By Scott Birnbaum
As Chair of Temple Shalom’s Israel Committee, I invite you to join me in voting for ARZA, the voice of the Reform Movement in Israel, in the critically important World Zionist Organization Election, that has just begun.
A recent article in the Forward explains the importance of this election:
“The World Zionist Organization, or WZO … is a multimillion-dollar operating agency that runs educational programs, encourages aliyah and oversees Israeli rural development, including [contested] settlements. It also partly controls several much larger institutions that it founded years ago, including the Jewish Agency, the massive social-service and educational body, and the Jewish National Fund, which owns and manages about one-seventh of Israel’s real estate. The outcome of the elections will go a long way toward determining who wins control of which budgets. …With Israeli-Palestinian peace in deep freeze, settlements in high gear and chances for a two-state solution fading, the ideological debate among different schools of Zionism — religious vs. secular, hawks vs. doves — is at its fiercest in years. The WZO is ground zero. The American delegation holds 145 out of 500 congress seats. Israel receives 190, allocated by Knesset election results. The rest of the world shares the other 165. The other thing worth knowing about the WZO is that, together with the Jewish Agency, it’s designated in Israeli law as the formal liaison between the Jewish Diaspora and the Israeli government. It is the vehicle through which Jews around the world are officially invited to make their views known to Israel and, in a small way, make policy.”
It’s hard to escape that Israel is a controversial topic. But given the recent tragic events in France, there’s one thing that most of us can agree on—Israel’s vital role as homeland and place of refuge for Jews facing persecution, violence, and Anti-Semitism.
Help make the Reform Movement’s voice heard in Jerusalem and around the world by taking 60 seconds, spending $10, and voting! Follow the instructions on this link. https://www.reformjews4israel.org/vote/