Unlike other religious movements, the Conservative Movement, from its inception, embraced Zionism and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life. Perhaps that is why we did not originally feel the need for a separate Zionist organization. However, as the Modern State of Israel developed, the very powerful Religious Affairs Ministry did not sanction Conservative/Masorti Judaism, and disqualified its institutions from recognition, authority, and funding. In order to help these institutions enrich the lives of those Israelis who have been disenfranchised and alienated by the “religion of the state”, it became necessary to create a new entity that would represent the interests of Conservative/Masorti Judaism and allow it to make its unique contribution to the quality of religious life in Israel.

MERCAZ must serve as the Zionist conscience and Zionist resource for all arms of our Movement. Since the Conservative Movement believes that Israel and Zionism are essential components in Jewish life, we maintain an organization whose mission is the promotion of Zionist education and activities, Israel programs for youth and adults, and Aliyah.