What Is The Meaning Behind Zachor?
Almost two years ago we began a journey with a goal to help Jewish and Israel supporting students in the United States, who were experiencing some of the most hostile environments. We wanted to reclaim the meaning of “Zionism” from those who demonized its true meaning and create a platform for students to be unabashedly Zionist. However, now we feel it is more important to focus on the meaning behind Zachor and why Zachor Legal Institute was created in hopes that more Jewish students can identify with our organization’s purpose.
The traditional understanding of “Zachor” is Hebrew for “You Shall Remember”. Zachor is repeated nearly 200 times in the Hebrew Bible. The commandment is to remember the Sabbath, to remember the covenant, to remember the exodus from Egypt. Though the Holocaust occurred long after the Torah was written, the horrific tragedy which resulted in the loss of six million Jewish lives joins the list of what we as Jews are commanded to remember. One practices “Zachor” through action and speech, effectively protecting against forgetting. This practice binds Jewish people to previous generations and is a central part of Judaism in the past, present, and future. A Zachor Jew experiences Judaism in an intellectual, cultural, traditional, ethnic, communal, and nationalistic way- without being required to choose or reject, a religious/halachic paradigm.
Simply put, a Zachor Jew is one who remembers and identifies a multifaceted identity within Judaism and how it is central to the lives of the Jewish people.
Zachor Legal Institute was founded in 2015 as a response to the escalation of antisemitism, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), and anti-Zionism in the United States. Zachor Legal Institute was established in the face of a movement advocating for the destruction and delegitimization of Israel. The BDS movement advocated for the destruction of Israel and the disenfranchisement of the Jewish people, which ultimately puts Jewish people at risk. Our goal was to ensure that all the generations of Baby Boomers and Gen X heeded the lessons of history, and World War II in particular when it comes to threats to the Jewish people. With that in mind, Zachor Legal Institute was founded as a way to ensure that the Jewish people would never have to experience a second Holocaust. The name Zachor is not only a call to remember the Holocaust, it’s a call to remember the rhetoric and acts that led to the Holocaust.
Zachor’s name signifies lessons learned from the Jewish past while acting with courage and strength today in defense of the Jewish people. Zachor Legal Institute is a non-profit civil rights legal foundation focused on scholarship, constitutional law advocacy, combating antisemitism connected to illegal boycotts of Israel, and helping to protect Jewish Americans.
With the renaming of our college project, we believe we will identify with more students.
At the end of the day, helping Jewish and Israel support students is our main priority.
How to help Zachor On Campus:
You are invited to support us by clicking on the ‘Donate Now’ button below, which will direct you to our main donation link on Zachor Legal Institute’s website: