Vote For ARZA

Please vote for ARZA in the World Zionist Organization elections to help Reform Judaism on the world Jewish scene.
ARZA is the Association of Reform Zionists of America.  From January 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015, the World Zionist Organization will hold open voting for all Jews to help shape its agenda, including issues affecting both Diaspora Jews and the state of affairs in Israel.  The world Zionist Organization provides a forum for all the world’s Jews to come together and deliberate about critical issues.

Every Jew has the opportunity to vote for the platform that most aligns with their personal views.
A vote for ARZA – Representing Reform Judaism is a vote for:
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality:  We strive to create a world in which gender equality is the rule – where men and women can pray, work and live together as equals deserving of the same respect and honor.
Religious Equality: We envision and work for a society in which all denominations are treated fairly and with respect – and all of us are seen as Jews, regardless of our level of observance.
Regional Security:  Lasting peace, security and stability for Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East region is possible and although the road may be long, we are building the path to peach every day.

WHAT CAN I DO?
Pledge  to Vote:  Visit ReformJews4Israel.org or fill out a pledge card and pledge to vote for ARZA in the 2015 World Zionist Organization. You will be taking the first step towards voting, and you’ll receive updates about the elections to pass on to your family and friends
Spread the Word:  Spreading the word about the 2015 World Zionist Organization elections will be critical to our success.  Share this article, a pledge card, or the website ReformJews4Israel.org with your family and friends so they can learn more, take the pledge, and help shape tomorrow’s Israel today.
Information about the World Zionist Congress Elections and ARZENU
Make your voice heard, make a difference
If you care about the Reform Movement in Israel, if you support egalitarian prayer, if you believe in freedom of religion, the right of Reform rabbis to conduct marriage, divorce, burial and conversion, if you believe that women should have equal status, here is your chance to make a difference.  Join the ARZENU (http://www.arzenu.org.il/). Reform Zionist group in your country and vote in the World Zionist Congress elections.  This is the best way for you to directly influence and impact the future of the Reform Movement in Israel and of the Jewish people around the globe.
What is the World Zionist Organization?
Established in 1897, the World Zionist Organization (http://www.wzo.org.il/World-Zionist-Organization). (WZO) is often called the “Parliament of the Jewish people.”  It was convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel and since its inception its goal was to unite the Jewish people and bring about the establishment of the Jewish state.  The World Zionist Organization is a global organization supported by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (the Jewish National Fund (http://www.jnf.org/) the Jewish Agency for Israel (http://www.jafi.org.il/Jewish Agency/english/Home/), Keren Hayesod (http://www.kh-uia.org.il/En/Pages/default/aspx). (United Jewish Appeal) and the Government of Israel.
Every five years the WZO convenes a Congress whose representation is determined by democratic elections amongst the international Zionist political parties.  Between congresses the Zionist General Council (the Vaad Hapoel) convenes annually for discussions on pressing matters on the agenda of the Jewish people.  Participation in one election is effective for five full years!
Why are the elections important?
As with the Israel Knesset elections, whoever wins the most votes receives the most important positions and control of budgets, and so it is with the World Zionist Congress elections.
How is this manifested?
Today the Reform Movement in Israel receives allocations of $4.5 to $5 million per annum from the Jewish Agency, Keren Kaymeth LeIsrael (JNF) and Keren Hayesod.
And how does this work?  For example the WZO is a 50% owner of the Jewish Agency and therefore appoints 50% of the representatives to the Board of the Jewish Agency.  Thus it can strongly impact who will be the chairman of the Agency or the agenda and priorities of the Agency.  The same is applicable to the other organizations.  In other words, the WZO plays an important role in making decisions on who is appointed to key positions in these organizations.  Simply put: whoever has the largest number of representatives in Congress will set goals and have access to the centers of power and money.
For example: On behalf of the Reform Movement in Israel ARZENU uses its power to impact the Jewish Agency budget allocation for religious streams: ARZENU tries to prevent or limit the size of budget cuts to the streams and has largely been successful.
Who are our partners?
Following the last elections to the World Zionist Congress, ARZENU established a joint faction with the World Labor Zionist Movement and Meretz Olami (the political arms abroad of these Israeli Knesset parties).  This Joint faction allows us to influence the Knesset and Israeli society.  For example, when we fought against the Rotem conversion law, we cooperated with the above parties to influence the legislative process.
Who can vote?
Anyone who is Jewish, is over the age of 18 and who signs the “Jerusalem Program.”  In addition, representatives to the Congress must make a modest annual contributuion to UJA/Keren Hayesod and to the JNF-KKL.
The “Jerusalem Program” is the shared vision of all organizations and institutions of WZO and includes amongst its principles:
• Unity of the Jewish people and the connection to Israel
• A democratic and egalitarian state according to the vision of the prophets
• Aliyah and settlement in Israel
• The centrality of Israel to the Jewish world
• Dissemination of Jewish culture and education
• Hebrew language
• Fighting anti-Semitism
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
– As a member of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, you are eligible to vote in the WZO election
– Come hear Rabbi Bennett Miller, head of ARZA, in the United States, speak to our congregation on Sunday, January 25, 2015.  You will learn more about the importance of these elections to Reform Jews.
– Join our team to help spread the word within our congregation.
– Contact Cantor Frankel or me to learn more about these elections or to join our team to spread the word.
Today, Israel is at a crossroads.  Much is at stake.  Please VOTE ARZA.
Rabbi Bill Kuhn

Information gathered from ARZA publicity material.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: