Summer 2012

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MERCAZ USA Newsletter — Summer 2012

How MERCAZ Secures Benefits For Worldwide Conservative Judaism

MERCAZ, the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, represents Conservative Judaism in the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI).

Conservative/Masorti Jews in Israel and around the world profit directly in numerous ways as a result of our presence within these two international Jewish arenas.

The following are among the benefits accrued as a direct result of the size of our MERCAZ delegation at the Zionist Congress, and translate into an annual net equivalency of cash and services in excess of $2.5 million, as well as significant influence in decision-making that impacts on the global Jewish agenda and the Jewish Agency budget of more than $300,000,000:

  • $1,300,000 of allocations to Masorti institutions in Israel every year on behalf of the Masorti Movement, Schechter Institute and Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center;

  • An annual allocation of some $100,000 for activities of MAROM Olami, our young adult Zionist movement;

  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to Masorti/Conservative educational projects around the world;

  • Shlichim for our youth movements and kehillot in the Diaspora;

  • More than $700,000 annually to meet the spiritual and educational needs of Masorti/Conservative Jews via Masorti Olami in Europe and South America;

  • Nearly $100,000 per year of support for MERCAZ Olami to serve our constituency throughout the world;

  • Official representation on the Executive and other major decision-making bodies of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization, allowing for direct influence over policy in matters affecting the entire Jewish world, such as conversion;

  • Membership on the Board of Directors and key committees of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) allowing for significant impact on issues relating to the environment and Jewish values as well as access to KKL’s considerable budget;

  • Election of the Deputy Chairman of the WZO with responsibility over the WZO budget; and

  • Support for a variety of activities to promote aliyah.

The size of the MERCAZ delegation at the Zionist Congress is in turn a direct outcome of our involvement in Zionist Federations around the world, such as the American Zionist Movement, and the results of our annual membership campaign and our participation in the elections for the Zionist Congress every four years.

With the next Zionist Congress tentatively scheduled for June 2014, now is the time that we need to sign up as many MERCAZ members as possible. This way we will have a large Conservative Zionist electorate, all ready to vote on behalf of MERCAZ in planned Zionist Congress elections, anticipated starting in 2013.


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