The Land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael, and The State of Israel, Medinat Yisrael, hold an integral place in the heart and soul of Am Yisrael, The Jewish People. As Jews residing outside The Land, we have numerous modes of expressing and actualizing our connection to Israel - enjoying Israeli food, taking part in Israel related activities, advocating for Israel related causes, donating money, traveling to Israel, participating in mifgashim [sister city partnerships], serving in the IDF, and making Aliyah. Now, for those who feel that they "have skin in the game," we have an opportunity to exercise some agency by voting in the World Zionist Congress, considered the "Parliament of the Jewish People." The first Zionist Congress, established by Theodore Herzl, met in Basel, Switzerland in 1897 and the 38th will convene this October 20-22 in Jerusalem. Voting in the WZC elections is one way to make your voice heard as to "decisions regarding key institutions which allocate nearly $1 Billion annually to support Israel and World Jewry...." Voting is open until March 11. I urge you to educate yourself about Israel and about the Zionist Congress and then consider voting. For information about the election and to vote, click here:
Synagogue Council does not endorse any particular slate or platform in the election. That said, one of our core values is Jewish pluralism. We are committed to the principle of areivut, interconnectedness, and our work is informed by the notion that as Jews, we have shared missions and challenges that must overshadow our differences. Toward that end, our programs are intended to serve and bring together Jewish communities and congregations across all lines of ideology, practice, and affiliation. We assert that Isaiah's aspiration for the Temple in Jerusalem, "My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all people" applies today to Jewish institutions and structures throughout the world, and to the sacred spaces of Israel and Jerusalem. Thus, if you choose to vote, I urge you to vote in support of a pluralistic vision for Israel and World Jewry.
David Bernat, PhD, Executive Director