Exploring the Impact of Habonim Dror

A Study by Steven M. Cohen & Steven Fink, 2013

The Habonim Dror Family & Family as Habonim Dror

Other evidence of impact is found in the numerous family ties among Habonim Dror alumni. One third of the alumni reported that a parent was involved with Habonim Dror, and for the older alumni, Habonim Dror was not even in existence when their parents were children and teenagers. A quarter of the married respondents report that their spouses are Habos, with most of these having attended a Habonim Dror camp. Illustrative are the following comments:

  • My spouse grew up at a Habonim camp; we have four kids who all go to Habonim camp. We are active in our Jewish community and still very connected to Israel, our Workshop friends, current camp committee. I would not be the person I am today or the leader that I am today if I had not had the movement experiences that I did.
  • I met my wife of now 31 years on Workshop. [Workshop] shaped me, and I shaped it back then, and I would not have traded that experience for the world.
  • Habonim is in my genes - my parents met in Habonim, I met my spouse in Habonim and now my children go to Camp. Habonim was my primary source of Jewish identity, political consciousness and community. In a lot of ways, it is impossible for me to separate who I am from my experience in Habonim.
  • I married someone from Camp EinHarod, who I met when I was 16. We are very much in touch w/ many ex-campers, both in Israel and the US. They are like family to us. We have had many reunions and have created a FB page and now have over 130 members. Many of us studied or worked on kibbutzim or went on Hachshara programs in Israel. My husband and I gained an appreciation for nature and hiking, which continue to do today. My husband even has an annual hiking trip for the past 20 years w/ the guys from camp. Camp has had a huge impact on our lives.
  • I met my husband as a madricha at Moshava and I partially attribute our happy marriage to the shared values that we developed there. We send our children to Mosh and the experience has been great for them too.
  • I met my husband through Habonim and we lived in Israel for a number of years. When I joined I was already interested in Zionism, but it gave me a place to explore living in Israel as a real possibility. In many ways it shaped my thinking and my life choices.