Rabbi Phil Scheim [Secretary], Sophie Fellman Rafalovitz [VP - NOAM Olami], Leandro Galanternik [VP - Marom], Dr. Marilyn Wind [VP - USA], Marion Mayman [VP-Canada], John Furstenberg [VP - Australia], Miguel Harf [VP- Israel], Veronica Kennard [VP - Europe], Rabbi Ari Sigal [VP - Latin America], Gillian Caplin [Ex Officio].
Representation within the National Institutions of The Jewish People
MERCAZ works via our TRIO within the World Zionist Organization [WZO] "Hanhala" [leadership] led by Mauricio Balter, and including David Breakstone and Yizhar Hess. The TRIO operate in consultation with Alan Silverstein [MERCAZ Olami President] and Gillian Caplin [Masorti Olami President]. Our Movement fills 2 dozen "spots" at the "tables" of the WZO, Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael [KKL], Keren Hayesod and the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency. Our representatives to KKL are Mauricio Balter [Lead Representative], Yoav Ende and David Breakstone. Yizhar Hess represents our Movement in Keren Hayesod. David Breakstone is the Deputy Chairman of the Jewish Agency.
MERCAZ is the on-going conduit for more than $1 million per year in "Religious Stream" allocations for Masorti programs inside Israel via the Jewish Agency and WZO.
MERCAZ successfully worked to increase KKL funding to nearly $800,000 annually. This funding is being allocated in varying amounts to Masorti Olami, Masorti Israel, NOAM Olami, NOAM Israel, Conservative Yeshiva, USY, Marom Olami, rabbinical schools of Schechter Institute, JTS, Ziegler, Frankel, Seminario Rabinico, as well as to Kibbutz Hannaton.
Additional KKL money has assisted a variety of other parts of our World Movement. A Strategic Allocation Committee is in the process of being formed in order to best distribute future funds. Working together with Masorti Olami, MERCAZ Olami has succeeded in obtaining more than $750,000 in annual funding from the WZO.
MERCAZ is creating several key committees.
First, a Strategy Committee to create Strategic Plan for moving forward, for updating the By-Laws and Mission Statement.
Second, a Finance Committee to assess the best manner in which to allocate funds to promote Zionism [in its broadest manifestation] among our 800 Conservative/Masorti kehillot throughout the world.
Third, an Education and Communication Committee to keep in close contact the MERCAZ chapters in each of 15 countries.
MERCAZ will be working with Marom Olami in spreading Marom to North America, to engage ages 18-30. To achieve this goal, MERCAZ will seek to help Marom coordinate with MERCAZ USA, Reshet [Camp] Ramah, USY alumni, alumni of Solomon Schechter Day Schools and of JTS and Ziegler.
MERCAZ will facilitate all arms of the World Movement in commencing early preparation for the next WZO elections [probably in the fall of 2020]
MERCAZ will evaluate and distribute to MERCAZ chapters Zionist educational materials produced by the different departments of the National Institutions
MERCAZ will identify key MERCAZ "activists" in each of the 15 countries, to be trained for upgrading local MERCAZ chapters.
We eagerly look forward to watching the impact of the inspire leadership of Rabbi Balter and the new MERCAZ Olami leadership team
Rabbi Alan Silverstein, Ph.D.
President, MERCAZ Olami