June 30, 2022 -

Influencing Life in Israel- Tom Abelson, M.D., Running for Election in World Zionist Organization Election

Tom Abelson

The content of this message was prepared by Tom Abelson, M.D., a past-president of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, who is running in the slate for ARZA- Reform Judaism in the upcoming World Zionist Organization elections. We encourage you to vote by April 30, when the election is concluded, by going to the website: http://www.reformjews4israel.org and making your voice heard in influencing the direction of the World Zionist Organization. Please share this link widely to social media and feel free to make comments below.

I want you to know about the World Zionist Organization election which is of utmost importance to me and I hope that you will give voting in the WZO election very serious consideration.

I am running to be elected as a delegate to the World Zionist Congress.  If you are Jewish and 18 years of age or older you can vote.  If that is enough to motivate you, please go right now to the link below, register ($10 fee) and vote for the ARZA slate.  The election ends on April 30 so don’t wait.  This is your chance to influence life in Israel in a profound and effective way.

I know that this message should be shorter and more like a political motivational ad, but most things in life that are of profound importance are complicated, and Israel is very complicated.  So please stick with me for a few moments.

The fact that Israel is a vital homeland for the Jews is deeply embedded in the psyche of most of us.  But the relationship between many Jews and Israel can be complicated because sometimes it is difficult to separate the country and our profound support for it, from the actions of whatever government is in power at a particular moment in time.   We might feel guilty having certain opinions that seem to differ from the opinions of some Israelis.  Or we might feel frustrated by not knowing exactly what to think relative to very complicated issues.  Sorry, I cannot help with frustration or guilt.

But I do know that there is one way that we can actually influence life in Israel.  The World Zionist Congress decides how to spend significant amounts of money in Israel. The World Zionist Organization (WZO) elections give us the opportunity to influence the makeup of the Congress. Whatever stream of Judaism you are a part of, or not a part of, please understand that the Reform Movement is profoundly influencing religious life and civil society in Israel in two compelling ways.

First of all we are building congregations and providing diversity and depth to religious life in Israel through the Israel Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism (IMPJ) led by my friend Gilad Kariv.

Secondly our Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), led by my friend and true modern hero and prophet Anat Hoffman, is working within the judicial system in Israel to defend and expand religious freedom (for all streams of Judaism as well as Christianity and Islam), to support diversity/pluralism, to establish and support civil society, and to defend the rights of everyone who needs defense including women, non-Jews and others.  Thus IRAC strengthens the core Jewish and Democratic nature of the State of Israel.

So please take advantage of this profound opportunity.  Go to the link below.  You need to register and pay $10 to support the expense of the election. Charging for it and complaining about paying for it are in our DNA but so is perseverance and dedication to principles.  Then proceed to vote.  I am a candidate as a delegate of ARZA and you will support me by voting for the ARZA (Association of Reform Zionists of America) slate.

Vote here and enjoy your power and influence: https://www.reformjews4israel.org/vote

Thank you. Todah rabah.

Tom