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HaBonim and ideology – David Mittelberg part III

"The ideological purist would say that if we have more than one goal then our ideology is being watered down, this is a primitive way of thinking"…

What is Habonim's ideology about?

The Inclusive ideology of Habonim is dedicated to building a vibrant connection between Israel and the diaspora, with the possibility of bringing Aliya, and where that doesn’t happen to maintain a strong biographical, communal relationship between Israeli Jewish communities and diaspora's Jewish communities. Not only to make an impact on the Diaspora's Jewish communities but also to enrich the Israeli Jewish communities.

It can also engage all the Kibbutzim (and now also the Ir-Butzim) to bring Diaspora Jews from whatever community and whatever color, and whatever synagogue they went to and whatever synagogue they refused to go to. To come to Israel and be engaged with the future of the Jewish people.

That is what Habonim is about! Not constricting, restricting, retreating to one excellent idea which is the educational commune. Those advocates in Habonim who think this is what Habonim is about have lost the plot, they have lost the path of what World Habonim is about and what Habonim should be about.

They should pursue this goal if it is important for them, but they should not force it on the national movement and demand of them that this should be the only goal that they should be dedicated to. That narrow extremism isn’t right for Israel and it's destructive for diaspora Jewry.

What is your 2 cent’s worth on advice about taking part in Habonim?

Habonim is a lifelong commitment. Where we reside is an important question but it is not the only question of your life. As a Kibbutznik (kibbutz member) myself, I would invite you to join a kibbutz, I would also welcome you to join an education commune, only if you are a good educator, if education is your profession, your vocation and your dream and that you are successful at it. We have enough un successful educators in Israel. But if you are not an educator you have to make sure that Habonim retains in its national movement people who don’t want to go to an Ir-butz. And you have to make sure that people who come to Israel and then come back to the country of origin have a framework in which to continue to be engaged with the local community and with Israel.

I think that Habonim Dror doesn’t have to change its ideology, it should talk about multiple ways of engaging with Israel, multiple avenues and destinations for Hagshama in Israel and also talk about Hagshama in the diaspora for those who don’t go to Israel. The ideological purist might say that if we have more than one goal than our ideology is being watered down. This is a primitive way of thinking. Indeed, people can speak more than one language without destroying the other. The point is to widen the conversation, to broaden the membership base of the movement, since life is always more sophisticated and complex than our ideology can ever imagine.

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