Activity: Zionism, feminism & my Jewish identity

Tags: Zionism, Feminism, Jewish Identity

by INSERT AUTHOR'S NAME (unless they are a contributor)

What is Zionism? Feminism? What do these concepts have to do with my Jewish identity?

The following activity was designed to develop new understanding regarding the terms Zionism, Feminism and the connection between them. This is a group activity, suited for teenagers and older, girls and boys, women and men.


Step 1: Back to basics

Ask the group the two questions below. Write down their answers in a place that will be convenient to come back to at the end of the activity for example, two sides of a blackboard or two different pieces of paper or poster-board

1) What comes to mind when you hear the term “Zionism”? 2) What comes to mind when you hear the term “Feminism”?

Step 2: Read together the definitions of Zionism & Feminism

Zionism is the national movement of self-determination of the Jewish people and the right to sovereignty in Zion, our ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel. The concept of Zionism originates with the exile of Jews from ancient Israel, expressed through the prayers and traditions that have bound Jews to Zion generation after generation. Expanded through the visionaries who advanced the dream of a return, Jewish nationalism was translated into a practical and political movement that sought the fulfillment of the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the ancestral land of the Jews (the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel, Zion). After the re-establishment of the Jewish State of Israel, Zionism means the development and protection of the sovereign Jewish homeland.

Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes translated into a social movement that aim to end sexist oppression. It is not intended to benefit solely any specific group of women, any particular class of women; It does not privilege women over men. It directs our attention to systems of domination and the inter-relatedness of sex, race and class oppression.

Zionism is a national movement for Jewish self-determination. Feminism is a social movement for female self-determination. Zionism & feminism are both movements for freedom and civil rights.

Step 3: Discussion in groups

• Break participants into 5 groups. Each group discusses on question. • Each group discusses one question, with one group member assigned to take notes • Group will outline their proposed action in response to the issues raised in the topical discussion. Select one member of the group who will present your conclusion ideas to the whole group.


1) Considering the definition we read, how do you see yourself actualizing Zionism? Who are your role models? 2) Considering the definition we read, how do you see yourself actualizing feminism? Who are your role models? 3) What is the connection between Zionism and feminism? 4) What should we teach our girls about Zionism and Feminism? What should we teach our boys? Should we be teaching them different things? If so, why? 5) Can men be Zionist feminists? What is their role in supporting Zionist feminists?

Step 4: Presenting conclusions to the complete group

• The groups come back together to present their conclusions from the separate discussions • One member of each group presents the question they discussed and the conclusions of their discussion • As a whole group, discuss what insights this discussion has brought to the individuals. What have they learned? Examine the difference between the initial statements made in relation to the concepts and the concluding statements. How does the group understand these concepts now? How is Zionism and feminism related to their Jewish identity?

Step 5: Challenge

• How does the group suggest to present Zionism & Feminism to others?


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Tags: Zionism, Feminism, Jewish Identity