FZY celebrates centenary

Impressive feet: revellers at the anniversary celebration take to the dance floor at JFS

Impressive feet: revellers at the anniversary celebration take to the dance floor at JFS

The Federation of Zionist Youth celebrated its centenary with a reunion for over 350 alumni at the JFS premises in north London on Sunday.

A programme of reminiscence included archive photos, memory boards and quizzes and there were speeches looking back and forward.

Among the guests were Whetstone couple Betty and Bunny Marks, who met through the movement in 1951. "I have great memories of FZY," Mrs Marks said. "The thing about FZY is it embraces all aspects of Judaism and is a lovely way of mixing with people from all over the country. It influenced my life."

The oldest celebrant was 94-year-old Morris Hoffman from East Barnet, who joined FZY in 1939. Mr Hoffman met his wife through the movement, marrying her in 1947 after working at Bletchley Park, the wartime decryption centre.

"I really believed in the ideas of FZY," he said. "It promoted the cause of Israel and the cause of Zionism. I'm very happy with what it's become. It's amazing to see how many young people are involved now and how it's grown."

Current FZY leader Jamie Slavin said the movement had gone through many changes, "but it is the members who define what it was, is and will become. Commitment, determination, drive and a passion for Israel runs through the veins of every FZYnik."

Extending that passion, a recent survey found that over 40 per cent of graduates of the movement's year course in Israel met their partner through FZY.

    Last updated: 1:07pm, October 20 2010