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January 05, 2006 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-01-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

World

ON THE COVER

Vote from page 27

Top to bottom:

Marjorie Saulson

Alana Kuhn

Rick Dorfman

Rabbi Robert Golub

28

January 5 - 2006

How to Vote

Saulson of Franklin, who has
served as president of the
United Synagogue of
Conservative Judaism Great
Lakes region and is on the slate
of Mercaz USA, the movement's
Zionist organization.
"It is the only way we can
have an influence on the world
Zionist movement and how it
operates," she said. "There is a
direct correlation between the
amount of delegates you have
and the amount of influence
you have."
Jeremy Salinger of Southfield,
a 1997 delegate who is running
again, agrees. He chairs Ameinu
Detroit, formerly known as the
Labor Zionist Alliance. Ameinu
is one of four groups running
as Hatikvah: The Progressive
Zionist Coalition.
"It is really important for
people to know it does make a
difference," Salinger said.
"Voting means they will have
influence on the World Zionist
Organization and Jewish
Agency policy regarding reli-
gious pluralism and social jus-
tice as well as the amount of
funds invested in the territories
or inside the Green Line [pre-
1967 borders]."
To cast a vote for any of 12
slates, you must be Jewish, turn
18 by.June 30, profess a com-
mitment to Zionist principles_of
the Jerusalem Program (see
accompanying box), and have
$7 to cover the registration fee
($5 for full-time students).
Mail-in registration concludes
on Jan. 15 and online registra-
tion ends Feb. 15.
Another Detroiter hoping to
be elected as a delegate is
Jerome S. Kaufman of
Bloomfield Hills, national sec-
retary of the Zionist
Organization of America (ZOA),
running on the ZOA slate.
Local young adults running
include Rick Dorfman, Alana
Kuhn and Samantha Woll, all of
West Bloomfield, running on
the Dor Zion: Bnai Zion, World
Confederation of United
Zionists slate. These young
hopefuls are aided by a new
requirement that at least a
quarter of all slates be com-
prised of members younger
than 30.
The other eight slates con-

The American Zionist Movement's elections to the World Zionist Congress are open to
anyone who is Jewish, is at least age 18 by June 30, 2006, lives in the United States
on a full-time, permanent basis, pays the $7 registration fee ($5 for students) and
accepts Zionism's Jerusalem Program.
You can register by mail or online. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked
by Jan.15; online registration ends Feb.15. Go to www.azm.org to register or to down-
load the mail-in form. Once registered, it takes about 48 hours to receive an e-mail
ballot; mailed ballots should reach you within two weeks of registration.
The actual time involved in registering and voting can total less than 10 minutes.
For more, visit www. congress of the jewishpeople.org or call (888) 657-8850.

tending to represent the United
States are the Green Zionist
Alliance; Herut, North America;
ARZA: Association of Reform
Zionists of America; the
Religious Zionist Slate; Russian
American Jews for Israel; the
American Zionist Coalition:
Baltimore Zionist District and
Fuel for Truth; American
Friends of Likud; and the
Jewish Reconstructionist
Federation. Hadassah used to
run a slate of candidates, but
received special status in 1994
that guarantees full voting
rights, just as the Women's
International Zionist
Organization (WIZO) received
in 1964.
In the last WZO election for
the American delegation in
2002, ARZA-World Union, the
Reform movement's slate, came
out on top with 42 percent of
the vote, followed by the
Conservative movement's
Mercaz USA with 22 percent
and the Religious Zionist
Movement with 20 percent.
Coming in fourth with less than
4 percent of the vote was
Meretz USA, the counterpart to
the progressive Israeli party.

WZO Explained
The World Zionist Congress over-
sees the World Zionist
Organization, setting policies and
choosing officers for the WZO.
The WZO, in turn, is the origina-
tor of the Jewish Agency, which,
after the establishment of the
state, became the Jewish Agency
for Israel (JAFI). Half the Jewish
Agency's board of governors is
from the WZO as are many
members of its committees so it
needs WZO support to make and
implement policy.
"It's a lot of things that

American Jews really care about,"
said Karen Rubinstein, executive
director of the AZM, noting that
one of the required tasks for this
congress is creation of a new
constitution for the WZO.
While governance through res-

Top to bottom:

Theodor Herzl

olutions and policy are impor-
tant, it also is about placing peo-
ple in positions of influence and
distribution of large sums of
money. A look at the Web sites of
the groups running make it clear
they feel a lot is at stake.
"The results of the elections
have a major impact not only on
the relative strength of Zionist
organizations within the
American Jewish community, but
on the future direction of Israel
and world Jewry as well:' reads
the Web site of Meretz, now part
of a coalition of left-wing parties
under the banner of Hatikvah.
ARZA has promoted the idea
of investing $7 and seven min-
utes to help Reform causes win
an additional $10 million in
funding. The Web site for the
Orthodox coalition in the elec-
tion says more than $1 billion for
Jewish education, aliyah and out-
reach is at stake. Agencies such
as the Jewish National Fund and
the WZO's Hagshama youth out-
reach program are involved.
The Religious Zionists attrib-
ute their control of the
Settlement Division and the
Center for Religious Affairs in the
diaspora to their finishing a close
third in the 2002 voting.
Menachem Leibovich, a Reform
Jew in Israel, gained the post of
deputy chairman of the Jewish
National Fund after ARZA and
allies combined for 98 seats in
2002.
The non-Orthodox religious
movements also have made the
environment a prominent issue.
"The people who go and vote
in this congress represent world
Jewry," says David Borowich,
founder of the Dor Zion slate.
"They have a chance to put forth

Jerome S. Kaufman

Jeremy Salinger

Vote on page 30

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