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The 2020 World Zionist Congress elections are here! This election is your opportunity to make progressive American Jewish voices heard in Israel, and to give support to progressive Israelis who are fighting for democracy, equality, and renewed peacemaking in their beloved country.

Reconstructing Judaism is partnering with the Union for Reform Judaism in support of the ARZA slate in this important election.

If you’re 18 or older and a Jewish-American, you are eligible to vote.

Voting is happening online now, and continues until Mar. 11, 2020.

Now is the time for you to visit www.zionistelection.org and follow the steps to cast your vote. The whole process takes 90 seconds, though it does include a series of steps. It’s worth the effort!

Click here for step by step voting instructions, or click on the image below to  see a one-minute long YouTube video that takes you through the steps:

 

How to Vote: Instructional Video for the US WZC Election

 

 

WHO IS ARZA & WHAT IS THIS ELECTION?

collage of israel postage stamps and street scenes
Every 5 years, Jews outside of Israel vote for slates (similar to parties in a parliament) that represent very different values about what kind of Israeli society we seek to help create. ARZA is the name of the slate the Reconstructionist and Reform movements are jointly running in the 2020 World Zionist Congress election. This is the second time our two movements are running a joint slate.

The WZC directs close to $1 billion annually in funds that go to different kinds of projects & initiatives involving Israel. In 2015, our slate did well, and we were able to work with other progressive slates to steer funds away from the settlements and into projects supporting civil society, democracy, Jewish pluralism, peacebuilding, LGBTQ rights, and more.

 

WHY IT MATTERS THAT YOU VOTE IN THE WZC ELECTION

Ballot box
The World Zionist Congress makes decisions about how close to $1 Billion is spent annually. If you’re a Jewish American who is over 18, you have a say in how that money gets spent.

When progressive slates (like ARZA) do well in these elections, more of that money is spent on things like:

  • Supporting Jewish religious pluralism in Israel
  • Youth programs for Arab and Jewish kids to learn and grow together
  • Ecological and environmental initiatives
  • Civil society & shared society programs that build bridges across ethnic and religious divides
  • LGBTQ positive programs
  • Peacebuilding projects

Just as important, we can work to thwart efforts by right-wing slates to direct those funds into projects over the Green Line in the settlements.

This election is your opportunity to make progressive American Jewish voices heard in Israel, and to give support to progressive Israelis who are fighting for democracy, equality, and renewed peacemaking in their beloved country.

 

OUR PLATFORM


WE BELIEVE IN: 

Israeli signage, postage stamps, billboards, and shalom/salaam/peace sign
Religious Equality:

We envision and work for an Israeli society in which all Jewish denominations are treated fairly and with respect — a society in which all of us are seen as Jews, regardless of our interpretation of texts and traditions. We also see an Israel in which people of all genders can pray, work and live together as equals deserving of the same respect and honor. 
   
Combatting Racism, Discrimination, and Hatred:

Religious and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and all other members of Israeli society deserve to be treated with full equality under the law, civility, dignity, and respect.

Security in the Region:

The pursuit of peace, security and stability for Israel, the Palestinians and the surrounding region remains our hope and goal.

Two States for Two Peoples:

We know that although the road may seem long, we are committed to building the path to peace based on a Two-State Solution. We believe that Two States for Two Peoples is essential for the security and stability of both Israelis and Palestinians.

 

OUR SLATE PLEDGES:  

  • To advocate for government recognition and social acceptance of the many diverse expressions of Jewish religious identity, so that all such expressions are recognized as legitimate and equal under law.    
  • To support governmental and societal initiatives that seek to pursue at Two-State Solution and a long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians.    
  • To influence the National Institutions (World Zionist Organization, Jewish National Fund, Jewish Agency for Israel, etc.) in support of a strong shared society and democratic civil society in Israel. 
  • To assure that liberal streams of Judaism are provided equal financial support and resources in the Jewish State, ensuring that our movements in Israel and all Jewish denominations in Israel remain strong, vibrant, and growing.  

 

Photo of Rabbi Les Bronstein
Rabbi Les Bronstein
“I have spent my entire adult life working for a better quality of life in the State of Israel.  Central to that measure of quality is the hope that Israelis would enjoy the same civil rights and liberties we Americans enjoy, including the right to freedom of religious practice in all its manifestations: marriage, death, worship, Shabbat observance, and on and on.  I will once again vote for the ARZA slate in the World Zionist Congress election so as to steer precious funds toward the vital needs of average Israelis.”  Rabbi Les Bronstein, Bet Am Shalom, White Plains, NY 

 

Rabbi Lina Zerbarini
Rabbi Lina Zerbarini
“I’m voting in the World Zionist Congress elections because it’s an opportunity to have some influence on how American Jewish money is spent in Israel and support the initiatives I care about. For many years, ARZA has stood for equality, democracy, pluralism, and co-existence in Israel. ARZA is our voice - let’s make it stronger and more effective with our votes!”  Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Kehillat Shalom Synagogue, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Photo of Rabbi Maurice Harris
Rabbi Maurice Harris
“I care deeply about the USA and Israel. In both countries, I want to do what I can to help strengthen democracy, protect the vulnerable, defend the environment, build peace, support religious freedoms, and nurture hope for a saner future. The WZC election is my chance to cast a vote that impacts all these areas in Israeli society. I’ll be voting for ARZA because ARZA is committed to supporting progressive Jewish values in Israel.”  Rabbi Maurice Harris, Reconstructing Judaism, Wyncote, Penn.

 


 

How to Vote

  1. Visit www.zionistelection.org. Click on “Register and Vote.”

  2. Complete the online registration form. During this step, you’ll be asked how you want to receive your personal verification number – by text (SMS) or email.

  3.  Look for your personal verification number, which you’ll receive by text or email. Enter your verification number and click “submit.”

  4. Follow the instructions to make a one-time online payment of $7.50 to defray the costs of running the election.

  5. Look for another email or text providing you with another special code number – your PIN number for voting. (This is a DIFFERENT number than the one you received earlier.) Once you’ve got your PIN, you can click the link to proceed to your ballot.

  6. Enter your email and PIN number and click “submit.”

  7. Choose the slate you want to vote for and click “submit.”

  8. Review your ballot, and if it’s correct, click “vote.”