely on the campus scene….then AZYF was cut from its basic sponsorship The Jewish Agency – though confidential in its overall support practice in as much as AZYF promoted Aliyah. Sherut La Am was lost, and the lost core of volunteers created huge additional expense for several Israeli communities both Jewish and Arab.
None the less, the central factor for this post is what Sherut La Am produced positive effects upon American Jewry by the single Jewish centrality of child rearing being the only agenda which united World Jewry in more positive realistic terms as the Israeli societies in their various competitive programs created the central role model for future Jewish Survival — child rearing.
One: Those young Jewish women who attended this seminar did make Aliyah but with a unique twist. Unlike others, especially young Jewish males, they did not return to the hometowns in America after their Ole HaDash benefits were used up. And that their entrance and life styles within Israel was secular and not religious.
Two: There was a more dramatic evidence that Israeli fathers took a more active role in the raising of their own children when compared to American Jewry., Thats what kept the American women ole rooted in Israel.
This was introduced to this group to initiate critical thinking and a lobby force to bring back both the American Zionist Youth Foundation, along with its success program of Sherut La Am.
Fatherhood in Israel is the central role model in producing a greater Aliyah…