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The Reform Jewish Movement was the clear winner in the critical World Zionist Congress election, according to results released today.
The ARZA slate, representing the Reform Movement, secured 56 seats out of a possible 145, winning nearly 40 percent of the votes cast in the United States – more than the amount of the next two slates combined.
The World Zionist Congress, the democratic body of the Jewish people worldwide, will meet this fall for the first time since 2010. It determines how agencies within Israel allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for religious services and civil society projects.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of Union for Reform Judaism, said of the election results,
“This overwhelming victory testifies to the power of the Reform Movement to mobilize as active partners in Israel’s present and future. As the largest and fastest-growing constituency of Jews in North America, Reform Jews recognize and value the importance of our voice in world Jewish affairs. We are mindful that our success in these elections comes at a critical moment for Israel, and we will use our influence to affect change through the vital work of the World Zionist Congress.”
And from ARZA President Rabbi Josh Weinberg,
“The sweeping victory for Progressive Judaism is a clear reflection of our love and commitment to the people and the State of Israel. It demonstrates our desire to strengthen the fundamental democratic principles of the State of Israel and work toward a more religiously pluralistic and just society. Together with the Reconstructionist Movement, we campaigned on important issues such as religious freedom, gender equality, and support for a two state solution. Now we can proudly say that our delegation – the largest of the U.S. by far – will come together in October in Jerusalem to express our passion and involvement as well as our concern for the future.”