When Gad joined the He-halutz youth group in 1940, its members immediately thought of the 19-year-old lover of city life and cafes as too 'bourgeois'. The other members, including Manfred, preferred typical youth group outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and sports.
Gad might not have joined such a group if it weren't for the political situation. Having been excluded from German mainstream life since the Nuremberg racial laws were passed in 1935. Gad and many other German Jews turned to their own cultural and religious groups. Zionist youth groups such as Gad and Manfred's He-halutz group prepared their members for emigration to Palestine and created a strong sense of community.