The Right Reasons to Join MERCAZ
We are often asked, “Why join MERCAZ? What’s in it for us?”
Our strength is a function of our representation within the Zionist Congress, which is a direct result of our ability to “turn out the vote” during elections for representation to the Zionist Congress every 5 years [2015, 2020, etc.]. This strength comes from our involvement in Zionist Federations throughout the Diaspora.
Each strong MERCAZ chapter helps build collective support for a strong MERCAZ Olami. This strength enables us to have a substantial, positive presence in the WZO and JAFI and KKL. It thereby contributes to making Israel continue on the path towards becoming a pluralistic Jewish state—one that advances a diversity of Jewish religious initiatives including those that reflect the values of Conservative/Masorti Judaism.
In Israel & the Jewish World: MERCAZ plays a central role in the continuing struggle to bring religious equality to Masorti Jews globally, as well as focusing upon that quest inside Israel. The Masorti Movement has embraced Zionism and the centrality of Israel to Jewish life since its very inception. In order to help our institutions and strengthen the attachment of Masorti Jews around the world to Zionism, MERCAZ has representatives in the World Zionist Organization, Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Kayemet Le’Yisrael. Our presence within the decision-making bodies of these organizations is essential to securing funding, shlichim and other means of support that strengthen Masorti/Conservative institutions in Israel and around the world. Only with additional Israel-oriented resources can the Masorti Movement maximally touch and inspire the lives of millions of Jews in Israel and around the world, who might otherwise become indifferent to, or alienated from their Jewish heritage.
A strong MERCAZ within the WZO and JAFI is vital to the development of our Movement around the world. It is also critical to our ability to influence the agenda and the distribution of resources of these organizations, which together have a tremendous impact on world Jewry – particularly in the areas of Israel-Diaspora relations, Jewish Zionist education, and aliyah.
How does MERCAZ do all of this?
- By creating and distributing Zionist educational materials and shlichim, by promoting the study of the Hebrew language and by raising Zionist consciousness among Masorti/Conservative Jews.
- By increasing Zionist activities which promote short-term and long-term programs to Israel for youth and adults, as well as enhancing the Zionist education within our five Rabbinical Schools [Jerusalem, NYC, LA, Buenos Aires andBerlin].
- By promoting and encouraging Aliyah to Israel and integrating Olim.
- Strengthening NOAM (youth), USY and MAROM (young adults) and Ramah Camps in developing young leadershipfor Jewish living and Zionism.
- By promoting Masorti Judaism and religious pluralism in Israel and worldwide, enhancing the growth of Kehillot in Israel, North America, Latin America, Europe, the FSU, Australia and beyond.
What difference does MERCAZ representation make?
Over $3 million USD of grants from the World Zionist Organization [WZO], Jewish Agency, and Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael [KKL] go to Masorti/Conservative religious and educational projects around the world such as Israel/Zionist education, programming, conferences, shlichim and Israel trips. The funds are distributing widely among:
- Masorti Israel including Noam Israel and Hanaton
- Schechter Institute: Tali Schools and Midreshet Schechter in Ukraine.
- Masorti Olami including Noam Olami
- USCJ [Fuchsberg] including USY and the Conservative Yeshiva
- Marom Chapters Throughout the World
- RA Israel, Latin America and Europe
- 5 Rabbinical schools – JTS, Ziegler, Schechter, Seminario, Frankel
- Ramah Camps
- Shlichim for our youth movement and communities throughout the Diaspora
- Support for a variety of activities intended to promote Israel programs and Aliyah among our membership.
Our global Movement includes 2 million self-identified Conservative/Masorti Jews:
|1,200,000 million USA||150,000 Canada||300,000 Latín America||250,000 Israel|
|50,000 Europe||25,000 Mexico||15,000 Former Soviet Countries||10,000 Australia/Asia/Africa|