Herzl Center for Zionist Studies was established for the purpose of anchoring the figure of Herzl as the moral and ethical foundation of an essential, contemporary and binding Zionist ideology. The Center offers a wide range of programs over a variety of time frames – ranging from several hours to several days, according to the target audience and its requirements. The programs are geared, among other things, towards different populations wanting to enhance their familiarity with the Zionist endeavor.
One of the Center’s underlying principles is creating a bridge between past and present, which will promote Herzl’s legacy and his Zionist vision among the younger generation, in order to ensure a Jewish future with values, vision and imagination.
The Center offers a broad range of activities: special workshops, conferences, seminars, in-service courses and various ceremonies suited to Israelis as well as Jews from the Diaspora. In addition, the Center produces new educational material for formal and informal settings, to help instill Jewish and Zionist education in Israel and the Diaspora.
The same topics that occupied Herzl’s thoughts more than 100 years ago – Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, the relationship of Diaspora Jewry to the concept of Zionism, the meaning of Eretz Israel and the image of the Jewish State – are still of concern to us. These issues are an essential component of the Jewish people throughout history, and the Jewish public – both in Israel and throughout the world – should be encouraged to discuss them and understand the personal meaning they convey for each and every one of us.
The Educational Center was designed to bring together the past and present, and to develop a dialogue regarding the future of Zionism. One year before his death, in 1903, Herzl expressed his desire to be buried in Eretz Israel: “I wish to be buried in a metal coffin next to my father, and to remain there until the Jewish people will transfer my remains to Eretz Israel.” This legacy illustrates his ability to envision the future, because he also believed that the Jewish State would, indeed, be established, even when it seemed to be an unattainable dream. Herzl did not live to see his vision become reality: the State of Israel was founded some 50 years after his death, but his legacy certainly remains a cornerstone, even today.