In helfman, Our Virtual Mishkan

Update on the World Zionist Congress

Theodore Herzl’s Congress is meeting right now – and there is much at stake.  All of the monies donated to the JNF and KKL through the familiar blue tzedakah boxes have been collecting interest, and now the Jewish National Fund controls a property portfolio that funds the activities of the Jewish National Institutions.

Last year, a campaign of hate against the leadership of the North American Reform Movement brought the right-wing coalition into the majority in Congress.  Even members of our community-  unable to vote in the US WZO election- forwarded me emails based on this campaign, asking me to defend the morals of our Rabbis and leaders.

The campaign worked – when they went low and started spreading propaganda, they got more votes.  Now – gathering with the Haredi parties, instead of continuing the system of a representative government of these agencies (dividing their leadership and dividends based on a percentage of votes) – the Likud – Haredi partnership is using their narrow majority to claim every leadership position, and re-define the purpose of the budgets to be used in West Bank Settlement expansion, dismantling funding towards progressive Judaism, and funding ultra-orthodox educational institutions.

By the time you read this, the issue will be decided.  The traditionally ‘neutral’ organizations that could swing the vote – Hadassah, B’nei Brith, WIZO, Na’amat, and others will have made their decision to remain complicit and neutral or step off of the fence.

We have many HBT members and friends involved in Congress and many more whose jobs are affected by the outcome.

Stay alert for updates and news as this story develops. (


And get involved.  Be in touch with our Israel Committee, led by Rabbi Goodman ([email protected]) who can connect you with ARZA Canada and the Canadian Friends of the WUPJ, which will try to fill the potential gaps left by these shifts in our Jewish National Institutions.  I’m sure this will be discussed on our Virtual Israel Trip  and in other HBT Israel forums.


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