"When I was twelve I joined a pioneer Zionist youth group known as Hashomir Hatzair, and from then on all I could think about was working on a kibbutz and going to Palestine to build a Jewish homeland. Wearing our brown uniforms and ties, my friends in Hashomir Hatzair and I spent hours and hours casing the subways and street corners to collect pennies for the Jewish National Fund. In fact, it was in the subways between stops that I made my first speech."
And while Bella never lived out her childhood dream of settling on a kibbutz, she felt that, "It was a dream worth every minute of the dreaming, because it made me a Zionist, it made me a political activist, it kept me a rebel."
1. "When I was twelve..." quote from Bella Abzug, Bella! : Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington, Mel Ziegler, ed (New York : Saturday Review Press, 1972) 85.
2. "It was a dream worth..." from Bella Abzug, "Bella on Bella," Moment, vol. 1.7 (1976) 28.