Im Tirtzu student NGO aims to make Zionism fashionable

Im Tirtzu student NGO ai

While David Ben-Gurion may not have been the epitome of fashion during his heyday, organizers of the Zionist university student organization Im Tirtzu are hoping that his face might be. Stencil art bearing the likeness of the Jewish state's first prime minister, along with Theodor Herzl, Ze'ev Jabotinsky and a host of other Zionist luminaries are now being offered for sale at Im Tirtzu's online store ( "By buying our trendy T-shirts, you are not only going to look fashionable and openly show your pride in your Zionism, you will also be helping a great organization which aims to strengthen the spirit of Zionism within Israel," a greeting on the Web site's home page reads. The Zionist leaders depicted on the T-shirts contributed to the creation and growth of the State of Israel, and are viewed by Im Tirtzu members as role models for their organization, which was founded during the Second Lebanon War to advance on-campus Zionist advocacy, and strengthen the values of Zionism in Israel. "It's really taking off," Amit Barak, Im Tirtzu's deputy-director general, said of the project on Monday. "People are expressing a lot of interest in the shirts, and we're selling a ton of them. I'm even getting calls from friends of mine who have spotted people wearing the shirts on the street in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv." The idea, Barak explained, was to find a way to raise funds for the organization that would familiarize young people with the Zionist figures. "We started with a select group of leaders, the ones that are available now," Barak said. "But we plan on adding new faces to the list soon, depending on the demand. Right now the initiative is in its early stages, but I think it's going to be quite successful." Other faces available on the T-shirts include Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook, the intellectual father of modern religious Zionism, former prime minister Golda Meir and former IDF Chief of General Staff Moshe Dayan. The shirts are available in a variety of colors and styles, including polo shirts and hooded sweat shirts. "We wanted to do something that was fashionable, but that also had a purpose," Barak said. "And given the response so far, we're hopeful that wearing images of the people who helped shaped this country will become a fashionable trend."