Mizrachi (Merkaz Ruchani; Spiritual Center, in Hebrew)
MIZRACHI (Merkaz Ruchani; spiritual center, in Hebrew)
Religious current that surfaced in 1902 in the World Zionist Organization. Twenty years later, this movement gave rise to the worker's party, Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi. In 1935, the Mizrachi faction became a major influence in the MAPAI labor party. In 1956 the Mizrachi party merged with other religious Zionist groups to form the National Religious Party (NRP) or Mafdal. Today Mizrachi is a worldwide ideological and educational movement that works to strengthen religious Zionist values both in Israel and among Jewish communities in the diaspora. The Mizrachi youth movement, BDnai Akiva, is the largest youth group in Israel.