Update: The deadline to register for Mercaz Membership has been extended to February 27 - don't miss the chance to make your voice heard!
We write to you today to encourage you to join Mercaz Canada, our Masorti/Conservative Movement’s party to the World Zionist Congress. You know, that Congress started by Theodore Herzl in Basel Switzerland 122 years ago – the Congress that laid the foundations for the modern State of Israel.
Through Mercaz Canada and its affiliation with Mercaz Olami (worldwide), we Canadian Masorti/Conservative Jews have a voice in the national institutions of the Jewish People: The World Zionist Organization, The Jewish Agency for Israel and Keren Kayemet L’Yisrael (The Jewish National Fund).
The stronger our Mercaz Canada membership list, the more delegates we have proportionally to the other members of the Zionist Federation of Canada and the larger our percentage of leadership in the Congress. This impacts our ability as Conservative Jews to appoint leaders to the boards of the national institutions and allows us to influence the agenda, priorities and budgetary allocations.
Currently, our Masorti/Conservative movement worldwide receives approximately four million USD directly from this work, and we benefit as part of other projects and programs as well.
- In Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia and South America, these funds support schools and education, youth movements, rabbis, life-cycle events, Jewish ritual, learning and conversions, synagogues, holiday celebrations, summer camps, young adult programming, Israel experiences and building relationships with local leadership to combat anti-Semitism.
- In Israel, these funds support the Tali school system, rabbis working in more than 80 communities, our Israeli youth movement (NOAM), young adult engagement (MAROM), the Conservative Yeshiva and more.
- In Canada, we benefit not only from these funds, but from our work with shlichim, shinshinim, educational programs, communal Israel activities, scholarships to Israel, gap year programs, MASA, Onward Israel and more.
Through Mercaz Canada, we also advocate for religious Jewish pluralism in Israel with regard to marriage, conversion, the Kotel Agreement and public funding of communal institutions and rabbis. We support programs and initiatives to build bridges between the Diaspora and Israel while maintaining our value of klal Yisrael — the unity of the Jewish People. (Rabbi Wernick, for example, is a leader on the Committee for the Unity of the Jewish People.)
Join Mercaz Canada by January 25 and you will help increase our voice, our representation and our impact on the global conversations of the Jewish People.
Rabbi Steven Wernick, Anne & Max Tanenbaum Senior Rabbinic Chair
Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Associate Rabbi
Rabbi Baruch Frydman-Kohl, Rabbi Emeritus
Randy E. Spiegel, Executive Director
Debbie Rothstein, President
Bernie Gropper, Chair of the Board