Habonim Dror alumni study reveals high levels of Jewish, political engagement

NEW YORK (JTA) — Alumni of the Habonim Dror movement are highly involved in Jewish, Israel-related and social change organizations, a study found.

The study, performed by Professor Steven M. Cohen, a professor of Jewish social policy at Hebrew Union College, relied on a survey of nearly 2,000 alumni of Habonim Dror camps and other programs, ages 20 to 83 for his results.

Habonim Dror, Hebrew for “The Builders of Freedom,” is a socialist, Zionist youth movement which originated in Europe in the early decades of the 20th century. The organization currently runs seven summer camps in North America.

According to the study85 percent of alumni have visited Israel more than once and 70 percent have lived in Israel for at least 5 months. Some 75 percent of alumni consider themselves politically progressive, while 49 percent contribute to a Jewish-sponsored or Israel-related social change organization.

In addition, 64 percent contribute to a social change-oriented charity without a specific Jewish sponsorship or Israel focus.

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