Many Jews around the world are unaware of the fact that they are entitled to a voice about Israel’s future. That voice is the World Zionist Congress, which meets every four years in Jerusalem with the mandate to fund programs and create policies that will help achieve the goals of the Jewish People as a whole. The Congress was initially set up by Theodor Herzl and led directly to the establishment of the State of Israel. It has been a partner with the Government of Israel since that time but sadly, very few Jews know that they have a chance to speak up through their democratic vote. If you are Jewish you can make your voice heard by voting!

The voting takes place from January 14, 2015 through April 30, 2015. Every Jewish person over age 18 is entitled to vote for the slate of his or her choice. As with the first Zionist Congress held in 1897, there is a nominal charge to vote (currently $5 for persons under the age of 30 and $10 for those above the age of 30). The charge is used to defray the costs of the election.

The 37th Zionist Congress will meet in October 2015 and will include 525 delegates representing Jews in many nations around the world. The United States will field 145 delegates who represent a variety of political organizations. I am running alongside a number of Jewish Leaders on a Slate called Green Israel, which includes Aytzim—Ecological Judaism; the Green Zionist Alliance (GZA); Jewcology.org and Shomrei Breishit. We are dedicated to taking action to protect Israel’s environment, increase the country’s use of renewable energy; and to help Israel become the global leader in sustainable practice.

Why Vote for Green Israel?

Many groups will be competing to participate in in the 37th World Zionist Congress but few can have the impact that Green Israel can. While many groups would like to have their voice heard on political issues surrounding Israel and its foreign or religious policy objectives, the reality is that it is difficult for them to make any direct impact because the Israeli Knesset has exclusive control over these issues. Where we can make a difference is on certain issues regarding land. The World Zionist Organization controls the Jewish National Fund, which owns over 14% of the actual land of Israel. What is done on that land (which includes nature preserves as well as cities) can be directly influenced by the World Zionist Congress. In other words, we at Green Israel can make a real impact and not just a symbolic one. We can create more environmentally friendly practices and help Israel be more energy independent directly if we can garner enough votes.

Organizations comprising Green Israel are the first and only environmental groups to ever participate in the World Zionist Congress. Now together as Green Israel, our Slate has been embraced by all streams of the Zionist movement — left to right, secular to religious, Reform to Orthodox. From the early Zionist pioneers to the Israel’s modern environmental and water-saving and renewable energy technologies, ecological sustainability on the Land of Israel has been a fundamental tenet of Zionism. Those who love the Land of Israel must fight to protect it. Voting for the Green Israel slate will ensure that environmental issues stay at the forefront of Israel’s future.

Jews are properly concerned about the well-being of Israel and wish the country to be secure and prosperous but what about security, wealth, and comfort of another kind — the quality of Israel’s air, water, and ecosystems? What about the physical condition of the eternal holy Land? What about climate change that, according to the Israeli Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva v’Din) may result in major temperature increases, a drop in average precipitation of 20 to 30 percent, severe storms, increased desertification, and an inundation of the coastal plain where most Israelis live by a rising Mediterranean sea. While not discussed frequently enough, these and other environmental dangers and degradations have increasingly become serious issues that will greatly affect Israel’s future.

PLEASE VOTE FOR THE GREEN ISRAEL SLATE AT:

http://worldzionistcongress.org/

To learn more about our organization’s past work and legislation as well as about the resolutions we are planning to bring to the 37th Congress, please see:

http://www.aytzim.org/congress/