Resolution on Support for Mercaz Olami Electoral Campaigns

WHEREAS the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement is represented in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel by MERCAZ Olami; and

WHEREAS the participation in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish

Agency has produced since 1987 an annual allocation to the programs and institutions of the Conservative/Masorti Movement in Israel and throughout the Diaspora, such as the Masorti Movement, Schechter Institute, TALI Schools, USY Pilgrimage, Ramah Seminar and Kibbutz Hannaton, which today reaches nearly $2 million in direct funding and a similar amount in indirect grants for USY shlihim, Solomon Schechter Day School teacher training, Camp Ramah mishlahot, etc.; and

WHEREAS power over policies and allocations in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency is determined by the size of elected delegations to the quadrennial World Zionist Congress; and

WHEREAS at the 33rd World Zionist Congress which took place in December1997, MERCAZ Olami emerged as the sixth largest Zionist party with 47 out of 500 elected delegates, following in descending order Labor-MERETZ, Likud, ARZA (Reform),Mizrachi (Orthodox), and Confederation-Hadassah; and

WHEREAS the 34th World Zionist Congress will be taking place in June 2002, preceded in every Diaspora country by special Zionist elections to determine the composition of the national delegation; and

WHEREAS there are MERCAZ branches throughout the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Uruguay and the United States, which will be competing in local Zionist Congress elections taking place over the next 12 months.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Rabbinical Assembly calls upon its members to support actively the MERCAZ electoral campaign in their respective countries by joining MERCAZ themselves, encouraging others to join MERCAZ and voting for the MERCAZ slate in order to increase the power and influence of the Conservative Movement in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in countries like the United States where a special registration will be a prerequisite to voting in the Zionist elections, the Rabbinical Assembly will take the lead in establishing voter registration drives in every Conservative institution – synagogue, Schechter-affiliated day school, Camp Ramah, etc. – by working with the other arms of the Conservative Movement to insure maximum voter participation.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, June, 2001