Dear Shir Tikvah,
  
I'm reaching out to you today to ask you to join me in casting the first important votes of 2020. As Bruce Manning, our Board Chair shared in his January Board update, I’m standing for the HATIKVAH: Progressive Israel slate  in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections. We're not asking for money and you won't even have to watch months of commercials.
 
Making your voice heard in the Israeli political sphere is often challenging from here in the US. But since 1897, every single Jew worldwide has had the opportunity to affect Israeli political and economic policy by voting in the World Zionist Congress elections. And these elections have real, meaningful impact on the ground.
   
The results of the WZC elections directly affect the distribution of $1,000,000,000 in annual funding. This money, which flows through the National Institutions (The World Zionist Organization, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World JNF, and the Keren Hayesod UIA) has a huge impact on the lives of Israelis of all religions and backgrounds as well as Palestinians in the occupied territories.
   
And beyond questions of occupation, these institutions and the funding they disperse impact questions of religious pluralism, education, gender, LGBTQ equality, refugees, asylum seekers and foreign workers, the environment, and more.

I understand that some folks are troubled by the thought of supporting such an organization; that you have legitimate moral critiques and conflicts with the current government of Israel and its policies towards the Palestinians, Settlements, occupation, and asylum seekers. I get it!

But here’s a hard truth : The people who don’t share our values aren’t going to sit out this election. They are mobilizing a serious effort to ensure their values—not ours—set the priorities for these funds. To quote Aaron Burr in the musical Hamilton, “WE’VE GOT TO BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS!”
 
For the first time, in an unprecedented show of unity, a broad range of progressive Jewish organizations have come together with an amazing list of Rabbis, activists and other leaders. You can click  here  to see the incredible 128 Jewish leaders who I am standing with in this effort. In addition to the individuals, HATIKVAH is made up of 11 organizations including: Aleph, Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror, Hashomer Hatzair, J Street, Jewish Labor Committee, New Israel Fund, National Council of Jewish Women, Partners for Progressive Israel and T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights (I am currently the board co-chair).
 
By coming together and raising the voice of the American Jewish community in this democratic process, we can and will help make Israel reflect our shared progressive values.
   
Voting for HATIKVAH: Progressive Israel Slate, supports:
·       A two-state solution and ending the occupation
·       Social justice and protection of democratic rights for all Israeli citizens
·       Religious and cultural pluralism
·       Gender equity
·       Full legal and social equality for the LGBTQ community
·       Dignity for refugees, asylum seekers and foreign workers
·       Environmental sustainability and regional cooperation
   
You can see the full platform  here .
   
Please help support HATIKVAH in this election by going to and  signing up ! The WZC elections run from January 21 to March 11. Sign up now and, when the elections starts, you will receive an email from HATIKVAH with a link to vote.
 
You can also follow and share more from HATIKVAH on social media:  Facebook Twitter  and  Instagram .
 
Together, we are HATIKVAH and together we can make change.  

L’shalom~With Robust Prayers for Peace,

Rabbi Michael Adam Latz