Established by Theodor Herzl in 1897, the Zionist Congress (as it was originally known) was the legislative body of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), a non-governmental entity that promotes Zionism. Today, the two bodies are known respectively as the World Zionist Congress (WZC) and the World Zionist Organization (WZO).
The WZC, also known as the Parliament of the Jewish People, comprises 500 delegates and meets in Jerusalem every five years. It enables delegates to exert ideological influence on both Israeli society and the global Jewish agenda, as well as allocate financial and other resources to various organizations – including the Reform Movement – in Israel.
The 38th World Zionist Congress is scheduled to meet in Jerusalem from October 20-23, 2020; the elections will determine the size of the various delegations to the Congress and are scheduled to be held from January 21 to March 11, 2020 (MLK Day to Purim).
A strong election turnout among North America’s Reform Jews and our supporters and allies will ensure that financial resources will continue to flow to our Israeli movement – including Reform congregations and institutions. It also will allow us to fill leadership positions in some of Israel’s national institutions, including the World Zionist Organization (WZO), the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF).
See a special “Torah Tuesday” message from Rabbi Josh Weinberg, Executive Director of ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) direct to Congregation Shaare Emeth. Hear him discuss Parshat Vayera from the Torah and why it is important to vote in the WZC elections.