How to Prepare Your Congregation for the World Zionist Congress Elections

Inside Leadership

How to Prepare Your Congregation for the World Zionist Congress Elections

Hand dropping a ballot into a ballot box in front of the Israel flag

Important news for Reform congregations in the United States: The World Zionist Congress elections in the U.S. are coming soon, and your congregation’s participation is critical to maintaining a large Reform presence in Israel and here at home.

The Reform Movement is asking every eligible voter to stand up for Israel and our values – and we need every eligible person in our congregations to vote. Why? Because the more votes we get the more we are able to provide significant funds for our movement and build our political power. To start, here are five things you need to know about the World Zionist Congress elections – and then, read on to learn how to take part.

These elections are the only democratic opportunity for us as American Jews to influence Israeli society as we continue our efforts toward equality, pluralism, and tolerance.

Voting takes place online starting January 21, 2020, and runs through March 11. It takes less than 90 seconds to participate – so if you’re an American Jew over the age of 18, we hope we can count on you to vote Reform. 

How can you prepare your congregation for the WZC? Simple! 

  1. Report your anticipated voting numbers: Designate a congregational captain by October 1, then tell us how many voters from your community you anticipate will participate in the upcoming WZC election. Not sure? We’re happy to consult with your congregation to help determine the number of voters you hope to mobilize within your community. Use this easy form for reporting and to connect further with us on this topic.
  2. Use our resources in The Tent: In the Congregational Captains group in The Tent, we’ve shared two helpful toolkits: Our clergy toolkit is filled with sermon ideas, while our congregational toolkit includes FAQs, messaging for services, and more. These resources will help you implement election voting at your congregation, and you’ll receive continued and updated information through this Tent group.
  3. Ask us your questions: On November 6, join us for a webinar during which our experts will answer your questions about the toolkits and ways to elevate the election at your congregation.  
  4. Promote elections during the holiday season: As you start building your congregational team and spreading the word about the elections, use our customizable High Holidays flier to catch congregants’ attention and pique their interest.  
  5. Delve deeper at the  URJ Biennial: Join us at the URJ Biennial, from December 11-15 in Chicago, IL, where your congregation’s mobilization team can attend a special Sunday extension about the WZC election. (There is an additional $36 fee for the symposium, which is subsidized thanks to ARZENU, the umbrella organization of Reform and Progressive religious Zionists.) 

Thank you for your commitment to all facets of the upcoming and critically important WZC elections, including educating your congregants and ensuring they vote. We can only do this with your partnership, for which we are so grateful.

Have something to say about this post? Join the conversation in The Tent, the communications and collaboration platform for congregational leaders of the Reform Movement. You can also tweet us or tell us how you feel on Facebook.

Alexandra Gilbert, the Union for Reform Judaism's World Zionist Congress (WZC) Elections Campaign Director, has been skill-building for her new role since childhood. Her family was deeply committed to synagogue life, which instilled in her a great passion for Reform Judaism and career choices that continue to strengthen the Reform Jewish Movement. Prior to taking on this position, she served as the communities manager for strengthening congregations at the Union for Reform Judaism.

Alexandra Gilbert

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