Perhaps the most important question asked about Modern Zionism is as follows: Do diaspora Jews have a seat at the table?

This question highlights a fundamental challenge in Modern Zionism: To what extent do Jews who live outside of the State of Israel have a role in shaping the future of the Jewish state? Put differently, if you are a Jew who cannot vote in Israeli elections because you are not a citizen of Israel, do you have a voice in Israel? Should you?

Though there are many within and without Israel who might argue otherwise, thankfully, the answer is a resounding: yes! Through the World Zionist Congress elections, happening right now, Jews all over the world are able to have a seat at the table and help determine the future of our Homeland. By voting in the WZC elections, Diaspora Jews are able to shape the policy of the World Zionist Congress, and determine who helps govern the National Institutions of Israel: The World Zionist Organization (WZO), the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) & Keren Kayement L’Israel aka Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF). The National Institutions are responsible for the annual allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars to different movements, programs, and institutions all over Israel.

Voting in the WZC Elections is the only opportunity for Diaspora Jews to democratically participate and influence what happens in Israel. Moreover, by voting in support of MERCAZ- The Conservative Movement’s slate, you help:

  • Support religious freedom in Israel, strengthening non-orthodox institutions and ensuring that Conservative communities in Israel receive their fair share.
  • Provide critical funding for Conservative/Masorti programs that benefit all Israelis and Jews around the world.

A vote for MERCAZ is more than just the opportunity to gain delegates to the World Zionist Congress – it is our best opportunity to send a strong message to the Israeli government and people of Israel that we stand for an Israel that is democratic and pluralistic, that recognizes and empowers all streams of Jewish practice, and that guarantees the civil and political rights of all of its citizens.

The online-only voting began on January 21st and continues through March 11th. Please head to to pledge to vote and find out more information, or by texting VOTE to 917-332-1162.

Please join me in voting for MERCAZ for the World Zionist Congress, and ensuring that all of us have a seat at this very important table.

עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה
With an eye towards Zion

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Jeremy Fineberg