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Elections to 37th World Zionist Congress Get Started

US Zionists Will Compete for 2nd Largest Delegation

Offering Diaspora Jewry the chance to directly impact upon issues relating to Israel and the broader Jewish world, elections are now underway for the US delegation to the 37th World Zionist Congress. Members of the American Jewish community are encouraged to register and vote.

“This election is a unique opportunity for American Jewry to have its voice heard on critical issues facing Israel and the Jewish People,” says Karen Rubinstein, Executive Director of the American Zionist Movement, the principle organization charged with administering the elections across the United States.

The constitution of the World Zionist Organization calls for elections to take place in every country of the world where there are active Zionist groups- with the exception of Israel. In Israel, the slate is comprised of 200 Israeli delegates to the Congress, determined by Knesset members. The United States Jewish community represents the largest voting bloc by far of anywhere in the world.

“This is the single best opportunity for American Jews to help shape the kind of Israel they would like to see develop in the years ahead,” says Rabbi Vernon Kurtz, President of the American Zionist Movement. “Participation in this election is a very personal act, which allows the voter to display his or her vision for Israel’s future and the Jewish people.”

Given that Knesset elections are being held in Israel on March 17th, World Jewry will be engaged in elections across the globe this year. The US elections will be the first of the area elections to take place, and it is not clear how many other countries will actually bring voters to the Zionist polls.

Voters can opt to register through the mail and vote later, or vote online by visiting www.myselfourisrael.com. To accommodate the changing Jewish population in the United States, registration forms will also be available in Russian and Hebrew. The election will continue for three and half months, and is scheduled to close in May 2015.

“By casting a vote in this election, one becomes part of a great historical continuum, and personally participates in crafting the future of the Jewish State,” said Judge Abraham Gafni, the chairman of the US Area Election Committee, which oversees the elections in the United States. “This is the very best opportunity to express one’s vision of and commitment to Israel’s future.”

“While Diaspora Jews are precluded from voting in Israeli parliamentary elections, this is truly the best possible way for us to ensure our interests as defenders of Zionism and Israel’s security are being heard,” Ms. Rubinstein said. “By voting, we are able to say that we are taking a strong position on the direction Israel will be taking in the years ahead.

To learn more about the elections, please visit www.myselfourisrael.com. The elections are administered by the American Zionist Movement, the umbrella organization of Zionist organizations in the United States.

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