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Hatikvah Slate on the News:

The World Zionist Congress Elections are Almost Over. Sheila Katz and NCJW Want Progressive Jewish Women to Have Their Seats at the Table.

Jewish School

The World Zionist Congress sounds, to many, like an outdated institution taught in Hebrew school, one visualized by a grainy black and white photo of a group of European men thinking about the future of Israel in the early 1900s. It sounds like the kind of institution where women have a background role or are included only as tokens.

But that is wrong. 

The World Zionist Congress is very much an active organization, overseeing the programming of major Jewish organizations and their more than $1 billion in funds every year. As the elections for the Congress that will convene from 2020-2025 come to a close, Sheila Katz, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), the 125-year-old non-profit, wants everyone to know that Jewish feminists will not be sitting on the sidelines as $5 billion is allocated.


Your vote in Israel: Here are the Bay Area Jews running for the World Zionist Congress

The Jewish News of Northern California, By Dan Pine, March 3, 2020

Election season is heating up. No, not that election. The other one, taking place now to elect delegates to the 38th World Zionist Congress, which will take place in October in Jerusalem.

As old as modern Zionism itself, the Congress was launched by Theodor Herzl in 1897. It takes place every five years and, among other objectives, it allocates nearly $1 billion to support diverse projects in Israel and across the diaspora.


At the World Zionist Congress, election is a family affair 

Jewish Insider, ByDebra Nussbaum Cohen, Feb 24, 2020

Running as delegates to the World Zionist Congress is a family affair for a handful of American Jewish activists and leaders, with immediate family members and spouses running on opposing slates.

At least three are from the Ellenson family, and two are a married couple: American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Manhattan’s Congregation Beth Simchat Torah.


In World Zionist elections, American Jews who care about Israel get their say

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, By Ben Harris, Feb 20, 2020

It’s election season, and American Jews are turning out in large numbers to vote with Israel on their minds.

No, we’re not talking about the U.S. presidential election or Israel’s upcoming Knesset elections, but elections for the World Zionist Congress – the only genuinely democratic body in which Jews from around the world get a say in how some $1 billion per year is allocated to projects in Israel and around the world through some of Israel’s largest national institutions.


Meretz is not Lost

The essay below tries to unravel the political calculations made before the March 2 election, and  the necessary post-election reflection that the Israeli Left should engage in.  However, ultimately, Israeli citizens in Israel will make those decisions and there’s a limited amount we in the US can do to affect their choices.

Nevertheless, as other articles in this issue of IH explain, there is an election that we as American Jews can participate in and make our voices heard.  That would be  the World Zionist Organization (WZO) elections held every five years; this year from Jan. 21 through March 11.  Partners for Progressive Israel is a primary originator of the HATIKVAH Progressive Israel Slate.  The “polls” are open and you can simply click this link and vote in 5 minutes from your phone or computer.  VOTE!


My Vote is My Voice

PPI blog, By Serena Oberstein, Feb 4, 2020

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women in the United States winning the right to vote. As a member of one of the last groups of people to secure a voice at the table, voting remains for me a civic obligation to fight for those who’ve been silenced by history, including people of color, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This core value compelled me to join the Hatikvah Slate for the 38th World Zionist Congress.


Why is Important to Vote?

PPI blog, By Harlan Baker, Feb 4, 2020

“I don’t think I ever knew I could vote in the WZC.   I read the Hatikvah platform; it’s amazing to find a party with which I agree 100%”. This was one of the many responses to my letter asking for support for the Hatikvah slate in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections which will be held from January 21st through March 11th. People I have contacted had no idea that they had a voice in the decision making process of the WZC. Even people in local Jewish community organizations had no idea this election was taking place.


Millennials, It is Time to Make Our Power Known

PPI blog, By Zach Shartiag, Feb 4, 2020

Scroll through social media, turn on TV, read a newspaper, and there will probably be an article talking about Millennials ruining something. We’ve killed marriage, napkins, focus groups, wine corks, and home ownership, among other things.  We also (allegedly) don’t vote, are apathetic, and don’t care about social issues. I’ve always been particularly struck by the claim that millennials have ruined institutional Jewish life.


Report from the October 2019 Zionist General Council

PPI blog, By David Dormont, Feb 4, 2020

The Zionist General Council (“ZGC”) of the World Zionist Organization (“WZO”) met in Beersheva, Israel at the end of October.  After three days of meetings, the ZGC held a plenary session and voted on various resolutions facing World Zionism. The progressive forces won several votes, including a first of its kind resolution regarding the LGBT community.  Overall, however, the ZGC remained very split, particularly regarding issues related to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.


Uncle Herzl Wants YOU!

Jewish Standard, Hiam Simon and Mark Gold, Feb 1,2020

While the mechanisms of the election may vary from country to country here in the United States access to participation is easy and transparent. The American Zionist Movement, which is the American arm of the World Zionist Organization and a federation of all the Zionist organizations in the United States, conducts the elections here. Any Jew who i 18 or older who lives in the United States and affirms the Jerusalem Program may vote. There is an on-line platform; voters have to pay a small fee that is used to cover the election costs.


As Zionist Elections Get Underway, the Battle for Progressives’ Votes Heats Up

The New York Jewish Week, Jan 22,2020

Competition for progressive Jewish votes is heating up as balloting opens in the World Zionist Congress elections.

The elections, held every five years, offer Jews outside of Israel the rare opportunity to vote on issues there that reflect their values — specifically, by picking delegates to a global “parliament” that chooses leadership for three Israeli quasi-governmental organizations that control approximately $1 billion in annual funding...


PeaceCast - Voting Peace at the WZO

Americans For Peace Now Podcast, Jan 22 2020

Hadar Susskind is a longtime activist and Jewish nonprofit professional. Currently, he is the campaign director for Hatikvah Slate, a slate that several progressive Jewish organizations – including Americans for Peace Now – have put together to run for the World Zionist Congress.




The Most Important Jewish Election Nobody’s Heard Of

Moment Magazine, Nathan Guttman, Jan 20,2020

You can just feel the tension in the air. Millions of Jews all across the world are getting ready to fulfill their democratic duty and send in their ballots. And it all starts this week.

Wait, you’re not excited about the World Zionist Congress elections?

Oh, you mean you’ve never heard of the World Zionist Congress? Or any of the 15 slates vying to represent American Jews in the WZC?

Well, you’re not alone.


8 Minnesotans Vying For World Zionist Congress Delegate Spots

Tc|Jewfolk, Lonny Goldsmith, Jan 20,2020

Rabbi Michael Latz quotes Hamilton when asked why he wanted to be on the Hatikvah: Progressive Israel Slate for the World Zionist Congress elections: “’We need to be in the room where it happens.’ Especially with a billion dollars at stake.”

The World Zionist Congress is the legislative body of the World Zionist Organization, which Theodore Herzl founded in 1897. The WZC meets every five years in Jerusalem, and, as Latz referenced, makes the allocation decisions on roughly one billion dollars in funding.


Anti-occupation, Pro-religious Pluralism Activists Aim Big in World Zionist Congress Vote

Haaretz, Dina Kraft, Jan 20,2020

Over 122 years since Theodor Herzl founded what is today known as the World Zionist Organization – the gathering that launched the movement to create a Jewish national home – Jewish American progressives are running together for the group’s congress at a time when Zionism and progressivism can seem at odds.

The name of the slate is Hatikvah, Hebrew for “The Hope” and later the title of the poem that became Israel’s national anthem. Hatikvah aims to have an impact on the organization that allots $1 billion annually to Jewish causes, though some of the money has gone to settlement building in the West Bank – something the new slate hopes to block.


“Hatikvah” Means “the Hope” in Hebrew. For These Two Hatikvah Slate Members, It Also Means Integrity.

“Hatikvah means “the hope” in Hebrew. For these two members of the Hatikvah slate of candidates for the World Zionist Congress, who come from different backgrounds, generations, and professions, “hatikvah” also means “integrity.”

The Challenges For Molly Wernick, it began when she arrived on her college campus in the late ‘00s after spending a gap year on a Habonim Dror program in Israel. During that year, she lived in Akko, taught in the Israeli Arab community, and grew to understand the nuances of, not only the Israeli Arab experience, but also Israeli and Palestinian experiences more broadly. Yet when she got to campus for her freshman year, she was confronted with activists telling her Israel was, in essence, responsible for genocide and that any connection she had to Israel was problematic.


Diaspora Jews Have Their Say: World Zionist Congress 2020

Jewish Exponent (January 15, 2020)

The World Zionist Congress, in a sentence: “Nobody knows what it is,” laughed Mort Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America and a WZC delegate-candidate.

Though that is perhaps a bit of hyperbole — 56,000 people voted in the last election — Klein was speaking to a true blind-spot for many Jews across the world when he characterized the general lack of knowledge relating to the WZC.

The WZC, a 500-delegate legislative body, is the major voice of the Diaspora in Israel, according to Judge Abraham Gafni, a professor at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law and chairman of the U.S. Area Election Committee of the American Zionist Movement. The delegates, made up of Jews from all over the Diaspora, have decision-making power and influence with the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish National Fund and the World Zionist Organization. Those organizations and their significant funds will, in turn, have serious impacts on Jewish life in Israel, in every sector — education, security, immigration, religious authority and more.


Zionist critic runs for Zionist Congress

Jewish Standard (January 9, 2020)

Peter Beinart entered the American Jewish communal conversation in 2010 with an article in the New York Review of Books, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment.”

There, the already former editor of the New Republic argued that by ignoring Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, Jewish leadership was alienating a generation of young American Jews. He expanded his argument in his 2012 book, “The Crisis of Zionism.”

Mr. Beinart, who now is a professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a member of an Orthodox partnership minyan in Manhattan, wrote from the position of the Zionist left, advocating for a Palestinian state while supporting a strong Israel. Now he has made his Zionism official; he is number 14 on the Hatikvah slate for the Zionist Congress elections being held later this month. (He also is speaking in Teaneck this weekend; see box.) The Zionist Congress, founded by Theodor Herzl in 1898, guides policy for the World Zionist Organization and other Jewish institutions, including the Jewish Agency for Israel. 


An expression of Jewish nationalism

Jewish News (December 31, 2019)

Within our tradition, there are a number of ways of looking at Judaism. It’s founded, of course, upon a belief system with religious components, but it’s also composed of social, cultural, intellectual, political and national characteristics. Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan pulled them all together when he described Judaism as a civilization.

In the late 19th century, Jewish national identity took a political form through the Zionist movement, which ultimately succeeded in establishing the State of Israel. Known to many of us as the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, Zionism still plays an important role in how Jews around the world express their ongoing concern for the safety and welfare of the Jewish people.


"Vying for seats at World Zionist Congress, liberal newcomers like Peter Beinart hope to block Israeli settlements funding"

By Ron Kampeas (December 24, 2019)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The list includes names like Peter Beinart, the liberal writer; Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the liberal Middle East policy group J Street; and Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women.

No, it’s not an ad for a symposium on the Upper East Side, but a slate of first-time candidates seeking seats in the 38th World Zionist Congress, the legislative authority of a 120-year-old Zionist organization that helps determine the fate of $1 billion in spending on Jewish causes.

Elections, which are open to Jews 18 and over anywhere in the world, are held every five years. The next ones will be held between Jan. 21 and March 11...


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