The mission of this innovative new institution, say its founders, is to demonstrate how Zionism has served and continues to serve as a catalyst in the establishment and development of the modern state of Israel through faith, passion, commitment, hard work, perseverance, resiliency, and love of family.
This mission is being implemented, explain the staff of the Zionism Museum and Education Center (ZMEC), via a three-pronged approach: exhibits (hosted at Yeshiva Derech HaTorah), classroom teaching in grades five through eight about modern Jewish history (1800-present), and free monthly evening programs for the community, featuring special guests from Israel and the New York area. Past guest speakers have included Rubin Margules, Zionist Organization of America Brooklyn Region President; Gail Hammerman, Hadassah Brooklyn Region President; Helen Freedman, Executive Direct of Americans for a Safe Israel; Shalom Pollack of Honenu (Israel’s Legal Defense Organization); and Shlomo Zwickler, Executive Director or Beit Orot in East Jerusalem.
To implement its teaching program, a unique Zionist curriculum guide has been prepared for utilization in the yeshiva’s elementary and middle grades. In addition to teaching modern Jewish history (with an emphasis on the restoration of the Jewish state), the curriculum guide provides opportunities to instill and reinforce Jewish pride in the students while at the same time giving them a sense of appreciation of the positive role Zionism has played in the rebirth of Israel, the Jewish homeland.
Currently, the ZMEC is sponsoring an art and essay contest for Yeshiva Derech HaTorah Students in grades five through eight as well as children in the same age group whose families belong to the Kingsway Jewish Center. The theme is “Fulfillment of the Zionist Dream.” The Four winners, whose entries must be submitted by April 3, 2012, will receive $25.00 gift cards.
“Students have to be aware of the significant contributions Zionism—a “can do” movement—has made not only to Israel, but also to nations all over the world,” said ZMEC Director Stephen L. Epstein.