Election 2015

In 2015, the American Zionist Movement (AZM) will hold elections to determine US Jewish representation to the World Zionist Congress (WZC), the highest legislative body of the World Zionist Organization (WZO). The WZO provides a forum for all the world’s Jews to come together and deliberate about issues affecting both Diaspora Jews and the state of affairs in Israel.

145 seats in the Congress are dedicated to the AZM. The composition of the Congress has both financial and policy implications in Israel, as resources are directed to recipients in Israel based on the power each party holds within the Congress, and the policy positions of those parties.

In short, these elections are the strongest way for American Jews to promote and encourage the ideals of justice, equality and democracy in Israel itself and help build the kind of Jewish state we all know is possible.

Our campaign is designed to reach as many Russian Speaking American Jews as possible. We want our supporters to be prepared with the knowledge, materials, and information to spread the word, and make this campaign their own. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most important questions about voting, along with tools and materials for you and your campaign team.

What is the World Zionist Organization?

The World Zionist Organization (WZO) was founded by Theodor Herzl at the First Zionist Congress in Basle in 1897. Today it forms the backbone for The Jewish Agency for Israel, the Jewish National Fund, Keren haYesod, and smaller affiliates. The WZO utilizes the Zionist Congress to establish its policies and internally elect leadership to the bodies which define executive policy, departmental direction, and budget decisions.

What is the World Zionist Congress?

The World Zionist Congress is the World Zionist Organization’s supreme institution and legislative body which meets every four years in Jerusalem. The Congress determines policy, courses of action, and chooses the leadership of the World Zionist Organization. These decisions influence hundreds of millions of dollars in funding and paid portfolios. The Congress also makes decisions which affect the status of Russian Speaking Jews in Israel and across the world as well as the funding available to American Forum for Israel.

Why this election is important?

The composition of the American delegation is critically important to all Jews in The United States and Israel because the American delegation of 145 delegates is the largest delegation from a single country outside of Israel and comprises nearly one third of the Congress. The decisions of the Congress influence hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. In addition, the Congress will help determine the leadership of the major global Jewish organizations, budgetary decisions and policy in Israel and worldwide.

Why should I vote?

A successful election in which American Forum for Israel, on your behalf, receives a significant number of votes and therefore delegates to the World Zionist Congress, is the single most effective way for you to influence policy and shape the society of Israel. The election determines the American Forum for Israel influence within Israel institutions, government bodies and provides you with the ability to influence important policy appointments. In addition, the election impacts the amount of funding that the American Forum for Israel receives in Israel and the diaspora. A successful election is our best means to assure the realization of our platform. Therefore, your vote is critical to the success of the overall election.

How do I vote?

To be eligible to vote you must register and vote between January 15 – April 30, 2015. Registration and voting can be done on the election website in one session or can be accomplished by completing a paper registration and ballot.

What is the exact process for voting?

First, we recommend that you pledge to vote. By doing so, you’ll receive all the information you need – when you need it – on how to vote. Second, between January 15th and April 30th 2015, you must register with the American Zionist Movement. The registration fee is $10.00 ($5.00 for those under age 30), and goes directly to the AZM – not to American Forum for Israel. Finally, as soon as you register, you can vote in the World Zionist Congress elections – again between January 15th and April 30th 2015.

Where do I go to vote?

You can vote online from January 15, 2015 to April 30, 2015. See easy to follow visual guide.

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