NEW YORK (Oct. 8)
A “Zionist Caravan” will depart from Washington Oct. 13 on a two-month swing through nine states in the south and southwest to bring information about Israel, Zionism and aliya to the smaller Jewish communities in that region which are usually isolated from such Zionist educational programs.
The project, known as “Israel Scene-Monitor” was conceived by two American immigrants to Israel, Charles Levine, 28, of San Antonio, Texas and Bobby Brown, originally of New York City. It is organized along the lines of a similar mobile caravan that successfully completed two tours of European countries in the past 12 months. It is scheduled to visit 36 communities in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
Levine, who is director for North America of the World Zionist Organization’s information department, said “The South seems ideal for this venture both because it contains a heavy concern Nation of this sized community and because the climate suits this sort of project. ” Brown, director of the English-speaking section of the World Aliya Movement, said there were “two main objectives. Firstly, we want our fellow Jews to deepen their awareness of Zionism’s living relevance to their daily lives and to think — perhaps for the first time — about the possibility of coming to live in Israel.
“Our second priority. “he said, is to get with the media to persuade them that Jews are united when it comes to supporting Israel; when it comes to Israel’s centrality in Jewish life.”
ELEMENTS IN THE EXHIBIT
The project was announced in Jerusalem this week by Eli Eyal, head of the WZO’s information department. It will include a mobile exhibit nation pictures, slides and written information material. Eyal said that Premier Menachem Begin has taped a special address for the caravan, it will also carry taped interviews with WZO chairman Leon Dulzin, former Premier Yitzhak Rabin, and Herut Knesset member Moshe Arens. They will discuss the Palestine Liberation Organization, the occupied territories and peace prospects for the Middle East in general.
Levine said “We are bringing the latest in films, exhibits and printed material to the U.S.” Brown emphasized, “We are going from Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, so it is only natural that we should begin our journey in America’s capital.” the subject of Jerusalem as a united city under Israel’s sovereignty will be one of the priority subjects.
The caravan will visit college and university campuses and Levine and Brown will participate in a weekend discussion at Duke University in North Carolina. “We are not going to tick off Zionist facts and figurer, Levine said, “not to lecture our audiences on who is a good or better Zionist.”
Rather, he said, “we want to raise people’s consciousness about Zionism, to present it as an exciting challenge to American Jews of whatever age and means. By focusing on this kind of Zionist approach, on aliya and Israel program; on Jewish rights and Israel-diaspora relationships, we hope to get people thinking more about the role of Israel in their lives.”
The caravan is sponsored in the U.S. by the American Zionist Federation; the WZO-American Section; the North American Jewish Students’ Network; the American Zionist Youth Foundation and other national bodies, Jewish community centers and community relations councils in the various host communities.
It is sponsored in Israel by the WZO information department and aliya department with support from other agencies. If successful, it is expected to be repeated in other regions of the U.S.