In part three of the Haaretz series highlighting Young Judaea and Tel Yehudah alumni, we learn about the work of alums in Israel who are truly 'reaching across the aisle' and creating a new, collaborative effort for Israel's future.
It's not just a think tank; it's a think-and-do tank.
That's how Eilon Schwartz, the founder and director of Shaharit, describes his new baby. A nonprofit dedicated to "creating common cause," Shaharit is the latest addition to a long list of organizations focused on tikkun olam (repairing the world ) run by graduates of Young Judaea, the oldest Zionist youth movement in the United States, who are living in Israel.
For Schwartz, it's about taking the concept of sustainability that defined and shaped his many years of work in environmentalism and applying it to politics.
"Back in the '90s, there was a group of us who tried to reframe the discussion about the environment in this country," says Schwartz, who, together with fellow Young Judaeans Alon Tal and Gershon Baskin, helped create the Israeli environmental movement. "Now what we're trying to do is take that experience to start reframing the discussion about politics in this country..."
His background in Young Judaea, says Schwartz, who immigrated to Israel in the early 1980s, was critical in the path he eventually chose. "At Young Judaea, you're instilled with two very important things - on the one hand, a strong sense of Jewish identity and identification with Israel, and on the other hand, strong critical faculties. You're taught to ask questions, questions about Zionism, questions about being Jewish in the modern world, and that's very much what Shaharit is all about," he says.
Read the entire article on Haaretz here: The problems with the left-wing elite - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper.