For ninety years, Habonim (and later, Habonim Dror), has been a part of the landscape for Jewish youth in South Africa.
Norman Lurie, inspired by Sir Wellesly Aaron, who founded the Jewish youth movement in Britain, while he was studying at University in the United Kingdom, brought the idea back to South Africa in 1930.
His charisma and inspiration ensured that Habonim quickly grew into the largest, most popular Jewish Youth movement in South Africa in the twentieth Century. Originally, along with Cape Town-born Bertie ‘Sandpiper’ Stern, Habonim was envisioned as a scout movement, and it adopted motifs and facets of the Scouts; embracing a closeness to nature, learning survival skills, uniforms with scarves, toggles, belts and berets and principles of ‘good citizenship’.
However, the historical circumstances of World War II and the establishment of Israel, quickly transformed it into a Zionist movement committed to building the fledgling state and educating South African youth about Israel — and its importance for world Jewry in general and South African Jewry in particular.
Since those early years, hundreds of thousands of Jewish youth have passed through the shichvot of Habonim Dror, generation upon generation. And, while we may age and grow out of the youth movement, the ethos, the experiences and the education of the movement which shaped our characters, never leave us. It is a part of our identity, to be a boger of Habonim.
Habonim Dror Southern Africa (HDSA) turns 90 in 2020. This important milestone will be marked by a unique seven-day program in Israel based at the Yearim Hotel in the forests just outside Jerusalem:
Sunday October 18 to Thursday October 22, 2020 — Kaleidoscope — a multi-dimensional exploration of Israel through a wide-angled lens challenging participants to critically examine what they see, hear and experience.
Friday October 23 to Saturday October 24, 2020 — The Habonim Ultimate Gathering (HUG) —a magical multi-generational gathering celebrating yesterday, today and tomorrow. This will be a combination of fun, debate and meeting up with old friends in the true spirit of the movement.
Organisers are hard at work to ensure Kaleidoscope-HUG will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and urge all current and former members to register via the website www.habo2020.com.
A special and significant discount for limited numbers is available for South African bogrim who sign-up by the end of February.
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