By Shahar Burla, Dashiel Lawrence
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Additional info for Australia & Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship
For a number of reasons I would identify myself as a religious-Zionist as opposed to other streams of Zionism. For me that’s where it stems from. Our connection to the land, religiously and historically. You know, what’s listed in the Torah and also the mitzvot. That’s our connection to Israel . . 55 In the years since taking part in the MTA program, Avi Cohen has shifted ideologically; he no longer wishes to make aliyah to the settlements. ” 56 Shana Boltin also continues to feel Israel is the “best place” for a Jewish person to live.
These organisations have effectively mobilised Australian Jewry financially, drawing hundreds of millions of dollars for their annual appeals as well as ongoing donations and emergency appeals established in response to war and crisis in Israel. However, in recent years a new organisation has emerged in Australia to provide Jews with an alternative avenue of engagement with Israel. In 1979 an American-based organisation was established to actualise the vision of Israel’s Founders – a Jewish and democratic state that, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, ‘ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex’.
Furthermore, female and male leaders would avoid any sort of physical contact in the presence of their chanichim. 19 The concept of shomer negiah relates to the Halachic dictum that unmarried men and women should not have any physical contact as a safeguard against the development of improper relationships and pre-marital intimacy. The standard of behaviour between observant boys and girls will involve no touching, and certainly no kissing or hugging, until they are married. Tzniut describes the concept of appropriate clothing that is modest for both men and women: women wear long skirts and long-sleeved tops while men wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.