Rabbi’s Review – February 2020

World Zionist Congress Elections

Rabbi Cassi Kail


As I landed in Israel for the first time, I remember feeling grateful, excited, and in awe. I had finally made it to the land on which my people became a nation, where Hebrew was spoken within its streets, and Jews were in the majority. My entire birthright Israel trip was magical. I enjoyed climbing Masada, praying at the Western Wall, and floating in the Dead Sea. I enjoyed going to the Machaneh Yehuda market, shopping above the clouds in Tzvat and practicing my pitiful Hebrew on unsuspecting Israelis. I had fallen in love.

During my first year in seminary, my love for Israel grew. Now it was a more complicated love. I struggled with the knowledge that although orthodox Jews only make up 20% of the Israeli population, they are in complete control over who can get married within the holy land. While the Israeli government funds hundreds of orthodox rabbis, it only funds the salaries of nine reform rabbis. I wrestled with knowing that the largest part of the western wall is not available to me as a female, and that wearing a tallit or reading Torah at the wall will be met with hostility.

Israel should be a place where every single Jew is supported and respect for the way in which they practice their Judaism. By voting in this election, we can play a small role in making that dream a reality.

Theodor Herzl convened the first World Zionist Congress in 1897. Every five years a new election takes place to determine the makeup of the 500-seat delegation. Each and every vote from our congregation is crucial to maintaining a strong Reform presence. This is our chance to combat the discrimination the Reform Movement faces in Israel. Together we can grow our Reform Movement and works towards making progress on the issues we care about: religious freedom, equality, and many more.

Voting is open now until March 11, 2020. Your vote in this election is the only democratic opportunity you have to influence Israeli society.

How to vote in the World Zionist Congress Elections:

  • Go to https://azm.org/elections
  • Click the voter registration Check your email or SMS to receive a verification number to complete your registration.
  • Proceed to the payment – your $7.50 fee ($5 for those ages 18-25) covers the administrative cost of the election.
  • After paying, you will receive a code, which allows you to vote.
  • VOTE REFORM: ARZA, representing the Reform Movement and Reconstructing Judaism, will be listed second on the list.
  • Our temple has a goal to collect 120 votes this election. Call, email, or stop by the temple to record your vote!