HDCA Newsletter – September 2023

Wishing our HDCA family a meaningful, healthy and prosperous 5784!

As we mark the end of one Jewish year and look forward to the upcoming new year, we also mark the transition to a new Mazkirut Artzit. Before we move on, we want to express our warmest appreciation for the outgoing mazkirut. Working with Ben, Erica, Tamar and Kaela has truly been a pleasure. We are very grateful for their dedication and hard work for the movement and know that they are leaving HDNA in a strong position to continue to grow and have impact.  Todah rabah! We will miss working with you!

And now… introducing Mazkirut Artzit 2023-2024

Joining Zandra Campbell, Rakazol Chinuch, on Mazkirut Artzit are:

Judah Altman, Mazkirol 

Hi, my name is Judah and I am the new Mazkirol of HDNA. I was born in Chicago but grew up in Calgary, and moved to Rhode Island when I was 15. I started going to the ken in Calgary when I was 1o, and attended my first summer at Camp Miriam when I was 13. I returned as a chanich through Madatz in 2017. I was a madrich at Miriam the next summer, went on Workshop 68, and returned to work at both Miriam and Moshava in 2019. In 2021, I was a Madatz madrichol at Miriam for Kvutzah 72, in 2022 I was chinuch at Miriam, and this past summer I was a madrichol on MBI. In the movement outside of machaneh, I attended Veida 2019 and was on tzevet for Veida 2022, I’ve been to and have run numerous online seminars, I was a part of my Shlav bet process, I was one of the initial members of the Zionism va’ad and I have been a madrichol for 72 throughout my time in university, culminating this past year in being their shana madrich. The movement has played a big role throughout my life to this point, and I can’t wait to keep on shaping it.

Outside of the movement, I love to read and learn more than anything and my last four years in University have played a major role in my growth and interests. After I went on Workshop, I flew off to France to study at Sciences Po for two years as part of a dual bachelor’s degree program that Columbia University runs. At Sciences Po I studied sociology with a concentration in economics. After my two years at Sciences Po, I moved to New York for two years where I majored in philosophy and concentrated in sociology at Columbia University. In philosophy, my interests are Marxism, critical theory and phenomenology/existentialism, while in sociology my interests are gender, poverty, and network theory. I wrote two theses: one on Sartre’s Marxism in the Critique of Dialectical Reason and his methodology expounded in Search for a Method and the second on gendered discourses in an archive of letters written by people in poverty in the United States using semantic networks to show how gender and poverty construct each other. I am excited to continue learning and teaching in the movement, and bringing my knowledge to Habonim Dror.

I am excited to begin my time as Mazkirol of Habonim Dror North America. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions, concerns, ideas you have, partnerships you envision, or if you just want to talk about the movement. You can reach me at mazkir@habonimdror.org. Aleh V’hagshem.


Zev Dever, Central Shaliach

Hi everyone! My name is Zev, and I’m excited and honored to step into the role of the Central Shaliach to Habonim Dror North America!

A little background about myself and my Habonim credentials: I was born in Tucson Arizona, and from the age of 11 grew up in Westchester New York which is where I first encountered Habonim Dror. I only really joined the movement at the age of 16 on MBI, and from then on fell in love with being a madrich, and generally with the world of Jewish informal education. After workshop (58) I worked for many years as a madrich at Gilboa, and during the year as a Hebrew school teacher, informal educator and childcare worker in several capacities. In 2011 I moved to Los Angeles to work year round for the movement where I worked in the eizor and in directing the then burgeoning outreach program for 3 years until making Aliyah with members of my kvutsah in 2014.

In Israel for the past 9 years, apart from a brief stint in Ulpan, and later in the IDF, I continued working in various educational and cooperative frameworks. In all of these years I lived in a co-operative Urban Educators kibbutz at first in Haifa, and then in Jerusalem with Dror Israel with graduates of Habonim and HaNoar HaOved. Throughout this time I continued to lead various Habonim Programs, including MBI and Workshop, as well as programs from other Habonim countries.

Then for 4 years I moved into working more directly with Israeli society, and served as a regional coordinator at the Informal Educational Center “the Meorer” specializing in bringing informal education to formal frameworks in Israel, including public schools, police and army Units. In the Meorer I oversaw the development and execution of educational programs centering around social justice, tolerance and interracial encounter groups, sensitivity training, and tours focused on societal and moral dilemmas in Israel today, and eventually spearheaded their new English department.

For the past 2 years I have come back to working in the movement in Habonim Dror Olami as the Shnat Rakaz for English speaking southern hemisphere kvutsot. Returning to educational work in Habonim Dror has been fulfilling for me and has reaffirmed the values upon which I see many of my life choices as having been built. I see great importance in the unique type of youth leadership in Habonim, and see our movement as essential to creating a future Jewish leadership that knows how to advocate for social justice and work towards a positive vision of an Israel, and a world in general that has the equality of human value as its central guiding principal.