Back to the Future


Adi Arbel is the founder of the Beit Midrash for Zionist Thought of the Institute for Zionist Strategies.

Thanks to an ROI Micro Grant, I had the honour to participate in a very unique delegation: 20 Israeli leaders, from all over the Israeli society, went together to explore the roots of Zionism and track its founding fathers.

Entitled “Leadership for a Future,” the seminar took us on a journey through time from the Herzl Center in Jerusalem to the European cities where he made history. The desire to connect with the Zionist narrative at its roots and their commitment to act for the future—however it may look. Many tours take Jews from Israel and the Diaspora to visit the death camps, but this is something different. Rather than telling the story of the Shoah, the goal is to tell the story of Herzl and his vision.

In five intensive days, we visited Odessa, Vienna, Budapest and Basel. During the tours, we got to know the places in which Herzl, Bialik, Jabotinsky, Tchernichovsky and others made their first steps as the leaders of the new Jewish world.

We also had the chance to meet interesting people: young Jewish students from Ukraine, governmental officers in Hungary, a Rabbi of Vienna, and many others. We had the opportunity to hear from them about their challenges and hopes.

For me, as the project manager of the Institute for Zionist Strategies, and as the founder of the Beit Midrash for Zionist Thought, it was an extreme experience. First, because it brought life into the old classic texts I use to learn and teach. Second, because it helped me have a better understanding of the Jewish world and its challenges. Third, because of the special group of people that the World Zionist Organization gathered together, with whom I intend to create many future cooperations.

Thank you ROI Community!