The World Zionist Congress Elections are coming soon, and our congregation’s votes are critical to maintaining a large Reform presence! The election (which happens every five years) is our chance to have the Reform Movement’s voice and priorities heard in Israel. This is our chance to combat the discrimination the Reform Movement faces in Israel. Together we can grow our Reform Movement and work towards making progress on the issues we care about: religious freedom, equality, and many more.
This process is critically important to the allocation of funds toward progressive causes in Israel. Did you know that the Israeli government pays the salaries of hundreds of rabbis, but only 9 are Reform? Or, that while only 20% of the Israeli population is comprised of Orthodox Jews, 100% of Jewish marriages in Israel are controlled by the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate? A vote for ARZA is a vote to make changes to these types of discrimination.
We often sit from the comfort of our American homes and ask ourselves, “How can I make an impact in Israel that represents my values?” Voting in the Zionist Congress Election is exactly the answer.
Voting will officially open on January 21st (put a reminder in your calendar!) and you will receive more information about exactly how to vote on that date in the coming weeks, but here are some initial details:
- You’ll vote online and it will take 60-90 seconds
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Self-identify as Jewish
- Agree to the Jerusalem Program
- Pay $7.50 to cover the cost of the election process
- One person, one vote
If you’re still looking for a good reason to vote, please note that I have been selected as a slate member to the ARZA delegation, so a vote for ARZA is like a vote for me sitting on the World Zionist Congress as one of the 500 delegates being elected.
If you’re still wondering why all of this important, here are a few more facts about the financial numbers:
The American delegation to the Congress is the largest single delegation from outside of Israel, with 145 delegates. The decisions of the Congress influence hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and the Reform movement currently receives over $4 million each year. Because the election is held every 5 years, the impact of the election could impact over $20 million for Reform institutions and programs in Israel and the United States. In addition, the Congress will help determine the leadership of the Israeli national institutions, budgetary decisions, and policy in Israel and worldwide.
In short, the WZC elections in the United States is crucial for the growth and influence of the Reform Movement in Israel and around the world.
If you’re STILL looking for more information:
Join me for a learning session about the upcoming election on Wednesday, January 8th from 12:00pm-1:30pm. I’ll explain more of the history of the World Zionist Congress, the platform of ARZA today, and why this matters to Jews both in Israel and here in America: Register HERE
You can also explore the ARZA Website: HERE
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Rachael