Congregation Etz Hayim at Hollis Hills Bayside

The consolidated communities of Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and Marathon Jewish Community Center

Shabbat Terumah 5780

Though I’m not in town this Shabbat, I wanted to leave you with an urgent message to be sure to participate in the 2020 World Zionist Congress elections, which remain open until March 11. As I embark on several days in Washington at the AIPAC Policy Conference and Shabbaton, I will be among nearly 20,000 proud pro-Israel voices representing a variety of faiths, ethnicities, and political proclivities.   

As diverse–indeed, bipartisan–as AIPAC is, my still-unrealized dream is for the State of Israel to reflect that diversity, particularly in the realm of religious pluralism and freedom. So in addition to lobbying our elected officials to continue their pro-Israel positions (and to thank them for doing so!), I will also be advocating for MERCAZ, Conservative Judaism’s voice in the World Zionist Congress. I’ll be “working the room” at our Shabbat services and trying to inspire fellow Conservative Jews to support MERCAZ. I am doing this on my Shabbat away from my community because I believe in the work we do in Israel, with TALI schools, the NOAM youth program, and other projects of which we can only dream because we lack the funding.  

More votes for MERCAZ means more funding for our initiatives in Israel. That means a better Israel.  

When I come back from AIPAC, we will have barely a week before voting closes. I received an email this week that indicated that so far, MERCAZ had received votes from 9 people in the zipcode 11364, 6 from 11360, 6 from 11366, 3 from 11432, and 5 from 11427. Thank you to those who have already voted. These numbers, though, are simply not enough. So before Shabbat, or right after it, if you haven’t already voted, please go to this link to register and vote online. In your Shabbat notes at services this Shabbat morning, you’ll find paper ballots and envelopes, and we will have these available at all public events until voting closes. Of course, your ballot is private, but I welcome emails to to let me know you’ve voted for MERCAZ.  

Both AIPAC and MERCAZ, in their own ways, are devoted to working for a stronger Israel. This Shabbat, I celebrate both organizations, and I hope you will as well.
 
Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,   
Rabbi David Wise