June 1995-Sivan 5755
Part Three: Global Jewish Information Network
Adapting our National Institutions to the Challenges Ahead
In light of the extraordinary challenges which the Jewish People faces in the century ahead, it is critical that we shape our National Institutions as effectively as possible.
The decision to restructure a worldwide organization which represents religious streams, Jewish communities, political parties and a wide range of Jewish interests should not be taken lightly. However, change is imperative, as all partners in the organization are coming to realize.
Organizations exist to serve goals and objectives and have no intrinsic value in and of themselves. The structures and the functional instrumentalities they create are merely a means of putting their policies into practice. Nevertheless, in the current situation of the Jewish People, as we face serious danger and challenges which require the mobilization of all our resources, organizational structures are not without importance. We cannot afford to make do with structures which are far from optimal. In order to succeed in our mission, we need an organization and structure which are optimally suited to meeting the goals the Jewish People has set for itself.
From "The Jewish Agency for Israel" to "The Jewish Agency of The Jewish People"
Our National Institutions will require a redefinition of their function. Israel will continue to be central to the Jewish world, but the activities of the Jewish People will no longer radiate entirely from the periphery to the Israeli center. They will become two-directional between periphery and center. The only way to protect the interests of the entire Jewish People, including the Jews in the Land of Zion, is to take an unfettered look at reality and accept the fact that the continuity of the Jewish People, an indispensable component of Israel’s strength, will demand both enormous investment in the Diaspora by Israelis as well as enormous investment in Israel by the Jews of the Diaspora.
Unifying the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization
Two of the central institutions of the Jewish People, the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization and its affiliated agencies, currently operate in most areas independently of each other. They must function as one body. Unification will result in a more economical operation, greater efficiency and more effective use of human resources.
In 1997, the Zionist Congress will meet in Jerusalem to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Zionist Movement. It must convene on a new foundation. Starting at the 10th Congress of the Zionist Movement, the representative National Institutions of the Jewish People will work in a united framework: one People, one body.
At the June 1995 meetings of the Zionist General Council and the Jewish Agency Assembly we will begin the process of determining the organizational and representational structure of the unified institutions, delegating authority and laying down guidelines for funding and operation. At the June 1996 convention, the proposed options will be discussed and voted upon. The National Institutions will convene in their unified format one year later.
On that occasion we will create a new covenant between the partners in the management of the affairs of the Jewish People, the Jewish National Institutions and the Government of Israel. The new covenant will supersede all prior covenants and agreements.
Changing the Image of the National Institutions
The National Institutions of the Jewish People face the difficult challenge of changing their negative image in the eyes of the Israeli public and Diaspora Jewry. A Gallup poll conducted in Israel revealed that most respondents had no idea what the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization actually do.
The Jewish National Institutions will, within the framework of their new policy and structure, work vigorously to change existing perceptions, thus helping to cultivate the conditions necessary to fulfill the goals of the Jewish People.
Within a month, a tender will be issued for the centralized public relations management of the National Institutions. Toward the beginning of the Jewish New Year, we will embark upon a public relations campaign with budgets and objectives determined by an internal steering committee. The purpose of the campaign will be to bring about the desired change in the public perception of the functions and importance of the Jewish National Institutions.
Restructuring the National Institutions on a Regional Organizational Basis
The objectives of restructuring our Jewish National Institutions include both the unification of all the major bodies which represent the interests of the Jewish People, and their reconfiguration to meet the present and future needs and goals of the Jewish People. We must conduct a comprehensive discussion on this matter and examine the options of organization on the basis of departmental function (education, aliyah, etc.) versus organization on a territorial basis. It appears that organization on a territorial basis, augmented by professional staff units in various functional spheres, can provide an optimal response to the needs of those who use the services of the National Institutions both in Israel and the Diaspora.
For years, due to a constellation of historical, economic and personal factors, the National Institutions of the Jewish People have placed particular emphasis on activity in the Jewish communities of North America.
One of the objectives of a new territorial organizational structure will be to ensure that appropriate attention is given to all communities of the Jewish People, including those outside of North America.
Establishing an Information Unit
The National Institutions are in urgent need of centralized information on a variety of subjects to assist the departments and staff responsible for operations which take place under the aegis of the Executive.
The gathering of information, its analysis and evaluation will be entrusted to an information unit which will report to the Chairperson of the National Institutions. The unit will amass information on the condition of Jewish communities throughout the globe, follow events in the Jewish and non-Jewish world and analyze their potential impact on relevant Jewish communities. It will assemble information about anti-Semitic incidents, economic upheavals and military actions and analyze their ramifications for the Jews. Angry words can sometimes escalate into violence in a matter of days. The tenor of relations between Jewish communities and their surroundings can also change quickly. Thus there is vital importance to the continuous availability of up-to-date information.
The information unit will also supply research, analysis, evaluation and survey services to the various agencies of the national institutions. It will examine economic issues, perceptual issues, positions and viewpoints In the Jewish world, and various marketing issues.
The unit will serve as an instrument for understanding trends in the Jewish world, evaluating the success of the projects and operations of the National Institutions, and providing decision-makers with feedback on the effectiveness of their policy.
Guaranteeing the Operating Budget of Jewish National Institutions
The current budgetary constraints affecting our National Institutions seriously limit their ability for long-term strategic planning as well as their ability to meet existing commitments to objectives already mandated by their leadership.
We must therefore reorganize the income mechanism of the National Institutions while examining expenditures with a critical eye and attempt to improve fiscal management.
The National Institutions will enter into discussion with the bodies which fund its activities and examine the principles which determine the allocation of funds. The entire leadership will take an active part in fundraising efforts and joint projects will be financed by the anticipated increase in resources in the wake of the reordering of budgetary priorities.
Establishment of "Keren Matat" – our Gift to Future Generations
While redesigning their organizational and financial mechanisms, the Jewish National Institutions will establish a new fund for the Jewish People. This fund will be the gift of the Jewish People to its future generations. At the end of this century, on December 31, 1999, Keren Matat will become the contribution of this generation to ensuring the continuity of the Jewish People and its security in the generations to come.
The purpose of the fund will be to finance projects that will assure the viability and continued existence of the Jewish People by ways and means to be determined by the leadership of the National Institutions in a democratic process representing the whole of the Jewish world. The fund will provide the monies necessary to win the battles against the dangers looming before the Jewish People: assimilation, alienation, the disappearance of community life and a widening gap between Israel society and Diaspora Jewry. It will operate under the auspices of the Jewish National Institutions, using income from the principal, and will be supervised by an independent body to evaluate its effectiveness.
The establishment of this fund will hopefully ease some of the financial constraints presently hindering the work of the National Institutions of the Jewish People.
Through Keren Matat, we will move from a system of repeated one-time contributions to a financial endowment, the fruits of which can be used for many decades. Our goal is to enable future generations to work for the good of the Jewish People, relieved of the constant necessity to search for sources of funding.
Uncertainties constitute a serious management constraint for the institutions of the Jewish People. When we attempt to shape the spiritual and organizational future of the Jewish People, we must look ahead – not past the end of the fiscal year, but past the next generation. In this context, one of the gravest mishaps which can befall the Jewish People is that its leadership will be unable to plan for the long-term. It goes without saying that in order to plan for the long-term, we must allocate resources for the long-term.
The transformation we must effect in the condition of the Jewish People calls for planning programs to be implemented over the course of many years, supervision which will guarantee the feasibility of long-range initiatives, and a system which continuously evaluates and learns from itself so as to maximize and optimize its effectiveness in the future. Keren Matat will provide the Jewish People with the fiscal means to fill these requisites for success.
The funds for Keren Matat will come, first and foremost, from the Jewish People. Every member of the Jewish People will be invited to contribute, according to his/her means. Keren Matat will be more than a vehicle to raise money to ensure the continuity of the Jewish People. It will be a vehicle through which every Jew can demonstrate his/her identification with the Jewish People, his/her commitment to its continued existence and vitality, to its values and inheritance by future generations. The fund will be based on multi year, rather than one-time, donations of every size and will strive to become the beneficiary of bequests by Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.
The Zionist leadership will invite the governments of nations around the world to contribute to Keren Matat. Thus it would be only fitting that this year, as the world celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Allied victory over the Nazis who annihilated one-third of the Jewish People, the enlightened nations of the world should be asked to take part in efforts to guarantee the continuity of the Jewish People.
An additional and important source of funding is within reach of the Jewish People: the considerable assets left by the victims of Nazi destruction. It is only just that the economic assets of the people slaughtered simply because they were Jews, be dedicated to assuring the well-being of the Jewish People. Our National Institutions will therefore appeal to governments, organizations, banking institutions and any other body or agency, which makes use of, or has benefited from, the property of Jewish victims now or during the last fifty years. These institutions will be asked to transfer the assets or the income from them to the fund for upbuilding the Jewish People in the twenty first century. A concentrated and forceful effort in this direction, backed by governments and international organizations, can bear fruit.
Ongoing Participation of Community Leaders in the Decision-Making Process
One of the operational spheres needing change is the degree of participation by of Diaspora community leaders in daily decision-making processes, which concern the Jewish People as a whole. It is not enough for Diaspora leaders to meet in Israel once every few months at the Assembly or Board of Governors. The Diaspora partners must take an ongoing part in issues at hand.
Technologies now at our disposal enable electronic conferences, which do not require the participants to be together in one physical location. The Jewish National Institutions must establish a regular, efficient and inexpensive mechanism to allow ongoing contact between all members of the leadership of the Jewish People. Telephone and video conference calls should become routine. The Jewish People’s leadership should meet at least monthly, by phone or video, to discuss their agenda and to receive progress reports on plans and operations.
Establishing Communications Channels for Every Jew Who Wants To Be Heard
It is important to create accessible opportunities for every Jew to speak his/her mind on Jewish public affairs. Ever since the inauguration of popular democracy, 2500 years ago, democratic bodies have been set back by the lack of tools allowing every person to make his/her voice heard directly by the leaders.
Those tools are available today. Attached to this document is a list of electronic means by which anyone who wishes may send messages to the Office of the Chairman of the JAFI/WZO. These means include facsimile and electronic mail via international communications networks such as Compuserve and Internet.
All messages will be checked on a daily basis, studied and considered in the formulation of policy.
Negotiating a New Division of Responsibility With the Government of Israel
The law which established the special status of the Jewish National Institutions also granted them the right and responsibility to operate broadly in a variety of spheres. However, since the enactment of the law and the signing of covenants and agreements with the Israeli governments, the State of Israel and the Jewish world have undergone fundamental changes which necessitate a redivision of labor between the parties.
The Jewish National Institutions will open immediate negotiations with official representatives at every level of the Government of Israel to formulate a new covenant for cooperation between the parties. The covenant will redefine the tasks and spheres of responsibility of the Jewish National Institutions and modes of interaction with the Government of Israel.
Changing the Organizational Culture of our Jewish National Institutions
Although our National Institutions operate efficiently in many spheres and in accordance with the norms of proper public management, their organizational culture is sometimes far from satisfactory. Some of its operations are characterized by excessive bureaucracy and insufficient personal responsibility of those in charge at various levels of the system. There is sometimes expensive redundancy in the work of certain units; units sometimes operate at cross ends to the work of other units; departments sometimes compete among themselves for resources, status and influence, at the expense of effectiveness; lack of coordination between departments sometimes causes mismanagement; there is not always the desired correlation between authority and responsibility.
We must invest, in the near future, a considerable effort in transforming the organizational culture of the Jewish National Institutions so as: to cultivate staff commitment to the organization; to strengthen the staff’s philosophy of service to its external and internal consumers; to establish clear criteria for evaluation of staff and measuring the efficacy of operations; to build incentives for staff excellence and executive management tracks which will encourage involvement and identification with various spheres of organizational activity; to limit terms of office in certain positions; to increase job mobility and to open horizontal lines of job movement; to advance the role of women in the organization; and to create a culture of excellence at every level of management and operation.
The Office of the Chairman, JAFI/WZO
Jerusalem 91 000
June 1995-Sivan 5755
The complex web of threats and opportunities in the Jewish world poses a great challenge to the National Institutions of the Jewish People.
Those who believe today that we can do without the National Institutions and allow the Jewish world to develop without coordination, may, within a few short generations, find themselves closing one of the finest chapters ever written in the history of nations and human civilization. They may find themselves witness to no less than the destruction of the Jewish People.
Nonetheless, the claim that our National Institutions in their current form do not meet the needs of the Jewish People is not unfounded. We must redefine the tasks of these institutions and implement a range of projects and methods of operation to fulfill the tasks. We must restructure our institutions accordingly and provide the services which Jews need as we approach a new century.
Part Two describes the central missions which loom before us: the battle against assimilation in the Diaspora, the battle against alienation from Judaism and Israeli estrangement from the Jewish People, and the battle to bridge the widening gap between Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Toward this end, we will recommend several methods of operation, and propose a range of programs and projects for consideration and implementation.
The proposed projects are in various stages of development: some are ready for immediate implementation following approval by the appropriate agencies; some are still being worked on; others can serve as food for thought by Jews around the world who, by offering their comments, can take an active role in shaping the destiny of the Jewish People.
Challenges in the Latter Half of the Twentieth Century
Addressing the Outcome of the Holocaust and of the Establishment of the State of Israel
In the latter half of the twentieth century, the Jewish People has had to deal with two polar events of overriding significance in its history: the annihilation of European Jewry and the emergence of a sovereign Jewish society in the Land of Israel.
The Jewish People has had to marshal all of its powers in order to survive the trauma of losing more than a third of its members. On the eve of the Second World War, there were some seventeen million Jews. Only eleven million were left when Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies. Six million persons were slaughtered because they were Jews.
And out of the destruction, like a phoenix whose spirit could not be broken, arose a new entity for which the Jewish world had yearned for two thousand years. A state emerged in the Land of Israel, opened its gates to every Jew in every corner of the world, and proclaimed itself the nation-state of the Jewish People.
Jews throughout the Diaspora gathered together and gave their all to ensure the existence of the State of Israel; Jews in Israel sacrificed their lives to defend its security; Jews in the Diaspora worked unceasingly to guarantee the prosperity of the young state.
During the latter half of this century, the National Institutions focused their efforts on assisting the Jewish ingathering in the Land of Israel. They were the central instrument for enlisting the forces of the Jewish periphery in order to build a Jewish national center. The fragile state of the Jews in the Land of Israel was faced with challenges which no other people has ever had to meet. After two thousand years of dispersion, the Jews managed to breathe new life into an ancient language, to build an impressive economy and an unparalleled military force which ultimately brought its Arab neighbors to accept the State of Israel as a fact of life.
Now that the political and military configurations in the Middle East have undergone a transformation, the focus of activity of the Jewish People must change. Today the National Institutions face new challenges, no less important than those of the past.
Challenges of the Twenty-First Century
The Battle Against Assimilation in the Diaspora
To halt assimilation, the greatest danger to the Jewish People in the next century, our National Institutions must present a program of principles, values and ideas, along with the organizational, political and economic tools to implement them.
The premiere tool at the disposal of the Jewish People in its fight against assimilation is Jewish-Zionist education.
There are three million children and youths in the Jewish world today. Half of them are being raised and educated in Israel, and half in the Diaspora.
Of the 1,500,000 Jewish children in the Diaspora, approximately 1,115,000 live in North America. Only half of the children in the Diaspora receive a Jewish education of any sort. Only a small minority of children living in Israel receive a Jewish-Zionist education which gives them the ability to weigh the long-term implications of life in the state of the Jewish People against other options. These children are the target population for the Jewish-Zionist educational activities of our National Institutions and we must reach them.
The Values and Content of Jewish-Zionist Education
The urgent need to redefine the values and traditions we will impart to our young people is not unique to the Jewish People. There is a general difficulty in conveying humanist values in a technological society. The world of the twenty first century, in which young people wander through the virtual reality of cyberspace, may become a world in which the only values are those of economic success and material achievement.
Moreover, bountiful technologies, which provide an almost endless number of channels to convey educational messages, may sometimes overshadow the content of education. The medium may become the central message. Therefore, when defining our educational tasks, we must not only define the means and the technological tools we will use in our educational systems in Israel and the Diaspora, we must also conduct an open dialogue regarding the content and messages of Jewish-Zionist education.
Our proposal is that Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora focus on Judaism as a multi-faceted world offering an ever evolving, unique and pluralistic national culture.
The Jewish identity which our National Institutions will try to impart to youth in Israel and the Diaspora will emphasize varied elements of religious tradition which touch upon bonds with the Land of Israel, knowledge of its past, its historical sites, its beauty and natural landscapes. It will emphasize the foundations of the Hebrew language and literature, and the values of personal and social morality and ethics which infuse Zionist ideology.
The educational curricula developed by our National Institutions will present Jewish studies from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective, examining texts and sources from different periods and cultures. Jewish studies will integrate general studies of personal and national moral dilemmas within the broad cultural contexts which give rise to tradition and shape values.
One of the important tasks of Jewish-Zionist education will be to define the basic components of Jewish studies which will be mandatory for Jewish children in all parts of the world. This will include exposure to the foundations of the Jewish religion, chapters in the history of Israel, contemporary Judaism in the Diaspora, ramifications of the Holocaust and Zionist history. The curriculum will also include Israeli geography, holidays and festivals (each year, one or two will be studied in depth), familiarity with the prayer book and exposure to Talmudic thinking through the study of a page of Gemara.
In addition to these mandatory subjects, supplementary programs will be developed in accordance with the needs of each community and may include in-depth study of the history and customs unique to a particular Jewish community.
The educational curricula will be developed for use both in formal and informal educational frameworks, including study groups, lectures, symposia, seminars and events connected to Jewish learning. They will be adapted for both single age and multi-generational use, including family programming which will permit parents and children to spend time together in experiential learning of Jewish texts.
The content of Jewish-Zionist education will be reshaped by experts prepared to contribute their talents, energy and expertise to this exciting task. However, not only the content must be revised, but also the means we use to convey it.
Although many children in Israel and the Diaspora regard Jewish studies as a joyless collection of boring facts, this does not attest to the poverty of the sources of Jewish culture. Rather, it indicates a poverty of creative thought and a failure to present Jewish-Zionist education in ways that are suited to the expectations, needs and habits of young Jews heading toward the twenty first century.
Jewish-Zionist education must be based on the values of Jewish religion, the study of Jewish history and heritage and an understanding of the many facets of Judaism. It must be accompanied by a study of the Hebrew language. Jewish study must become a source of pleasure. In this technological age, the acquisition of knowledge must be perceived by the student not only as a means to an end, but as a satisfying and pleasurable process in itself.
Thus, the study of Hebrew must be constructed so as to provide satisfaction and enjoyment in the learning and enable the young Diaspora Jew to feel at home when visiting Israel. A working knowledge of Hebrew must give its speakers a membership card into a worldwide club of partners in an ancient language which few others understand, and pose for them an intellectual challenge in understanding the roots of one of the most fascinating cultures in human history.
Conveying the Centrality of Israel to Diaspora Jews
A central goal of Jewish-Zionist education is to convey the centrality of Israel to Jews around the world. There is no contradiction between strengthening Jewish communities in the Diaspora in their struggle against assimilation and encouraging Aliyah to Israel while nurturing the centrality of Israel in the collective Jewish consciousness. The disappearance of the Diaspora is not something we can expect to witness in our lifetimes. Jews from the west are not expected to come to Israel en masse in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the State of Israel and the Zionist Movement have a clear interest in strengthening the Jewish consciousness of Jews in the Diaspora. The survival of strong, proud Jewish communities is the only guarantee of a reservoir of Jews who may someday choose to link their fates with the Jewish People and its nation-state, Israel. There is also no contradiction in the long-run between strengthening the cohesion of the community and preserving its Jewish character on the one hand, and encouraging Aliyah to Israel on the other If the State of Israel wishes to benefit from the enormous potential of Aliyah from affluent countries, it must first guarantee the continued Jewish identity of individuals and communities in the Jewish world. Without strong Jewish identity and a strong bond to the Land of Israel, there is no hope of reviving the idea of Aliyah.
Creating a Framework to Train Educators and Teachers
Deepening Jewish-Zionist education in Israel and the Diaspora requires an investment in teachers of excellence. To this end, we must make every effort to train professional educators who are capable of adapting general curricula to the specific needs of each community.
One of the most difficult problems in the sphere of Jewish-Zionist education is the creation of an infrastructure for training quality teachers. Many communities suffer from a severe shortage of talented educators. The pool of Jewish studies teachers in Israel is also insufficient: despite the availability of academic Jewish Studies programs, few graduates of these programs go into teaching. Between 1980 and 1992, the number of Israel university graduates attending teaching programs in Talmud and/or Jewish Philosophy (Ben-Gurion, Bar lIan, Haifa, Tel-Aviv and Hebrew Universities) rose from a total of two students to eleven.
The National Institutions of the Jewish People will establish a comprehensive system for training teachers and other educational personnel in Israel and abroad. The system will offer outstanding young people incentives to enter the field of Jewish education. Efforts will be invested in encouraging university and college students to choose this profession. Scholarships will be given to outstanding Jewish studies students who train as teachers and commit themselves to working in the field for a stipulated period of time. Similarly, scholarships will be made available to students in other disciplines who wish to switch their field of expertise to Jewish studies and instruction.
Together with the effort to enlarge the pool of Jewish studies teachers in Israel and the Diaspora, the National Institutions will establish comprehensive in-service training programs for teachers who now work in the field of Jewish-Zionist education. These programs will offer advanced study in various subjects, including integrative approaches to Jewish studies, contemporary Judaism and its different streams, Jewish identity and the study of the heritage of the communities of Israel. Summer courses will be developed for teachers, and incentives will be offered to teachers on sabbatical who participate in advanced courses in interdisciplinary Jewish studies.
To meet the different needs of Jewish communities around the world, teachers will be hired from within the community or from Israel. Some may move from one Diaspora community to another.
Involvement of Israelis Residing in the Diaspora in the Jewish-Zionist Education System
One of the resources at the disposal of the Jewish-Zionist education system in the Diaspora is Israelis who have left the State of Israel and, for various reasons, chosen to live in other countries. This population includes emissaries of institutions and organizations, academician on sabbatical, and a relatively large number of Yordim. The Jewish National Institutions will maintain an up-to-date databank of Israelis residing in the Diaspora who are interested in taking part in Jewish-Zionist educational activities.
Emissaries of institutions, organizations and economic companies, together with their families, will be invited to take part in this task. Academics on sabbatical will be invited to appear before various community forums. Among the Yordim, an effort will be made to identify people with talent for teaching Jewish and Zionist subjects. Those selected will receive training in their places of residence to ensure their skills in transmitting educational messages and their commitment to doing so.
The proposal to include Yordim in a Jewish-Zionist education system will surely arouse surprise. It would therefore be productive to examine more closely the approach which our National Institutions should adopt toward the phenomenon of Yerida.
The Jewish People has always wandered from place to place. In no period of Jewish history have individuals not chosen to leave their homes and build their lives somewhere else. A Jew who decided to move from one place to another could live a rich and full Jewish life in his/her new place of residence. Migration has always been legitimate in the Jewish world.
That fact should inform the attitude of our National Institutions toward Yordim. The individual who chooses to live his/her life outside the borders of the State of Israel is entitled to do so. After all, the establishment of the State of the Jewish People was never intended to build walls which would prevent its citizens from living elsewhere. Heaven preserve us from a country in which its citizens feel like prisoners. Jewish-Zionist education for Israelis should stress the advantages of life in their country. It should present the State of Israel to the young Israeli as the only place in the world where s/he can live a full Jewish life in the deepest sense of the word, with an unconditional connection to one’s roots and the surrounding cultural, political and social environment.
But if, nonetheless, a young Israeli chooses to go abroad to study, or to travel around the world for several years, or to make his/her living abroad, the Jewish People must not turn him/her into a "public enemy" to be ostracized.
The principle which should determine the attitude of our National Institutions toward Israelis living in the Diaspora is that a Jew who leaves the State of Israel is not a Yored to be shunned, but rather a fellow Jew. S/he is worthy of all the respect due a human being and a Jew, and if s/he wishes to be a partner in Jewish education or other spheres of activity in the Jewish world, s/he should be allowed to do so. The saying that Israel, despite its sins, remains Israel, must certainly apply to people who have committed no sin other than trying to build their lives.
Furthermore, given that one of the declared and agreed upon aims of the Jewish National Institutions is the encouragement of Aliyah, the attitude toward Israelis living abroad should follow accordingly. Bringing the Israeli who lives outside the Jewish world closer to spheres of Jewish and Zionist activity may strengthen his/her connection to Judaism and Zionist ideology.
It is possible that for some individuals, participation in Jewish educational activity will serve as a springboard for heightened status or economic gain which will actually help them build a home in the Diaspora. However, there is no doubt that many others will discover the advantages of affiliating with the Jewish People and disseminating its age-old values.
Determining Qualitative and Quantitative Goals for Jewish Education
An educational program aimed at hundreds of thousands of Jewish children who currently receive no Jewish education cannot be valid if it is not based on a multi-year plan. In addition to the qualitative definitions of the program content and the means of implementing it in the educational process, we must also define quantitative goals with respect to the number of pupils in Jewish-Zionist educational systems and the specific amount of core material to be learned.
Together with local Jewish leadership in Diaspora communities, it will be necessary to establish priorities for educational programming and the size of the target population each year, in each community.
Each community will be asked to prepare a plan for local dissemination of Jewish education. Jewish communities will be able to make use of "expert services", including questionnaires, computer programs and consultants. This will assist them in determining their qualitative goals, the tools to be employed and their budgetary resources.
Development of General Educational Programs
With a Jewish Perspective Development of General Educational Programs With a Jewish Perspective
Our National Institutions must offer Jewish students not only programs with sectarian Jewish content, but also combinations of informal and formal educational programs which emphasize the Jewish contribution to world civilization in the spheres of science, academia, literature and the humanities in various historical periods.
Jewish-Zionist values cannot be conveyed through an exclusively patronizing attitude toward other cultures and traditions. They must be founded on a sense of respect and appreciation of others combined with knowledge and pride in the unique contribution Jews have made to civilization.
Establishment of An Open University of the Jewish People
An ambitious plan for revitalizing Jewish-Zionist education is the establishment of an Open University of the Jewish People based in Jerusalem. Although the university may be associated with the Hebrew University and other Israeli institutions of higher education, it will develop programs tailor-made for its students. The Open University will offer B.A. and M.A. degrees in Jewish studies to anyone wishing to study for an academic degree.
Psychographic segmentation (social status, life style): Psychographic factors will affect the consumer patterns for education al services. In communities with a five-day workweek, the leisure time available to potential consumers of Jewish-Zionist education is obviously different from that of other communities.
In some communities, adults will prefer group learning and peer group sessions while others may choose individual study tracks.
Behavioral segmentation: Our market study must include behavioral factors of potential education consumers. Some local institutions will organize intensive family study vacations while others will prefer enrichment courses. In some places, educational activities will be multi-generational and in others, they will be based on professional affinity or peer groups.
Proposed Policy Guidelines for the National Institutions of the Jewish People (II)
Drafted by Avraham Burg, June 1995
Declaration of Principles
the strength and continued existence of the Jewish People is threatened by assimilation in the Diaspora and by estrangement from the Jewish People of parts of the Jewish community in Israel;
a comprehensive battle must be waged against all forms of ignorance, assimilation and alienation;
victory in this battle depends upon cooperation among all parts of the Jewish People;
Jewish-Zionist education must become the top priority of the Jewish People and its representatives, both in the Diaspora and in Israel. The national institutions of the Jewish People will give priority in their activities to the Jewish-Zionist education of one and a half million Jewish children in the Diaspora, and one and a half million Jewish children in Israel.
Enormous effort must be invested in encouraging Aliyah from both the East and the West. In order to ensure identification with Israel and Aliyah in the future, the Jewish communities of the Diaspora must be strengthened. Diaspora Jews must become more involved in building the society and the Land of Israel, developing frameworks, which will turn the State of Israel into a magnet for masses of Jews.
Unaffiliated Jews in the Diaspora must be encouraged to take part in Jewish-Zionist activity.
Creative and effective modes of communication between Jews in the Diaspora and in Israel must be developed.
The national institutions of the Jewish People must be restructured as a partnership between the Jews of Israel and the Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
Summary of Major Issues
Major Threats to the Jewish People
Threat to Physical Existence.
* Threat to communal existence due to the rise in antisemitism and
* Economic hardship.
* Threat to social cohesion and a sense of community. * The spiritual threat of assimilation in the Diaspora.
* The spiritual threat of weakened Jewish identity and alienation from Judaism in Israel.
* The dangers of a widening chasm between the Jews of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora
Opportunities Open to the Jewish People.
* A decrease in the physical threat to the existence of the State ofIsrael.
* Possibilities of continued mass Aliyah to Israel.
* Growing communal awareness, concern and willingness to act in order to impart a new sense of meaning to Jewish life.
* The emergence of new young leadership in Jewish communal life.
* Growing willingness for change in Diaspora communities and Israeli society.
* Innovative and accessible technologies
Challenges Facing the National Institutions.
* To impart Jewish-Zionist education.
* To shape a new Jewish-Zionist identity in Israel.
* To strengthen the sense of community among Jews in Israel.
* To build a new partnership between the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora
Guidelines for a New Policy.
* Development of multi-faceted programs for formal and informal Jewish and Zionist education for use in Israel and the Diaspora; development of quality family programming.
* Creation of meaningful content for Israeli Jewishness through programming in schools; recognition of the validity of various modes of Judaism in the State of Israel; effective responses to the civil needs of immigrants in Israel and the depoliticization of religion.
* Creation of an equitable partnership between the Jews of the Diaspora and Israel in the management of Jewish national institutions.
* Negotiation with the Government of Israel regarding a new division of responsibilities between the government and the Jewish national institutions.
* Allocation of resources for programs in the Diaspora targeting unaffiliated Jews.
* Encouragement of visits to Israel in a broad range of frameworks.
* Involvement of Israelis residing abroad, including shlichim, academics on sabbatical, and Yordim, in Jewish education in the Diaspora.
* Emphasis in the Diaspora on activities sponsored by communal institutions and frameworks such as community centers, synagogues, college campuses, and summer camps.
* Ongoing involvement of Diaspora community leaders in decision-making
Projects for Consideration and Approval During 1995.
* Establishment of an Open University of the Jewish People in Jerusalem.
* Establishment of an Israeli United Fundraising Appeal.
* Establishment of a Jewish lobby in Israel within the framework of the Jewish National Institutions.
* Merger between the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization.
* Improvement of the public perception of the Jewish National Institutions.
* Establishment of an Authority for Returning Shlichim.
* Establishment of an information unit in charge of data collection, analysis and surveys affiliated with the Jewish Agency Executive
Projects for Discussion and Response.
* Establishment of "Keren Matat": A Fund for Future Generations.
* Ensuring a regular income for activities of the National Institutions of the Jewish People.
* Development of frameworks for training teachers and other educational personnel; promoting Jewish education as a preferred profession.
* A referendum of the Jewish People.
* Establishment of an umbrella organization for Jewish organizations.
* Establishment of a network of high-quality Jewish schools.
* Establishment of a Jewish Peace Corps which will emphasize the value of national service for the entire Jewish People, will create a joint corps of Jews from Israel and the Diaspora to serve in distressed Jewish communities, to rebuild, maintain and preserve sites and facilities of importance to the Jewish People throughout the world, to provide services to the elderly, the young and the infirm, and to engage in humanitarian activities, also among non-Jewish populations.
* Development of a satellite communications network for Jewish and Israeli culture.
* Participation in the development of centers of science and advanced technology in Israel.
* Participation in the creation of an advanced information infrastructure in Israel.
* Development of a broad range of computer-based educational programs, multimedia programs for individual study, the use of information highways as a tool for Jewish education, and interactive information banks specializing in Jewish-Zionist subjects.
* Establishment of a distribution system for books, software, radio and television programs about Jewish, Israeli and Zionist issues
Proposed Policy Guidelines for the National Institutions of the Jewish People were drafted by Avraham Burg, former Israeli MK and prominent member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the Finance Committee and the State Control Committee. In February 1995, Burg was elected Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization. His draft is made after his election to this influential position.
Brit Am: A Covenant of The People
June 1995-Sivan 5755
For three who are part of me: my God, my parents and my family. For three who are with me: my friends, my compatriots, my People.
These are the things which man performs and enjoys their fruits in this world, while the principal remains for him for the world to come, namely: honoring one's parents, the practice of loving deeds, and making peace between man and his fellow, while the study of the Torah surpasses them all. (Tractate Shabbat, p. 127a)
This is the tradition of the life of the Jew: the family in its generations, the friends who need him, the guests in his house, the indigent, the orphan and the infirm with whom he shares what he has; he pursues justice with all his might; his family is the core of his personal and national existence, and study surpasses them all: education and Jewish enlightment, for this is where all begins, and the purpose of all.
These are days of challenge. Difficult yet interesting times. The end of an old era and the beginning of a new one. The twentieth century draws to a close. We have been chosen to carry the torch of Judaism from our time into that of our children. It is we who shall be the standard-bearers of the Judaism of the twenty first century. As I stand before the public today, I am reminded of the Reader's Prayer during the High Holy Days:
Here I stand, impoverished in merit, trembling in Your presence, pleading on behalf of Your people Israel even though I am unfit and unworthy for the task …. make my errand successful when I seek mercy for myself and those who have commissioned me …. May they not be shamed for my deeds; and may their deeds cause me no shame …. Transform our afflictions to joy and gladness, life and peace. May we always love truth and peace …. For in mercy do You hear the prayer of Israel, Your people. Blessed are You, merciful God who hears prayer.
In the course of history, more than one enemy has risen to destroy us, but we have always found an answer. We had hope. Our paths were illumined by faith in our destiny and in our mission, in God and God's people. But the times we live in offer no answers. Questions and doubts abound. The common denominators, which held us together, are fast wearing thin. Assimilation ravages us, and among our children there is almost no language of values common to all.
Over the past few years we at the National Institutions, together with other dedicated men and women, have been doing all we can to rescue and resuscitate the last of the large Jewish communities in distress – the Jews of the former Soviet Union. When the revival of this remarkable Jewry is complete, it will mark the successful fulfillment of an historic mission of salvation undertaken by the Jewish People, the Zionist Movement and the State of Israel. And then we will be face to face with ourselves and the painful dialogue between Israeli society and western Jewry. We will ask searching questions but find only partial answers. We will struggle daily under the weight of the responsibility of passing on to our children the splendors of the heritage we received from our parents. Are we to be the last Zionists? Are we to be the last generation of united Jewry? Will we have the strength to find an answer and prove that yes, the Jewish People can survive without an external enemy?
On the following pages, I have attempted to share my beliefs and hopes, to sketch both the broad strokes and the fine lines of what I envisage as our daily work in the years and the century to come. The future will bring with it many changes. Much that is unimportant and irrelevant will disappear. New issues will be born and become central in our lives. In two respects we shall all be tested: Will we prove wise enough to free ourselves of what were once assets and have become burdens, lest they enchain us until the end of our days, and will we know how to embrace the new and renew ourselves so that we are able to play a role in the future?
On one thing, I hope, we stand united: The belief that none of the organizations which comprise our National Institutions is an end in itself. We are all the servants of a network of goals greater than any that can be borne alone. Only if we are capable of change, of confronting these goals together, is there justification for our organizational existence.
I believe with perfect faith that, in view of the separatism which infuses the actions of so many Jewish groups today, there is a compelling need, now more than ever before, for a supreme Jewish national institution able to marshal the forces necessary to overcome the internal schisms and insensitivities which threaten to rip us apart.
This proposal is not all-inclusive; it is a draft. Together we shall write the final version. I look forward to your response, positive as well as negative. Each of us will take these ideas home to share with friends and colleagues and come up with new thoughts and ideas, which we urge you to communicate by letter, by fax, by E-Mail or any other available means. The wider the circle of respondents, the more numerous the participants, the better the chance that we will design a worthy plan of action. Together we shall weave a cloth of excellence, a joint creation providing a solid foundation for our endeavours.
Sivan 5755 June 1995
Merry Christmas from JNF
Jerusalem Post, 29 December 1990
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) last week distributed Christmas trees to members of the country’s various Christian communities. More than 3,000 trees were handed out in Jerusalem, and over 7,000 in the north, including Nazareth and Shfaram. The trees were culled from various forests as part of JNF’s ongoing maintenance program.
In the following article, Jewish and Zionist officials contrive not to have known that the WZO has supported illegal settlements in the occupied territories. This is belied by news published previously in Israel.
In the Jerusalem Post of 8 August 1992 (byline Betsheva Tsur), the Post reports under the heading "WZO Congress backs Rabin’s settlement policies":
"The World Zionist Organization will refocus its settlement activities to reflect the policies of the Rabin government, WZO officials said Friday, after the 32th Zionist Congress passed a resolution to direct the WZO’s settlement budget to sparsely populated areas important for the nation’s security. WZO officials said that the organization will shift its work almost exclusively to the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley."
[…] The opening ceremony was attended by President Chaim Herzog, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and other cabinet ministers, Mayor Teddy Kollek and numerous ambassadors, along with more than 700 delegates and Jewish leaders…Former Australian premier Bob Hawke…was guest of honor."
March 18, 2005
Embarrassed leaders of American Jewish organizations were absorbing the news this week that an international body under their control was at the center of a tangled Israeli scheme, detailed in a bombshell government report, to build illegal settlement outposts in violation of Israeli law, policy and international commitments.
The international body, the World Zionist Organization, or WZO, is described in the report as a pivotal player in the scheme, in which midlevel officials in various government ministries secretly channeled funds and resources to the illegal West Bank outposts. Several sources told the Forward that a WZO department, the Settlement Division, was used as a vehicle for many of the illegal activities, in part because its status as a nongovernmental organization shielded it from government oversight.
The controversial report, commissioned last year by Prime Minister Sharon, was submitted March 9. The Cabinet approved it March 13. The author, Talia Sasson, formerly Israel’s chief criminal prosecutor, paints a scathing picture of government and WZO officials who diverted funds, confiscated land ? including privately owned Palestinian land ? or turned a blind eye to "blatantly illegal" activity. Sasson said the illegal outposts began in the mid-1990s in response to a freeze on legal settlement construction by late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The report has caused a furor in Israel. The Sharon government, which is obligated to freeze settlement building under President Bush’s road map to peace, promised to remove the outposts built since 2001 but largely failed to do so. Doves said the report proved the government was effectively abetting the illegal activity, while hawks said the role of government agencies proved the activity was not illegal.
WZO is a confederation of pro-Israel groups in dozens of countries, including such mainstays as Hadassah, B’nai B’rith and offshoots of the Reform and Conservative movements. American groups control 30% of the organization’s main governing bodies, including the World Zionist Congress, which is convened in Jerusalem every four years.
Most leaders of American Zionist groups said they had been unaware of the extent of WZO’s work in the territories. "If it were in the documents, there would have been big fights," said Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, former director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America. "We wouldn’t have let that slide."
Others said American and world Jewish leaders simply failed to respond to mounting evidence. "This was hardly discussed, and everyone could have done a lot more," said Moshe Kagan of the left-wing Meretz USA, a former member of WZO’s 24-person executive committee. "Not enough was done, not by Meretz and not by anyone else."
Theodor Herzl founded the World Zionist Organization in 1897 to spearhead the creation of a Jewish state. Its Israeli operating arm, the Jewish Agency, essentially provided Israel’s governmental infrastructure when the state was declared in 1948. After independence, the world organization pursued tasks such as immigration, Jewish education and Israeli rural development.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War, WZO and the Jewish Agency were "reconstituted" as separate entities, with WZO retaining its ideological mission to Diaspora Jews as well as its tradition of raucous political debate. The Jewish Agency took over Israeli social services, currently a $420 million network of programs funded by Diaspora philanthropies.
The two bodies remain closely linked, sharing top staff and some joint facilities. The agency largely funds WZO’s $11 million budget.
Crucially, the post-1967 restructuring also split up the organization’s rural development operations. The Jewish Agency oversaw projects in Israel, while WZO took charge of settlement in the territories seized in the 1967 war.
Officials say they are careful not to use American donations to fund WZO activities in the territories, in order to avoid violations of U.S. policy that could compromise the tax-exempt status of U.S. Jewish charities.
Over time, the WZO Settlement Division became a semi-independent unit financed with Israeli government funds, currently $40 million a year. WZO governing bodies do not review the division budget, which is under the purview of the state comptroller, officials said.
The lines between WZO and the Jewish Agency are not always clear, however. While Settlement Division activities are funded by the government, the infrastructure of WZO is funded largely by the Jewish Agency, which in turn is funded by American Jewish federations.
The Settlement Division’s work in the territories was originally a topic of WZO debate. At the 1982 World Zionist Congress, a resolution to end the WZO’s role in settlements was narrowly defeated in a procedural maneuver by WZO’s Likud-appointed chairman. Soon afterward, Ariel Sharon, who had been forced to resign as defense minister after the 1982 Lebanon War, was nominated to head the division, but was rejected because liberal delegates feared he would override oversight rules.
In the mid-1980s, however, feuding over religious pluralism eclipsed debate over settlements. Delegate elections to the World Zionist Congress in 1987 saw the entry for the first time of a slate representing Reform Judaism, which swept the American balloting that year.
According to Rabbi Eric Yoffie, founding director of the Reform Zionist group and now president of the Union for Reform Judaism, debate over settlements dissipated during the 1980s, in part because it became clear that the Israeli government was calling the shots. "At a certain point, people saw this was not going to be resolved in the WZO, so there was just no purpose to further debates," Yoffie said.
In recent years, evidence has mounted implicating the Settlement Division in dubious activities. Numerous reports by the Israeli Peace Now organization detailed the web of agencies building outposts. In January, a Knesset committee discussed WZO’s role in illegal outposts.
"If people didn’t suspect this on some basic level, there was something wrong with them," said Jamie Levin, director of the Labor Zionist Alliance, now known as Ameinu.
The publication of the Sasson report has reignited WZO debate over the Settlement Division. A day after the report’s release, 12 members of WZO’s executive committee wrote a letter to Sallai Meridor, who chairs both WZO and the Jewish Agency, calling for an "extraordinary meeting" to discuss the report.
Sasson recommended that the government cut the Settlement Division’s funding and end its role in the territories. Two members of the WZO executive committee wrote a separate letter calling for these recommendations to be implemented immediately, despite a call by Sharon for the division to remain intact.
Leaders of right-wing American groups, who tend to support West Bank settlements in principle, expressed less concern about the Sasson findings. Mandell Ganchrow, director of Mizrachi Religious Zionists of America, said he saw no need for immediate change: "This will have to be dealt with by the government. It’s not fair to point a finger and ask where was the WZO. This had to do with the will of the government of the State of Israel."
Michael Jankelowitz, spokesman for both the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, said WZO never raised concerns about the work of the Settlement Division, because it was always done under government direction: "Everything we did was at the behest of the government. We were not aware that these requests were illegal."
The Zionist Congress hereby resolves:
4. To establish, where necessary in every country, working groups which will work with members of the legislature to bring about legislation that will outlaw anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and Holocaust denial;
5. To form groups of jurists whose role would be to lodge complaints and initiate prosecution against political, media, or other bodies which disseminate anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist hatred;
The Struggle Against Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Racism
34th Zionist Congress Resolutions
35. Training Shlichim to Deal With Expressions of Anti-Semitism 36. The Struggle Against Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Racism
35. Training Shlichim to Deal With Expressions of Anti-Semitism
Whereas the current situation has led to a dramatic increase in expressions of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus be it resolved that:
we call upon the World Zionist Organization to undertake whatever steps are necessary to ensure that Shlichim are fully and properly trained to deal with these issues in a manner consistent with the culture, history, and society of the country in which they will be serving.
36. The Struggle Against Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism and Racism
The Zionist Congress decries the re-emergence of the scourge of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in many countries of the world, especially in Europe, which, only two generations ago, gave rise to the horror of the Holocaust.
The Zionist Congress notes with concern the recently new anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist phenomenon among various groups has been added to the campaign of delegitimization and vilification of, and incitement and terrorism against the State of Israel.
The Zionist Congress is distressed that 54 years after the establishment of the State of Israel, that criminal acts associated with anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are reemerging in new and especially violent ways;
The Zionist Congress calls upon all persons of conscience throughout the world to voice their vehement opposition to a renewal of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism currently rearing its ugly head;
The Zionist Congress calls upon civilized persons everywhere to disassociate themselves from and to condemn those elements in their midst disseminating these pernicious racial views;
The Zionist Congress calls upon all governments, parliaments, and international bodies of the world to effect legislation against this phenomenon, rendering illegal and subjecting anyone practicing such acts to prosecution and punishment.
This Zionist Congress notes and condemns the United Nations Conference Against Racism held in Durban in August 2001, as it became a forum for vitriolic anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. This Congress, therefore, calls upon the United Nations to insure that such a phenomenon is not repeated within any United Nations forums or bodies.
The Zionist Congress hereby resolves:
1. That the Zionist Federations urge all Jewish communities throughout the world to act vigorously against the scourge of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; and
2. Calls upon the Executive of the Jewish Agency to establish a professional team, based in Jerusalem, to coordinate the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in an active and dignified way;
3. To set up groups of experts who will work with opinion makers, the communications media (press, radio, and television) and intellectuals to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism currently widespread in some of these circles and put forward positive, constant, and proactive information about Israel;
4. To establish, where necessary in every country, working groups which will work with members of the legislature to bring about legislation that will outlaw anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and Holocaust denial;
5. To form groups of jurists whose role would be to lodge complaints and initiate prosecution against political, media, or other bodies which disseminate anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist hatred;
6. To establish, in conjunction with the World Union of Jewish Students and other Jewish student Zionist organizations, an apparatus to monitor anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activity on the college campuses and to expose the disseminators of hate propaganda, and to provide students of all ages with information and strategies to respond to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on and off college campuses;
7. To form groups of educators who will carry out an extensive and probing examination of textbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedia, in order to expunge them of all anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and Holocaust-denial content;
8. To recruit ethical and moral persons, governments, and parliaments throughout the world in order to warn governments that have demonstrated weakness in combating anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in their countries;
9. By carrying out these actions, the Zionist Movement, its organizations and members will struggle to achieve full cooperation and unity with global and national Diaspora Jewish organizations worldwide.
The Zionist Congress calls upon the Government of Israel to mobilize all its power to assist in realizing these activities and to strengthen its ties with the Jewish communities around the world in the spirit of the dictum that kol Yisrael aravim zeh Bazeh – all Jews are responsible for one another.
Klal Yisrael, Jewish Unity, and the Centrality of the State of Israel
34th Zionist Congress Resolutions
47. Rewriting the Jerusalem Programme 48. Establishing an Operative Zionist Program Relevant to the Present Time 49. Strengthening Identification with the State of Israel 50. One Hundred Year Anniversary of the Establishment of Religious Zionism ? The Mizrachi Movement 51. Hasbara 52. Jerusalem 53. Zionism in Israel 54. Pardon for Jonathan Pollard 55. Solidarity
47. Rewriting the Jerusalem Programme In light of the fact that some sections of the Jerusalem Programme of June 1969 are not realistic or relevant,
the Zionist Congress resolves that the Presidium of the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Executive form a committee, composed of representatives of all factions and viewpoints within the Zionist Movement, in order to reevaluate and consider updating the Jerusalem Programme in the Jewish year 5762.
48. Establishing an Operative Zionist Program Relevant to the Present Time
The 34th Zionist Congress instructs the Zionist Executive to present an operative Zionist program valid for our present-day reality, and to work toward the expansion of the spheres of influence among the Jews of the Diaspora, with special emphasis on activity with students and young people.
49. Strengthening Identification with the State of Israel
The Zionist Movement, from its outset, regards the responsibility for all of Israel and the unity of Israel as a great and necessary foundation for the reinforcement of identification with, and obligation to, the Jewish State of Israel. On the basis of the activity of the Zionist Executive,
the 34th Zionist Congress currently resolves to instruct the Zionist Executive to prepare: a. a strategic worldwide program for the reinforcement and deepening of Jewish solidarity in general, and with the State of Israel in particular, b. an operative program for the cultivation and deepening of the connections between the spiritual, communal and organization leadership of all streams in the Diaspora, and the leadership and society in Israel, c. the Center for Religious Affairs in the Diaspora of the World Zionist Organization is regarded as an important and meaningful factor in the cultivation of the consciousness of Jewish belonging and identification, as well as obligation to the State of Israel.
50. One Hundred Year Anniversary of the Establishment of Religious Zionism ? The Mizrachi Movement
The 34th Zionist Congress of 2002 marks the one hundred years since the establishment of the Mizrachi Movement in the Jewish year 5662, as well as its joining the World Zionist Organization.
The Zionist Congress congratulates and praises the Mizrachi World Movement and all its branches for the nurturing and cultivation of generations of religious Zionists, Bnei Torah and activists, who are integrated in all fields of Zionist activity: in aliyah, settlement, religious Zionist education, security, science, creativity and social involvement.
Whereas the need for Hasbara and Zionist education has become increasingly critical over the past few years as anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic attacks have intensified, and as the ideology of post-Zionism has been promulgated, and
whereas knowledge of and commitment to Zionist principles cannot be assumed, particularly among the younger generation, and
whereas support for Israel has become increasingly tenuous among Jews and non-Jews alike in recent years, and
whereas those who oppose Israel have become increasingly vociferous and sophisticated in their anti-Zionist campaigning,
be it hereby resolved that the World Zionist Organization, through the Department for Zionist Activities, accept the mandate to actively engage in Hasbara and Zionist education, through the use of all modern technological means ? internet, television and radio ? in order to strengthen the Jewish and Israeli heritage, and
be it further resolved that a special committee be established immediately, which will decide on effective ways to implement this, after having consulted with the Department for Zionist Activities, and whereby the possibility of cooperation with the Jewish Agency should be considered.
be it further resolved that the budget of the World Zionist Organization should reflect the implementation of this decision.
1. Jerusalem has always been a central focus of Zionism, the symbol of the Jewish People, and its spiritual and cultural center, and its historic capital, it is to her that the Jewish People continue to turn from all over the world.
2. The Zionist Movement firmly stands behind the demand of the Israeli government and of the Jewish People to safeguard the unity of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
3. In order to strengthen Jerusalem as a symbol of the Jewish nation, the Zionist Congress attributes great importance to the channeling and encouragement of immigration to Jerusalem.
4. Jerusalem is an important center for the higher education of the Jewish people, including the Hebrew University as well as other academic institutions of higher learning, and secular and religious educational institutions on a high level, in the fields of the arts and different occupational fields. The effort will continue to direct Jewish youth to come and receive education for a period of time in Jerusalem, to encourage the participation of Jewish students in academic studies at the Hebrew University and in different colleges and yeshivot in Jerusalem.
5. The Zionist Congress calls upon the Jewish public throughout the world to continue to come to Jerusalem as tourists and visitors, and especially visits to Jerusalem by young people and students, despite the security problems. Visits of this kind are an important layer in the continuing existence of the Jewish People.
6. It is necessary to continue the effort to strengthen Jerusalem’s economy in those areas special to her, among them tourism, medicine, hi-technology, culture, higher education, government, National Institutions, and to expand infrastructures and the support of the channeling of special encouragement given on behalf of the Jewish People and the State, to Jerusalem.
53. Zionism in Israel 1. The Zionist Movement regards the Law of Return and its protection as a treasure of eternal value, which should not be changed, and the status of which should not be harmed.
2. The Zionist Congress calls upon the Ministry of Education to increase education toward a Jewish Zionist identity and toward love of the land, and toward the values of Jewish culture and heritage, by preparing appropriate programmes for schools and increasing the amount of teaching hours allocated to this subject at schools.
3. The Zionist Congress calls upon the national institutions to awaken and push forward Zionist activity in Israel, and to cultivate bodies that are dealing with Zionist thinking and activity, so as to help create a Zionist atmosphere in Israel.
4. The Zionist Congress calls upon all National Institutions to make efforts and help strengthen the connection between Israeli society and the Jewish People and the Jewish communities abroad, by means of aiding organizations and institutions world wide, and other youth movements, women’s movements, student organizations and schools, through activities that focus upon the subject of the Jewish People.
5. The Zionist Congress calls upon the Government of Israel to consider as important, and as their responsibility, to aid the Jewish communities as part of the mutual guarantee between Israel and the Diaspora.
54. Pardon for Jonathan Pollard
The 34th Zionist Congress:
Calls upon the President of the United States, Mr. George W. Bush, to pardon Jonathan Pollard and free him;
Calls upon all Jewish and Zionist activists in the world, and in particular in the United States, to participate in the activities to free Jonathan Pollard from continued imprisonment;
Charges the Zionist General Council to adopt a plan of action to achieve the freedom of Jonathan Pollard. Such plan shall include educational and supporting activities.
Whereas murderous terror and terrorist attacks are being carried out constantly against the citizens of Israel by cowardly murderers;
And whereas a slanderous propaganda system is aiming to delegitimize the State of Israel and slander it;
And whereas a sharp wave of anti-Semitism wave is taking place, in its most violent and propagandist forms;
Therefore we are declaring again the supreme value of the mutual guarantee and responsibility between each and every Jew, each and every community and between the State of Israel and the Diaspora. Jewish solidarity is an existential asset for assuring the well being of our people and its future;
The Zionist Congress expresses its gratitude and appreciation towards the expressions of solidarity with Israel, which we have seen during the last year amongst many Jews worldwide.
The World Zionist Organization, in its national and global frameworks, and the delegates of the 34th Zionist Congress, will lead the campaign for Israel and against terror and anti-Semitism once they are back in their countries, by initiating and participating in:
a. Rallies to support Israel and oppose terror b. Activities against anti-Semitism world wide c. Follow-up of unfair media coverage d. Persuasion and explanation operations in front of parliaments and governments e. Organization of solidarity missions to Israel f. The Israel Emergency Campaign g. Recruitment of supporters within the non-Jewish public, against anti-Semitism and terror and in favor of the State of Israel
The Congress salutes our friends, people with conscience and moral values, who oppose the anti-Semitism that is rearing its ugly head.
November 20, 2002
Director General of the Prime Ministers Office: " World Wide Jewry is a Strategic Asset for the State of Israel and Strengthening its Security
Director General of the Prime Ministers Office, Avigdor Yitzhaki, issued a directive to cabinet ministers and Directors General of ministries declaring that he wishes to continue and deepen the partnership with World Jewry in the fields in which the Jewish Agency operates.
"World Jewry has proven time and time again that it constitutes a strategic asset in building the country and strengthening its security. Even now during the present crisis, World Jewry has come forth in helping Israel with the Israel Emergency Campaign, solidarity missions, most important thousand of immigrants who continue to arrive. The goals of this government revolve around issues of Aliyah, absorption, and deepening Jewish Identity and Jewish Zionist and strengthening bonds and partnerships with Jewish Communities for the building of the State of Israel", the Director General wrote.
In addition, Director General said "the Government’s work with Diaspora Jewry takes place by the Prime Ministers office in cooperation the Jewish Agency in accordance with the 1979 Convention between the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Agency Status law. We in the Prime Ministers Office will continue in this approach and will stress the same goals (increasing Aliyah, strengthening absorption, and Jewish and Zionist education)."
Jewish Agency Chairman, Sallai Meridor said, "the importance of Diaspora Jewry is especially great at this juncture. The encouragement and the support that Israel gets from Jewish communities all over the world is testimony to the fact the World Jewry supports us. The Government of Israeli is a partner with the Jewish Agency in achieving these high goals."
The annual "General Assembly" of the United Jewish Communities, has opened in Philadelphia, under the banner Justice, Justice, you will pursue" with the active participation of the Jewish Agency. During the GA, the following subjects will be discussed: the demographic changes in the Jewish communities, the relationship between the Jewish Federations and the State of Israel, the Israel Emergency Campaign, and worldwide anti-Semitism.
For additional information please contact the Office of the Spokesman:
The World Zionist Organization
Table of Contents
To mark the centennial of the First Zionist Congress held in Basel and the founding of the World Zionist Organization there, and in wake of the Government decision to declare 1996-97 as the “Year of Zionism”, the Department of Organization and Community Relations and the Secretariat of the Zionist General Council have promoted the publication of this booklet. This publication presents the processes in the organizational development of the World Zionist Organization, including the other National Institutions: The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (Jewish National Fund) and Keren Hayesod.
We hope that study of this publication will contribute to an understanding of the processes related to the activities of the National Institutions, from the time of their establishment until the present day.
We have seen fit to distribute this work among the various bodies in the State of Israel and the Diaspora which are connected with the activity of the National Institutions and which will take part in a variety of programs related to the Year of Zionism events.
The Congress elects the office-holders of the World Zionist Organization, who are: the Chairman of the Zionist Executive, the Zionist Executive, the Zionist General Council, the President of the Zionist Supreme Court, the World Zionist Organization Attorney and the Comptroller.
In general, one Session is held yearly. In exceptional cases, the Zionist General Council resolves on the holding of an additional Session.
The Zionist Executive constitutes the executive institution of the World Zionist Organization. It is charged with the implementation of the decisions of the Congress and of the Zionist General Council, through its Departments.
The policy of the World Zionist Organization is implemented by the territorial Zionist Federations, which constitute roof organizations and are made up of the World Unions (the Zionist groupings) and of the international Jewish organizations. The Department of Organization and Community Relations is responsible for their functioning.
The following institutions were established by decisions of Zionist Congresses: in 1897 the World Zionist Organization was founded, in 1899 "the Jewish Colonial Trust" which served as a financial tool for realization of the idea of a Jewish State; in 1901 the Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (Jewish National Fund) was created for buying land in Eretz Israel. The Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel engages in afforestation, in preparation of land for agriculture and in nurturing of the environment and of society. In 1920 Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal was formed. This institution deals with funding of Aliyah, absorption and settlement.
The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) was established in 1929, by the Sixteenth Congress, in consequence of the conclusion reached by the leadership of the World Zionist Organization as to the need to mobilize the Jewish people for fulfillment of the goals of the Zionist Movement. The decision to found the JAFI was taken at the Sixteenth Zionist Congress. The Six-Day War led to a change in the mutual relations between Israel and the Diaspora. The Israel Appeals grew stronger and the contributors wished to assume a part in the responsibility for the Jewish Agency activities. In 1971, an agreement was signed for expansion of the Jewish Agency. By virtue of this agreement, the Jewish Agency is made up of 50% of representatives of the World Zionist Organization, 30% of representatives of the United Appeal and 20% of representatives of Keren Hayesod.
The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency is the organ which determines its policy. It convenes three times yearly.
Turning Points in the Activities of The World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization, which was founded at the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897 (Appendix 9), was the main instrument of the Jewish people on the road to the establishment of the State of Israel. Until the establishment of the State, the Zionist Executive acted as the "government in the making". It worked for the rebirth of Jewish nationality within the Jewish people, and in the field of Aliyah and Jewish settlement in Eretz Israel. It also conducted an extensive information campaign among world statesmen in order to obtain political recognition for the Zionist aims. Its efforts led to the publication of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, in which the British Government expressed its sympathy for the Zionist aspiration regarding the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, and to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
In 1908, the World Zionist Organization opened its Palestine Office in Jaffa in order to develop the settlement work in Eretz Israel. Upon the outbreak of World War I, all the WZO activities in Palestine were suspended.
In 1920, Prof. Chaim Weizmann was elected as the first President of the World Zionist Organization. At that time, a new direction was consolidated which constituted a combination of the political stream and the spiritual stream; it was called "Synthetic Zionism". At the same time questions of culture were being debated in the Zionist Movement. Some members demanded that emphasis be placed on spiritual Zionism and saw Eretz Israel as a spiritual center for the Jewish people. On the other hand, many of the religious Zionists demanded that cultural affairs be removed from the WZO fields of activity. In 1933, the Revisionists, headed by Zeev Jabotinsky, withdrew from the World Zionist Organization and founded the New Zionist Organization. In 1946 they returned to the World Zionist Organization, participating in the Twenty-Second Zionist Congress, held in Basel.
Since the establishment of the State, the activity of the Zionist Movement has concentrated mainly on the Diaspora, on strengthening the Jewish people in the fields of Zionist Jewish education, Aliyah promotion, Zionist information, and the struggle against assimilation. On the other hand, the main activities of the Jewish Agency are in the State of Israel. After the establishment of the State, the aims and tasks of the Zionist Movement were redefined. At the Twenty-Third Zionist Congress (1951), the first to convene in Jerusalem, the "Jerusalem Program" was adopted (Appendix 10). In 1952, the Knesset passed the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel (Status) Law (Appendix 13), which stipulates: "The State of Israel recognizes the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel as the authorized agencies which will continue to operate in the State of Israel for the development and settlement of the country, the absorption of immigrants from the Diaspora and the coordination of the activities in Israel of Jewish institutions and organizations active in those fields." In 1954 a "Covenant" was signed between the Israeli Government and the Zionist Executive (Appendix 14). These two basic documents granted a special status to the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, which was established in 1929 (Appendixes 15 and 16).
The Twenty-Seventh Zionist Congress, which convened in Jerusalem in 1968, reformulated the "Jerusalem Program" (Appendix 11), establishing the aims of Zionism as the unity of the Jewish people and the centrality of the State of Israel, the strengthening of the State of Israel, and the preservation of the unique character of the Jewish people through fostering of Jewish education.
In 1972 the Twenty-Eighth Zionist Congress approved and adopted the Duties of the Individual Zionist. These obligations stem from the tasks embraced by the "Jerusalem Program" as well as from membership in the World Zionist Organization (Appendix 12).
In 1992, the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress decided on the forming of a committee to examine the structure of the World Zionist Organization, in order to adapt its functioning to the needs of the times.
Stages in the History of the Congresses (Appendix 2)
The Herzl period from 1897 to 1903, from the First Congress to the Sixth. These Congresses engaged in ideological debates and clarification of the organization, the regulations, the method of electing the Executive and shaping of the image of the World Zionist Organization.
From Herzl’s death until World War I ,1905 to 1913 – from the Seventh Congress to the Eleventh Congress, the discussions were mainly at the practical level and in the field of Jewish culture in the countries of the Diaspora. Debates of principle were held between the supporters of Political Zionism (Herzl, Pinsker) and the advocates of Spiritual Zionism (Ahad Ha-Am).
From 1913 until 1921 no Zionist Congresses were held as a result of World War I. In 1917 the Balfour Declaration was published.
After the Balfour Declaration until the establishment of the State of Israel, 1921 to 1946: from the Twelfth Congress until the Twenty-Second Congress, the World Zionist Organization attained international recognition as a result of the Balfour Declaration, and consequently the status of the Congress was modified. These Congresses dealt with political problems that arose in Palestine and the Diaspora. Most of the discussions and decisions focused on the following issues: settlement of Palestine, creation of Keren Hayesod, acquisition of the lands of the Jezreel Valley, opening of the Hebrew University, the economic crisis and the Fourth Aliyah crisis. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses (1933 and 1935) were held in the shadow of the Nazi rise to power in Germany. The Twentieth Congress (1937) discussed the Palestine Partition Plan prepared by the Peel Commission, and the Twenty-First Congress (1939) discussed the struggle against the British White Paper. The Twenty-Second Congress (1946), held after the Holocaust, discussed "illegal" immigration and the fight against British rule. A resolution was adopted on the importance and the need for the immediate establishment of a Jewish state.
After the establishment of the State of Israel – since the Twenty-Third Congress (1951) the Congresses have been held in the State of Israel. The Twenty-Third Congress resolved to adopt the "Jerusalem Program" (Appendix 10) instead of the "Basel Program" (Appendix 9). A decision was adopted calling on the State of Israel to grant official status to the World Zionist Organization. In 1952 the Knesset approved the "World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel (Status) Law" (Appendix 13).
At the Twenty-Seventh Zionist Congress (1968) the reformulation of the "Jerusalem Program" was approved, with emphasis on the unity of the Jewish people and the centrality and strengthening of the State of Israel. At the XXXI/5 Zionist General Council Session, held in June 1991 (Sivan 5751), an amendment was introduced into the "Jerusalem Program", whereby Zionist education would also be fostered. At the Twenty-Eighth Congress the "Duties of the Individual Zionist" were laid down.
Location of the Zionist Congresses:
The Institutions of the Zionist Movement
1. Zionist Congress
THE ZIONIST CONGRESS
Language of the Congress
Powers of the Congress
1. The Congress elects the Chairman of the Zionist Executive, the members of the Executive, the members of the Zionist General Council and their deputies, the President of the Zionist Supreme Court, the Attorney of the World Zionist Organization and the Comptroller.
In the inter-Congress period many of the Congress powers are assumed by the Zionist General Council, including the authority to amend the Constitution.
Duration of the Congress
Composition of the Congress
In the case of countries of the Diaspora, an overall number is given, but the number of delegates of each country is determined, prior to each Congress, by a special Committee, which takes into account in its decisions the size of the Jewish population and all the Zionist achievements in each country, such as the number of Federation members, Aliyah, Appeals and Jewish education.
The Shekel and Zionist Membership
In pursuance of Article 22, Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution, every Jew who is a member of a body affiliated to the World Zionist Organization and who has reached the age of eighteen years, is entitled to vote and to be elected to the Congress. The elections are obligatory for all the electoral areas except for Israel. In pursuance of Article 21 Section 1 of the Constitution, no elections are held in Israel. The Committee for Determining the Representation from Israel appoints the delegates in accordance with the relative strength of the Zionist parties in the last Knesset elected prior to the opening of the Congress.
In 1976 election rules were issued that are binding on all the countries. The rules allow several kinds of elections: personal or proportional elections, voting in a poll booth, postal vote etc. The elections must be by vote unless a "one hundred percent agreement" has been obtained, namely there exists only one list accepted by all the parties and the streams or by the candidates. In this case it should be known that even if an agreement was reached, any new group formed, even temporarily, can cancel the agreement if it succeeds in mobilizing the number of signatures required for presentation of a list.
Membership of organizations in the World Zionist organization
Since the new WZO Constitution came into force in 1960, there has been no personal membership in the World Zionist Organization. Only organizations can be members. An individual Zionist can belong to the World Zionist Organization only indirectly, through one of the member organizations.
As indicated above, in the period of the Shekel, membership was individual; anyone paying a shekel was considered a member of the World Zionist Organization. The reason for this difference lies in the change in the structure of the World Zionist Organization, which is now an "association of organizations". This change was introduced in order to take into account the laws of the USA in relation to foreign agents.
The Central Elections Board
The Chairman of the Central Elections Board and the members of the board are appointed by the President of the Zionist Supreme Court. The board is chaired by a judge or judge emeritus in Israel. Factions which participated in the previous Zionist Congress participate in the board as observers. In addition to the board’s powers, it deliberates and decides in cases where omissions were discovered in the election preparations or a deadlock situation was created.
The Area Election Committee
The Area Election Committee determines the method of elections and the conduct of the elections in each area/country. If all the organizations and groups operating in the Zionist movement in a country are represented in the Executive of the Zionist Federation, the Executive of the Federation can serve as the Area Election Committee. If the Federation prefers that a special body conduct the elections, it will establish this body. The committee must reflect the composition of the delegation of the electoral area in question at the previous Zionist Congress.
Elections to the Congress must be held no later than three months prior to holding of the Congress.
The Zionist World Unions
"Zionist World Union" means a Zionist organization which represents a special ideological point of view within the World Zionist Organization, has branches in at least 5 countries and is represented by a Congress Grouping.
The Zionist World Unions are:
1. The Labor Zionist Movement
The International Jewish Organizations
* WIZO is an international, non-party Zionist body which receives, by virtue of an agreement entered into in 1964, global representation like all the other bodies with limited voting rights. However, WIZO has unlimited voting rights like the World Unions.
** The Zionist Council in Israel – This body represents Zionist bodies in Israel which are not represented in the Knesset. Since it was decided to add 10 additional delegates to the Israeli delegation, the Zionist General Council decided that these delegates would be from the Zionist Council in Israel.
Distribution of the delegates at the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress:
These delegates are appointed by the body which they represent and the size of their delegation is fixed in agreements between the Zionist Executive and the executive of the organizations, with the approval of the Zionist General Council.
Creation of a Grouping at the Congress
In addition to the Groupings participating in the elections to the Congress, and whose representatives participate in the Congress in accordance with their relative strength, in pursuance of Article 25A of the Constitution, at least 12 delegates present at the Congress may form a Congress Grouping. A delegate may join only one Congress Grouping.
Participants in Congress in an Advisory Capacity and Observers.
In addition to the delegates with full voting rights participating in Congress, there are also delegates in an advisory capacity only. These delegates are entitled to participate in debates but have no voting rights.
1. Certain office holders, for instance members of the Executive, members of the Zionist General Council who were not elected as delegates to Congress, Chairmen of the Zionist Federations, legal office holders – the President of the Zionist Supreme Court, the Attorney, the Comptroller and representatives of the Aliyah Movement.
2. The Executive of the Congress Presidium may invite "personalities and representatives of bodies whose presence at Congress in the view of the Executive or the Presidium is necessary or desirable" (Regulation 7A of the Standing Orders of the Zionist Congress). In this framework, a delegation from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was appointed at the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress. A World Jewish Congress delegation, a Dor Hemshech delegation and a group of academics also attended the Thirty-Second Congress.
The Course of the Congress
1. Opening of the Congress, including a speech by the Chairman of the Executive, and other speeches determined in the agenda, election of the Congress Presidium, the report of the President of the Zionist Supreme Court on the election results, reports of the members of the Executive to complete the printed report, election of the Congress committees.
2. Election of the new Executive, according to the proposal of a Congress Permanent Committee.
3. Meetings of the committees.
A sample of the subjects raised at the Thirty-Second Congress and discussed in the Committees is presented below:
1. The Function of the Zionist Movement in Diaspora Jewish Communities (Goals and Structure)
1. Reports of the committees and voting on the draft resolutions presented by them. The report of the Permanent Committee and voting on its proposals for members of the Zionist General Council, the Comptroller and the Legal Institutions.
The Zionist General Council is the supreme institution of the Zionist movement in the inter-Congress period. The Zionist General Council has all the powers of the Congress except for those expressly reserved for the Congress.
The Zionist General Council inspects and, in so far as necessary, decides upon the manner in which the Executive will implement the decisions of the Congress and of the Council. The Zionist General Council receives and considers the reports of the Executive.
The Zionist Council, upon proposal of the Executive, either itself or through the Permanent Committee for Budget and Finance, decides upon all budgetary and financial matters, provided such a decision is not inconsistent with the decisions of Congress.
Should the position of a member of the Executive, a member of the Presidium or a deputy member of the Presidium fall vacant for any reason whatsoever in the inter-Congress period, the Zionist General Council elects a new member in his stead. This election is carried out at the next Session of the Zionist General Council or in the interSession period by mail/fax. The decision on such a vote is taken by the Presidium, in consultation with the Executive. The vote is valid if at least 50% of the Zionist General Council with voting rights participate.
Composition of the Zionist General Council
In pursuance of Article 32 Section 1 of the Constitution, the Congress elects the members of the Council entitled to vote in accordance with the relative strength of the Groupings in Congress. Every Congress Grouping is represented on the Council by a number of members equal to one-fifth of the total number of delegates of the respective Grouping. A remainder of at least 3 as a result of such division entitles a Grouping to an additional member on the Council.
The composition of the Zionist General Council elected at the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress is as follows:
Representatives of the World Unions – 119 members
Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi, Tzomet, Hatehiya: 18 members
The World Confederation of United Zionists: 16 members
Arzenu, Tnuat Hamercaz-Hanoar Hazioni, Shinuy, Ratz: 14 members
Mercaz: 6 members
WIZO*: 5 members
* In the XXXII/3 Zionist General Council Session (1993) it was resolved to increase the WIZO presentation by one, in other the number of WIZO members in the Zionist General Council is 6.
Representatives of the International Jewish
World Sephardi Federation: 8 members
B’nai B’rith International: 8 members
Maccabi World Union: 5 members
World Conference of Synagogues and Kehiloth (Orthodox): 5 members
World Council of Synagogues (Conservative): 5 members
World Union for Progressive Judaism (Reform): 5 members
Students Delegation: 5 members
The Zionist Council in Israel: 3 members
The delegation from the Former Soviet Union*: 8 members
* By virtue of a decision of the Zionist General Council at its XXXII/3 Session, held in June 1993.
20 Chairmen of Zionist Federations of countries which were represented at the foregoing Congress by 3 or more delegates are also members of the Zionist General Council with the same status as the international Jewish organizations.
The Zionist Congress elects deputy members of the Council equal to twice the number of members.
The total number of Zionist General Council members is 192.
Participants in the Zionist General Council in an Advisory Capacity
1. Members of the Executive.
Sessions of the Zionist General Council
The first Session of the Zionist General Council convenes immediately upon conclusion of the Zionist Congress which elected it. At this Session the Chairman of the Zionist General Council and the Presidium of the Zionist General Council are elected. The Chairman of the Council is also the Chairman of the Presidium.
The Sessions of the Zionist General Council are generally held once yearly in mid-June. In exceptional cases and for important reasons, the Zionist General Council decides to convene an additional Session.
Upon the written proposal of at least one-third of the members of the Council entitled to vote belonging to at least two different groupings, the Presidium of the Council may convene an extraordinary session. Before the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress two extraordinary sessions were held for purposes of amending the Constitution – one for an increase in the number of mandates for the delegation to the Congress from the countries of the Diaspora (excluding the USA) in such a way that it would not exceed 211 mandates, and the second to increase the number of mandates of the USA to the Thirty-Second Congress by ten. Accordingly, the number of members of the US delegation to Congress was 162.
Agenda of the Zionist General Council Session
No later than seventy days prior to opening of the Session, the Presidium together with the Executive determines the agenda of the Session. For this purpose a joint committee is formed, made up of representatives of the Executive and the Presidium. The final proposal of this committee is approved by the Presidium and the Executive. The Executive may introduce modifications in the agenda. The Presidium is charged with distribution of the Agenda to all the Session participants. The number of topics discussed by the Session will not exceed 2. According to Regulation 22A, Par. 1 of the Standing Orders of the Zionist General Council, 20 members of the Council are entitled to propose inclusion of topics in the agenda.
Draft resolutions are submitted only on topics discussed by the Session. The draft resolutions are submitted by the members of the Zionist General Council, the Zionist Federations and the Executive and the Presidium. The draft resolutions are submitted in writing, formulated and explained, no later than 40 days prior to the opening of the Session. Draft resolutions of the Presidium and the Executive may arrive later than this date. In pursuance of Regulation 22A, Par. 3 of the Standing Orders of the Zionist General Council, a Resolutions and Drafting Committee of the Presidium examines and classifies the draft resolutions.
Course of the Zionist General Council
Stage 1 – Opening of the Session – report of the Chairman of the Zionist Executive; speech of members of the Executive when matters relative to their Departments were included in the Session Agenda; report on the World Zionist Organization budget.
Stage 2 – Committees discuss topics that were raised and discussed in the plenary session. In the committees the draft resolutions submitted to the Session are discussed.
Stage 3 – Reports of the committees and voting on the draft resolutions submitted by them.
Stage 4 – Winding-up speeches.
Composition of the Presidium
In pursuance of Section 4 Par. 4 of the Standing Orders of the Zionist General Council, "In periods between the sessions the functions of the Presidium shall be discharged by its members domiciled in Israel. The places of members of the Presidium domiciled abroad shall be filled, in periods between the sessions, by deputies domiciled in the State of Israel who shall be elected by the General Council together with members of the Presidium."
Should the position of a member of the Presidium or a deputy-member of the Presidium fall vacant in the inter-Congress period for any reason whatsoever, the Zionist General Council selects a member or a deputy member in his stead.
All the Presidium members have voting rights. However, the voting rights of the representatives of the international organizations are restricted in accordance with Section 5 Par. 4(4) of the World Zionist Organization Constitution. They do not vote on matters of candidature and will not participate in elections to the governing bodies.
Powers of the Presidium
1. To determine, in consultation with the Executive, the dates of the Sessions of the Zionist General Council, where they will be held, their duration and, in conjunction with the Executive, the Agenda.
In order to execute its functions, the Presidium is in constant contact with the Executive from which it receives all the information required for this purpose. The Chairman of the Zionist General Council is invited to the meetings of the Executive at which the date of the Zionist General Council Session, the locality and the agenda are discussed, and to the debates on basic problems of the Zionist Movement. Should the Presidium see fit to consult with the Executive on a given subject, it may address a proposal to it to hold a joint meeting. The date of the meeting will be determined as soon as possible with the agreement of both institutions.
The Executive assists the Presidium in execution of its activities and for these ends places at its disposal the administration of the Department of Organization and Community Relations and the means required.
The Zionist Congress elects the Chairman of the Executive (Appendix 5) and the Executive, which is charged with conducting the affairs of the World Zionist Organization in Israel and the Diaspora. The Executive is the executive institution of the World Zionist Organization. It handles daily work of the Zionist Movement in the Diaspora, in the Zionist Federations, regarding Hasbara and formal and informal education. 1990 saw the founding of the Joint Authority for Jewish-Zionist Education, which groups within it the Departments that handle education. The Executive is charged with executing the decisions of the Congress and of the Zionist General Council and is responsible to these bodies. The Zionist Executive works through the following departments:
1. Organization and Community Relations
In addition, there is an Authority for Emissaries which trains the emissaries of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency.
The Nature and Composition of the Executive Elected at the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress
The Constitution does not establish the number of members of the Executive, but leaves it to each Congress to elect the number of members of the Executive that it sees fit. The number of representatives of the international Jewish Organizations in the Executive is determined by agreements between them and the Executive, approved by the Congress or by the Zionist General Council.
In accordance with Resolution 113 of the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress, the Inner Executive is made up of 25 members in addition to the Chairman of the Executive. The list includes 5 members from the Diaspora, 13 holders of portfolios and 8 members without portfolio. The Thirty-Second Zionist Congress elected another 29 members to the Extended Executive. The total number of members of the Extended Executive is 55.
While a "wall-to-wall coalition" has been in practice for many years, the Constitution does not obligate this arrangement. The Executive in fact accepted the principle of collective responsibility, even though this is not anchored in the Constitution.
The relations between the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem and the Executive in the USA have seen established by custom. The Constitution says that the seat of the Executive and its Head Office will be in Jerusalem. However, the Congress or the Zionist General Council may set up one or several offices of the Executive overseas. In 1996, rules were approved for conducting meetings of the Executive.
Should the place of one of the members of the Executive fall vacant in the inter-Congress period for any reason whatsoever, the Zionist General Council elects a new member in his stead.
Report of the Activities of the Executive
The Executive submits to the Zionist General Council a report of its Department’s activities between one Session of the Zionist General Council and the next.
The Executive also decides on the manner of signing contracts in writing and other documents of a nature to bind the World Zionist Organization.
The territorial Zionist Federation is generally a roof organization that organizes all the Jewish organizations defining themselves as Zionists and individual Zionists who have signed the "Jerusalem Program" and who accept the Constitution of the Federation.
In pursuance of Article 5 Section 1 of the WZO Constitution, every Federation which accepts the Zionist Program and the WZO Constitution may be a member of the World Zionist Organization. The admission of a Zionist Federation as a Member is decided, upon the proposal of the Executive, by the Zionist General Council. The decision of the Zionist General Council is valid if it is approved in the presence of a majority of its members with voting rights and by a majority of two-thirds of the voters. Only one Zionist Federation from each country is accepted as a member. Every Zionist Organization must be a member of the Zionist Federation of its country, and every Federation must accept every Territorial Zionist Organization, which is in a sense a national branch of a Zionist World Union.
In pursuance of Article 7 of the Constitution, in order to be a Member of the World Zionist Organization, a Zionist Federation shall comply with the following requirements:
1. Admit as a member every Zionist body and individual who accepts the Constitution of the Federation and the program of the World Zionist Organization unless in the opinion of the Federation there exists a weighty reason against such admission. A Federation is not entitled to refuse the admission of a body affiliated with one of the Congress groupings.
Status and Rights of the Zionist Federation
A Zionist Federation which was accepted as a member of the World Zionist Organization will be the body together with which the Executive will carry out its functions and obligations. The Executive, the Heads of the Departments and their representatives will consult with the executive body of the Federation or with its authorized representatives as regards their Zionist activities in the area in question.
Every Zionist Federation will determine the manner and the methods of admission of individual Zionists who are not members of any Zionist body as members of the Federation. The Chairmen of Zionist Federations which are represented at the Congress by 8 delegates or more, who were not elected themselves as delegates, participate in the Congress and in its committees in an advisory capacity. The Executive may invite a further number of Chairmen of Zionist Federations, but no more than 5, to participate in the Congress and its committees in an advisory capacity.
Chairmen of the Federations who participate in the Sessions of the Zionist General Council as representatives of Federations will not join any of the Zionist General Council Groupings.
There are 20 Zionist Federations whose Chairmen have voting rights: the Federations of Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, the Federation of Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi in England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, Uruguay, USA.
There are also 8 Zionist Federations whose Chairmen can participate in the Sessions of the Zionist General Council in an advisory capacity since they had one or two delegates to the Zionist Congress. These Federations are: Colombia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary (which was recognized again as a Zionist Federation at the Thirty-Second Zionist Congress), India, New Zealand, Peru, Spain.
The Federations differ from each other as to the numbers and importance of direct members and members through organizations. There are countries in which parties do not exist or are not important organizationally, and most of the Federation members are direct members. On the other hand, in certain countries the number of direct members who do not belong to any organizations but directly to the Federation is negligible.
The Judicial Bodies
In pursuance of Article 47 of the WZO Constitution, the Zionist Supreme Court consists of 30 judges at most, in addition to the President of the Court.
Each member of the Court swears to fulfill his duty impartially and to the best of his knowledge and conscience. The oath of the President of the Court is received by the Chairman of the Zionist General Council.
The President of the Zionist Supreme Court is elected by the Zionist Congress.
The five Deputy-Presidents of the Zionist Supreme Court and the judges of the Court are appointed by a Committee for Appointment of Judges of the Court, which is elected by the Permanent Committee of the Congress.
The Court operates according to rules enacted by the Zionist General Council and any change in these rules requires the approval of the Council.
Powers of the Zionist Supreme Court (in pursuance of Article 49 of the WZO Constitution)
1. As a Court Tribunal of First Instance, the Court determines:
1. the legality of decisions of the Central Zionist Bodies, whether in connection with a dispute or upon the proposal of the Executive or the Attorney of the World Zionist Organization;
In all the aforesaid matters, the Court may make such order or impose such sanction as it deems fit, provided that it takes due care that such order or such sanction does not damage the interests of innocent bodies or individuals.
1. As a Court of Appeal on judgments of a Territorial Zionist Tribunal.
ATTORNEY OF THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION
The Attorney of the World Zionist Organization and his Deputies are elected by the Congress.
The Attorney represents the interests of the World Zionist Organization, including matters related to infringements of the Constitution or the interests and prestige of the World Zionist Organization, brought before the Court. The Attorney advises the Central Zionist Bodies in legal matters connected with the World Zionist Organization Constitution, the decisions of the Congress, the Council and the Executive, and with the relations between the Central Zionist Bodies and between them and other Zionist bodies or individual Zionists.
The Comptroller of The World Zionist Organization
In pursuance of Article 60 Section 1 of the WZO Constitution, the Comptroller shall inspect the financial, economic, administrative and organizational activities of the World Zionist Organization and of its officers, companies and institutions of every kind, including those in which the World Zionist Organization holds at least 50% of the voting power or the capital.
The term of office of the Comptroller is from the Congress which elected him to the termination of thefollowing Ordinary Congress.
The Congress or the Zionist General Council may elect a Deputy-Comptroller.
The Executive makes available all the documents required by the Comptroller for his examination. The methods of activity of the Comptroller and the obligations of the bodies being inspected by the comptroller are determined by special rules. The Comptroller participates in an advisory capacity in the Congress, in the Zionist General Council and in their committees.
The Zionist Archives
The Central Zionist Archives which constitutes a body of the World Zionist Organization, is the historic archive of the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod and the World Jewish Congress. It’s status was determined by decisions of the Twenty-Fourth and the Twenty-Sixth Zionist Congresses (1956, 1965).
The function of the Archives is to centralize historically valuable documentation of Zionism in all the periods and all the countries, and of the history of the Hebrew yishuv in Eretz-Israel; to prepare this documentation and to make it available to the general public for purposes of study and research
The Archives delivers a report on its activities to the Zionist General Council (generally once yearly) and to the Zionist Congress. The annual reports which are submitted to the State Archives are brought to the knowledge of the members of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency. The Executive of the Zionist Archives, which is made up of representatives of the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le”Israel and Keren Hayesod, supervises the Archives? activities.
Zionist Bodies Set Up Following Decisions of the Zionist Congresses
Herzl saw the establishment of the Jewish Colonial Trust as a financial tool for realization of the idea of the Jewish State, and which would serve the political and economic activity of the World Zionist Organization, through which a concession was received from the Turks for settlement of Jews in Palestine.
In 1992, the Jewish Colonial Trust ceased to be the parent company of Bank Leumi, at the request of the Israeli government.
Currently, the Jewish Colonial Trust holds four and a half percent of the Bank Leumi shares. The National Institutions hold twenty-two percent of Bank Leumi shares.
KEREN KAYEMETH LE’ISRAEL (Jewish National Fund) (Appendix 18)
This is a fund of the Zionist Movement for redemption of the lands of Eretz-lsrael by the Jewish people around the world, preparation of the lands and making them available to the Jewish settlers in Eretz Israel.
Since its establishment and until this day, Keren Kayemeth Le’lsrael has engaged in development of the land in Israel. This activity includes: an extensive afforestation project, preparation of land for agriculture, settlement, tourist enterprises and for housing for immigrants and the needy, roadbuilding in border outlying areas, construction of water reservoirs and dams to expand available water resources, environmental conservation and scenic enhancement, rolling back the desert, river rehabilitation and the fostering of Zionist education aimed at strengthening the ties of Jewish youth in Israel and the Diaspora to the land.
KEREN HAYESOD – UNITED ISRAEL APPEAL
Keren Hayesod still operates in the spirit of its Foundation Declaration, issued in 1920 by Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow, Zeev Jabotinsky and other Zionist leaders. "The key is in the hands of the Jewish people" it declared. "No casual charity will suffice". The declaration called for "self-taxation – steady, persistent, systematic, inspired by the noble Jewish tradition of the tithe".
Unitil the establishment of the State of Israel Keren Hayesod was the financial arm of the "state in the making". It funded immigration and absorption, rural settlement and security, vocational training, development of water sources, etc.
In 1956, the Knesset passed the Keren Hayesod Law defining Keren Hayesod’s role in the age of Jewish independence and authorizing it to act "in strengthening the State of Israel, the ingathering of the exiles and the unification of the Jewish people".
Affiliated with 90 campaigns in 50 countries over five continents, excluding the USA where the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) operates, Keren Hayesod reaches out to Jewish communities around the world. Together with the UJA it funds the activities of the Jewish Agency.
1. Aliyah, rescue and initial absorption of immigrants in Israel.
THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL
The Jewish Agency for Israel (Appendix 1)
The Sixteenth Zionist Congress (1929) decided on the establishment of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which would be a joint body of the World Zionist Organization and those known as "non-Zionists" in the belief that all Jews wished to participate in building the National Home. Upon conclusion of the Congress, Board of the Jewish Agency convened. Of its 224 members, 112 were Zionists (members of the World Zionist Organization) including Prof. Chaim Weizmann who was elected as President of the Jewish Agency, Nahum Sokolow, Menahem Ussishkin, Shemaryahu Levin, David Ben-Gurion, Rabbi Uziel; the 112 "non-Zionist" members included Louis Marshall, Shalom Asch, Albert Einstein, Leon Blum, and members of the Rothschild family. The Keren Hayesod was declared the main financial tool of the New Jewish Agency. It was decided not to change the status of the Keren Kayemeth Le’lsrael or to modify its relations with the Worjd Zionist Organization; although it remained under the control of the World Zionist Organization it would serve as a tool for acquiring lands for the objectives of the Jewish Agency.
Immediately after the constitution of the expanded Jewish Agency in 1929, the riots of 1929 broke out. In this period difficulties which emerged showed that the partnership was not successful. In the course of time several personalities representing the "non-Zionists" joined the Zionist Executive; however, they asserted that they were not consulted, that only their money was of interest, and that the policy was determined even after the creation of the Jewish Agency by the members of the Zionist Movement. For their part, the Zionists were disappointed by the financial revenues of the Funds.
Following the onset of the crisis of Central European Jewry in 1933, the relations between the Zionists and the "non-Zionists" deteriorated, and in fact, after the death of Otto Warburg, the representative of the "non-Zionists" on the Executive, the non-Zionist part of the Jewish Agency came to an end in the USA.
In 1946, at the Twenty-Second Zionist Congress, immediately after World War II, it was decided to attempt to renew the cooperation with the "non-Zionists" in the framework of the Jewish Agency. This decision did not obligate immediate action, but constituted a beginning for healing the breach.
In 1952, the official functions of the Jewish Agency and of the World Zionist Organization were defined in the Status Law (Appendix 13) which determines that these bodies are charged with the ingathering of the exiles and with absorption of immigrants in Israel. Details of the cooperation between the Israeli Government and the Executive of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency were laid down in a Covenant signed in July 1954 (Appendix 15).
In 1969, as a result of the response of world Jewry to the threat to Israel’s existence in the period prior to the Six-Day War, the Appeals for Israel expanded. This gave a new status to the partnership, manifested in the response to the invitation of the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive to a Conference for Critical Needs that convened in Jerusalem. This symbolized a new spirit of closer cooperation. The Diaspora participants expressed their wish to assume part of the responsibility for planning and execution of programs and services of the Jewish Agency.
In 1971, the representatives of the World Zionist Organization invited the United Israel Appeal and Keren Hayesod to negotiate and sign an "Agreement for the Reconstitution of the Jewish Agency" (Appendix 16). In accordance with this agreement, the Jewish Agency was charged with responsibility for working principally in the State of Israel, as a partner in the building of the State and the advancement of society. This was manifested in creation of the Youth Aliyah Department and the Department for Immigration and Absorption for immigrants from countries of distress, and in support for educational activities, youth care, rural settlement and housing of immigrants. In 1979, the Jewish Agency Assembly approved the creation of the Department for Renewal and Development, for rehabilitation of neighborhoods and development towns throughout Israel. In October 1992, the Rural Settlement Department and the Renewal Department were merged to form the Department for Urban and Rural Development.
The Jewish Agency Assembly
Functions of the Assembly
1. To receive and examine reports of the Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency
In the inter-Assembly period, the Board of Governors is fully empowered to act on behalf of the Jewish Agency. The Board of Governors may determine policy, provided that its decisions do not contradict previous decisions of the Assembly.
The Board of Governors approves and decides on the annual budget of the Jewish Agency.
The Board of Governors has 120 members, in the same ratio as the Assembly: 50% are representatives of the World Zionist Organization, 30% are representatives of the United Israel Appeal in the USA and 20% are representatives of the bodies affiliated to Keren Hayesod. TheBoard of Governors has 46 members who are public figures and mayors and heads of Councils (23 were elected by the World Zionist Organization and 23 by the UIA and Keren Hayesod).
The Board of Governors meets three times yearly. It has committees for departmental and budgetary matters, and for matters of organization, relations between the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, the relations between the Jewish Agency and the Government, etc.
The Executive of the Jewish Agency
1. Immigration and Absorption
The Chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive is also the Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive. He serves as Chairman of the Jewish Agency Assembly when it convenes.
The Executive is made up of members serving by virtue of their function (ex officio) and members elected by the Board of Governors.
The Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education (Appendix 17)
The Commission (36 members) is the supreme authority and responsible for planning policy, determining priorities and approving the budget.
In pursuance of the Authority’s covenant, there are also advisory committees in various countries in the world. Currently advisory committees exist in Australia, USA, Canada, South Africa, England, France, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico.
The Authority is made up of three professional departments and a unit for central services whiincludes: a Pedagogic Center, a Unit for Development of Curricula, a "Mifgashim" Center, CIS Unit and Division for High School Programs from Abroad.
The Department of Jewish Education and Culture in the Diaspora
The Department of Youth and Hechalutz and Informal Education
The Education Authority has placed the following goals at the top of its scale of priorities:
1. The Israel Experience
Israel Experience for youth from the Diaspora, as an important element in shaping the Jewish Zionist identity of the individual.
2. Training and Development of Manpower in Education
The Authority trains the educators, before they begin to teach, in teacher training institutions in several countries and in Israel.
3. Curricula and Study Materials
Development of curricula and study materials at all levels and of all kinds of Jewish education; the Pedagogic Center provides library services and educational resources, counseling, training for Jewish educators, and brings the best from broad and varied fields of technology in Jewish education for professionals, non-professionals, and the finest leadership. The Pedagogic Center is at the cutting edge for supply of quality educational material for learning from a distance through the Internet and provision of an answer to the needs of small or large communities.
Appendix No. 2
1905 – 1911
1911 – 1920
1931 – 1935
1935 – 1946
1956 – 1968
1911 – 1920
1921 – 1925
1925 – 1933
1935 – 1941
1946 – 1949
1951 – 1959
1959 – 1961
1961 – 1968
1968 – 1971
1972 – 1978
1978 – 1982
July – Dec. 1982
1982 – 1987
1987 – 1992
1921 – 1923
1931 – 1932
1933 – 1935
1935 – 1948
1948 – 1956
1956 – 1961
1961 – 1965
1965 – 1973
1973 – 1974
1974 – 1975
1975 – 1976
1976 – 1977
1978 – 1987
1987 – 1994
1994 – 1995
1995 – 1999
1999 ? 2002
Appendix No. 6
1984 – 1988
1907 – 1919
1919 – 1922
1922 – 1942
1942 – 1944
1944 – 1961
1961 – 1977
1983 – 1994
1983 – 1994
1994 – 1996
1. The promotion by appropriate means of the settlement in Palestine of Jewish farmers, artisans, and manufacturers.
Appendix No. 10
1. The task of Zionism is the consolidation of the State of Israel, the ingathering of exiles in Eretz Israel, and the fostering of the unity of the Jewish people.
The program of work of the Zionist Organization is:
1. Encouragement of immigration, absorption and integration of immigrants; support of Youth Aliyah; stimulation of agricultural settlement and economic development; acquisition of land as the property of the people.
Appendix No. 11
1. The unity of the Jewish people and the centrality of Israel in Jewish life
1. To implement aliyah to Israel.
The Zionist Federations shall make every effort to consciousness of these duties in their members and to leaders to set a personal example in their implementation.
1. The functions of the WZO are as follows:
1. The organization of immigration abroad and the transfer of immigrants and their property to Israel.
And only upon declaration by the WZO that it will implement only those activities, within the realm of functions described above, which the Jewish Agency does not actually implement, within its realm of functions.
1. Any activity of the WZO or on its behalf for the purpose of performing all or any of the above functions shall be carried out in Israel in accordance with the laws of the State of Israel applicable from time to time, including administrative directions in force from time to time with regard to the governmental authorities whose jurisdiction includes or is relevant to the activity in question.
The Committee shall consist of an even number of members, not less than four, half of whom shall be members of and appointed by the Government and half of whom shall be members and appointed by the WZO. The Government and the WZO shall be entitled from time to time to replace members of the Committee appointed by them respectively and to appoint others in their stead, provided that the new members shall be members of the Government and of the Executive of the WZO, as the case may be.
8. The Committee shall meet at least thtimes a year and shall have the power to appoint sub-committees consisting of its own members and/or of other persons.
The Committee shall from time to time submit to the Government and to the WZO reports of its deliberations and recommendations, subject to the foregoing provisions. The Committee shall determine its own rules of procedure.
9. The Government undertakes to see to it that its ministries and competent authorities provide the WZO, its Funds and other Institutions defined in the Annex to this Covenant with all permits and facilities required by law for the carrying out of the activities specified in this Covenant.
Furthermore, the WZO and its aforementioned Funds and other institutions shall be exempt from all taxes and other compulsory government charges specified in the Annex to this Covenant, subject to the limitations and conditions stated in the said Annex.
11. Any proposed change or amendment to this Covenant or its Annex, or any addition thereto, shall be made in writing and shall require the consent of the Government and the WZO.
1. In this Annex:
"The WZO" – including its Funds and other Institutions. "The Funds and other Institutions of the WZO" means –
1. Keren Hayesod – the United Israel Appeal.
In this sub-clause ?
1. Subject to the following limitations and conditions, the WZO shall be exempt from the taxes and compulsory government charges bear income wholly devoted to the achievement of its purposes.
2. Fees under the Land (Fees) Regulations, 5735-1975.
1. In the case of a company with capital stock – it applies only with regard to the fee whose relation to the entire fee is proportional to the share of the WZO, its Funds and its other Institutions, in the capital stock of the company relative to the entire capital stock.
2. Stamp duty under the Stamp Duty on Documents Law, 5721-1961, on the following documents:
1. Debentures issued by the WZO, the redemption of which is guaranteed by the State of Israel.
2. License fees under the Traffic Ordinance for vehicles other than private motor vehicles, of the WZO and its Funds and other Institutions.
1. The Himnuta Co., Ltd. is exempt from taxes and from compulsory Government charges imposed by the enactments detailed in clauses 2(a), 2(b), 2(c), 2(d), 2(e) – with regard to income accrued by its land transactions and 2(g)(1), accordingly, under the limitations and conditions detailed in said clauses.
And in witness thereof done and signed in Jerusalem on the third day of the month of Tamuz, 5739 (the 28th day of June, 1979).
1. The functions of the Jewish Agency are as follows:
1. The organization of immigration abroad and the transferring of immigrants and their property to Israel.
1. Any activity carried out in Israel by or on behalf of the Jewish Agency for the purpose of performing all or any of the aforementioned functions shall be carried out in accordance with the laws of the State of Israel applicable from time to time, including administrative directions in force from time to time with regard to the governmental authorities whose jurisdiction includes or is relevant to the activity in question.
The Committee shall consist of an even number of members, not less than four (4), half of whom shall be members of and appointed by the Government and half of whom shall be members of and appointed by the Executive of the Jewish Agency. The Government and the Jewish Agency shall be entitled from time to time to replace members of the Committee appointed by them respectively and to appoint others in their stead, provided that the new members shall be members of the Government or of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, as the case may be.
8. The Committee shall meet at least once a month and shall have the power to appoint sub-committees consisting of its own members and/or of other persons. The Committee shall from time to time submit to the Government and to the Jewish Agency reports of its deliberations and recommendations. Subject to the foregoing provisions. the Committee shall determine its own rules of procedure.
Furthermore, the Jewish Agency and its aforementioned Funds and other Institutions shall be exempt from all taxes and other compulsory government charges specified in the Annex hereto, subject to the limitations and conditions stated in the said Annex.
11. Any proposed change or amendment to this Covenant or its Annex, or any addition thereto, shall be made in writing and shall require the consent of the Government and the Jewish Agency.
Done and signed in Jerusalem on the 3rd day of Tamouz, 5739 (the 28th day of June, 1979).
1. In this Annex:
"The Jewish Agency" – including its Funds and other Institutions. "The Funds and other Institutions of the Jewish Agency" means –
1. The United Jewish Appeal, Inc.;
In this sub-clause –
1. Subject to the undermentioned limitations and conditions, the Jewish Agency shall be exempt from the following taxes and compulsory government charges imposed by or in accordance with the undermentioned enactments:
1. Property tax and compensations fund, under the Property Tax and Compensation Fund Law, 1961, on those of its properties serving its purposes which bear no income or which bear income wholly devoted to the achievement of its purposes;
1. In the case of a company with a share capital – in the proportion of the part of the Jewish Agency and its Funds and other Institutions in such share capital;
1. Stamp duty under the Stamp Duty on Documents Law, 1961, on the following:
1. Debentures issued by the Jewish Agency, the redemption of which is guaranteed by the State of Israel;
1. License fees under the Traffic Ordinance for vehicles other than private motor vehicles, of the Jewish Agency and its Funds and other Institutions.
1. The exemptions specified in this Annex are in addition to and not in derogation of exemptions under the law.
Appendix No. 16
1. In accordance with the World Zionist Organization – Jewish Agency (Status) Law, 5713-1952, and the Covenant entered into thereunder between the Government of Israel and the Executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel dated July 26,1954, the World Zionist Organization (WZO) has undertaken certain tasks set forth therein, and more particularly the responsibility for bringing Jewish immigrants and refugees into Israel and for their resettlement, rehabilitation and absorption into the country.
A. THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION AND THE JEWISH AGENCY FOR ISRAEL
1. The WZO agrees to the reconstitution of the Jewish Agency for Israel (Agency) in the manner herein provided. From the effective date of this Agreement as herein provided, "The Jewish Agency for Israel" shall mean the body reconstituted in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, and is the body which enjoys the Status under the provisions of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel (Status) Law, 5713-1952, which became effective on the 1st of January 1976, retroactively from the 21st of June, 1971.
1. Immigration to and absorption of immigrants in Israel.
1. The Agency, as reconstituted in pursuance of this Agreement, shall consist of the designees of the following:
1. The World Zionist Organization.
1. The Assembly shall be designated as follows:
a. 50% of the total number of members shall be designated by the WZO on behalf of itself and the Jewish people in Israel:
a. 50% of the total number of members, namely 259 persons, shall be designated by the WZO.
a. The presence of 30% of each of the groups referred to in subsection (a)(i) and (ii) and (iii) of this paragraph shall be required to constitute a quorum of the Assembly.
1. Each member of the Assembly, designated as above, or an alternate member in his stead appointed in accordance with the provisions of Article C 1 (d) above, shall have one vote, shall serve for a period of one year or until the next annual meeting of the Assembly, and shall serve without compensation. A member of the Assembly or an alternate member is eligible for redesignation to serve succeeding terms.
1. An alternate shall assume the functions of a member of the Assembly if the member does not attend the Assembly or ceases to participate in any session thereof. In the latter case, the alternate assumes his functions from the moment at which the member ceases to take part until the time the member resumes his participation, if at all.
1. The Assembly shall meet once a year at a time and place determined by the Board of Governors.
a. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the members of the Assembly shall have the right to cause a special session of the Assembly to be convened by giving ten (10) days written notice of their intention to the Secretary of the Assembly, setting forth the specific subjects which shall be on the agenda of such special session.
1. To receive andreview reports from the Board of Governors;
1. The Board of Governors determines the policy of the Jewish Agency for Israel and manages, supervises, controls and directs its operations and activities.
All bodies (other than the Assembly), officers and officials of the Jewish Agency shall act within the policies set by the Assembly and the Board of Governors and are accountable to the Board of Governors:
2. The Board of Governors shall have the power to appoint a Standing Budget and Finance Committee.
1. The Board of Governors consists of persons elected by the Assembly from among its members as follows:
a. 50% from among Members of the Assembly designated by the WZO.
a. 60 Governors from among Members of the Assembly designated by the WZO substantially in the manner set forth in Annex B attached hereto and made a part hereof.
a. Up to 5 Israelis serving as professionals in JAFI may be appointed by the WZO as Associate non-voting Members of the Board of Governors.
1. The Governors referred to in section 2(b)(i) and (ii) above shall be elected by the Assembly to serve for a period of four years or until their successors are elected.
1. The Board of Governors shall, at its first session held after the election of all its members, elect its chairman from among the Governors referred to in section 2(b)(ii) and (iii).
A nominating committee selected by the Board of Governors for this purpose shall make recommendations for the office of the Chairman.
2. The Chairman of the Board of Governors shall serve for a four-year term.
1. The Board of Governors shall hold not less than four regular sessions in each calendar year, at such times and places as shall be determined by the Chairman of the Board of Governors; provided that one of such regular sessions shall be held during, or in immediate proximity to, every Assembly session and provided further that not less than three regular sessions are held in Israel.
The Chairman of the Board of Governors shall convene an extraordinary meeting of the Board of Governors upon the requisition in writing of not less than 20% of the total Members of the Board of Governors. Any such requisition shall express the object of the meeting proposed to be called and shall be left at the Office of the Secretary-General of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
1. 40% of the Governors, referred to in section 2(b)(i), together with 40% of the Governors, referred to in sections 2(b) (ii) and (iii), present in person, shall be a quorum at any meeting of the Board of Governors, whether held during a regular session or held as an extraordinary meeting.
1. Actions of the Board of Governors shall be taken by a majority of those present and voting. In counting the votes, only votes for or against a resolution shall be taken in consideration and abstentions shall be disregarded.
1. The Chairman of the Board of Governors, in consultation with the Chairman of the Executive, shall have the power to appoint, from time to time, Standing or Ad-hoc Committees from among the Governors and other Assembly Members, and shall determine the scope of their functions.
[Amendment June 1994 to become effective after the next Zionist Congress but not later than December 31, 1997
a. Without derogating from the above, the Board of Governors shall have three Committees for Departments of the Jewish Agency and the Eastern Europe Committee (‘The Four Committees’) as follows:
1. The Department Committee for Aliyah and Klitah
a. Each of these four Committees shall be chaired by two equal Co-Chairmen, one designated by the Chairman of the Executive in consultation with the Chairman of the Board from among the Members of the Executive elected in accordance with section E.3(b)(i) below, and one designated by the Chairman of the Board in consultation with the Chairman of the Executive from among the Members of the Board of Governors designated by UIA or Keren Hayesod.
1. Each Committee Chairman shall report to the Board of Governors, at such times as shall be determined by the Board of Governors, of his Committee’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
1. The Board of Governors shall elect the Comptroller of the Jewish Agency and determine the scope of his activities.
The person elected to fill any vacancy shall June serve for the unexpired term created by such vacancy.
1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, or a provision in an existing service contract, the Board of Governors may remove any Member of the Board of Governors or of the Executive, including Members of the Executive who are members ex officio in accordance with section ll.E.3 below, before the expiration of their period of office as set forth in this Agreement, and elect another Member in his stead, provided there exists due cause for such removal.
1. The said opinion shall be signed, or approved by letter, telegram or telex, by both Chairmen, and may consist of two separate documents.
1. THE EXECUTIVE
1. The Executive shall administer the operations of the Jewish Agency, subject to the control of the Board of Governors.
Polices adopted by the Assembly and the Board of Governors shall be implemented by the Executive and the Departments under the direction of the Chairman of the Executive.
1. The Executive shall be composed of Members ex officio and of Members selected by the Board of Governors.
1. The following holders of offices or positions shall be Members ex officio of the Executive while holding such offices or positions:
a. The Chairman of the Assembly, who shall also serve as Chairman of the Executive
[Amendment June 1994 to become effective after the next Zionist Congress but not later than December 31, 1997: (i) six Members to be appointed by the WZO from among the Governors referred to in clause ILD. 2(b) (i).
a. four Members, to be appointed by the WZO, from among the Governors referred to in clause ll.D. 2(b)(i).
[Amendment June 1994 to become effective after next Zionist Congress but not later than December31, 1994 the followmg paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 7 shall be deleted and paragraphs 8-15 shall be renumbered 4-11.]
4. The Board of Governors shall elect to the Executive and as Heads of Departments:
1. one Member, from among Members of the Assembly designated by the WZO to serve as Head of the Immigration and Absorption Department.
1. Elections pursuant to section 4 shall take place on a date to be determined by the Chairman of the Board of Governors during the Board of Governors session held during, or in immediate proximity to the Assembly session at which the Chairman of the Assembly and the Treasurer are to be elected.
a. serve for a period ending on the Board of Governors session held during, or in immediate proximity to, the Assembly session at which the Chairman of the Assembly and the Treasurer shall retire.
1. Notwithstanding any provision herein before mentioned, the Board of Governors may, at the meeting at which Heads of Departments retire in manner aforesaid in section 5 above, resolve not to elect one or more of the persons mentioned in section 4 and not to fill any vacated office of Head of Department, and in such case the provisions of section 12 hereinafter shall apply.
a. The WZO shall have the power to appoint to the Executive one Member, from among the Governors referred to in clause ll.D.2(b)(i), who shall serve as a Member at large until a new Head of Department is elected pursuant to the provisions of section 7.
Associate Members shall have the right to attend all meetings of the Executive, but they shall not be entitled to vote.
1. The Executive shall meet not less than once each month at such dates and places, either in Israel or abroad, as the Chairman of the Executive shall determine.
[Amendment June 1994 to become effective after next Zionist Congress, but not later than December 31, 1997
11. In the event that the office of the Chairman of the Executive, the Treasurer, or any Head of Department becomes vacant, the Board of Governors may elect an Acting Successor who shall serve in that capacity until a new successor is elected in accordance with the provisions hereof.
Such Acting Successor and successor shall be from among the Governors referred to in clause
12. The Executive shall act, notwithstanding any vacancy occurring in its Members, and shall continue so to act and discharge its functions and exercise its powers in accordance with the provisions hereof.
1. The Executive is empowered to exercise all the powers of the Agency to enter into contracts; to borrow money, to issue evidences of indebtedness, debentures, guarantees and other securities; to acquire, and dispose of, any property; to execute any document in respect of any matter whatsoever concerning the Jewish Agency and generally to represent the Agency and to act in its name and on its behalf.
1. The financial resources at the disposal of the Agency for the conduct of its affairs shall be derived from allocations made to its programs and functions by the parties to this Agreement, from fund-raising activities for the benefit of its programs and functions by Keren Hayesod and others, from income on investments, from collection of debts, from grants by the Government of Israel, from borrowings, and from such other funds as it may receive by grant or otherwise from other sources.
1. The Executive shall each year prepare and submit to the Board of Governors the following;
a. an estimate of receipts from all sources for the ensuing fiscal year;
1. This Agreement shall go into effect and become operative on the 21st day of June, 1971.
1. This addendum is of equal validity and is an integral part of the Agreement for the Reconstitution of the Jewish Agency for Israel (hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement") dated as of the date hereof, as though fully set forth therein.
Signed in Jerusalem this 27th day of August 1970
To be designed by Keren Hayesod Board of Trustees
To be designated by the Chairman of the World Board of Trustees and the World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, after consultation with their constituents
1. Industrialists and economists
The Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Chairman of the Executive will exchange views on the 23 members of the Board being proposed by the WZO in accordance with the above.
1. English-speaking communities (excluding the U.S.A.)
5. Latin America* Argentina Latin America (rotating)
7. Outstanding Jewish leaders from Keren Hayesod countries as well as other outstanding Jews from Keren Hayesod countries prepared to be involved in the work of the Jewish Agency for Israel; to be designated by the Chairman of the World Board of Trustees and the World Chairman of Keren Hayesod, after consultation with their constituents and after an exchange of views with the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the Chairman of the Executive
1. Purposes and Guidelines
The desire of all parties is to reach an understanding regarding Jewish-Zionist education. All efforts to this end will be guided by the basic values that were adopted by the 1988 WZO Va’ad Hapoel and the Jewish Agency Assembly. These are the centrality of Israel, Zionist Realization and Aliyah, and the goals of Zionism and its ideology as integral components of educational activities. The WZO will be entrusted with the implementation of all WZO/JAFI funded Jewish-Zionist education programs and activities for Diaspora Jews.
The Authority will be composed of two bodies: The Commission and the Executive.
3. The Director General
The director general of the Authority will be responsible to the Chairman of the Executive. He will operate under the Chairman’s direction and report to him.
Regional representation on the Commission will be included through the WZO and UIA/KH 50-50 mechanism. Regions will not make appointments directly to the Commission.
5. Budget and Finance Procedures
1. The departments will prepare their proposed budgets. The director general of the Authority in coordination with the departmental directors general, (as referred to in section 3 above) will submit the budget proposal to the Treasurer and the Chairman of the Executive. The Treasurer in consultation with the Chairman of the Executive, will prepare the budget and present it to the Executive. After the approval of the line by line budget by the Executive, the budget will be submitted to the Commission by the Treasurer and the Chairman of the Executive.
1. There will be only one Treasury for the Authority which will be the Treasury Department of the WZO.
1. Proposed budgets and administration of approved budgets will be subject to the review and recommendations of the Budget and Finance Subcommittee on Jewish Education of the Budget and Finance Committee of JAFI, which will reports its recommendations to the Commission. The subcommittee will have a deputy-chairman representing the WZO. The WZO Executive will recommend the WZO members to the subcommittee which will include members of the Va’ad Hapoel.
1. The Authority will consist of three programmatic Departments, and a Unit for General Administrative Services.
1. The Department of Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora
The main responsibility of this department will be the overall development and promotion of Torah and Zion oriented educational endeavors in the Diaspora and the formal day school system therein, including community schools, serving learning populations from preschool through post-high school and their families (excluding students), with the exception of those schools choosing to work with the department known as the General Department of Jewish Education and Culture in the Diaspora. The department will also deal with Talmudei Torah Torani’im.
2. The General Department of Jewish Education and Culture in the Diaspora
The main responsibility of this department will be the overall development and promotion of Zionist-Jewish and Hebrew education and culture in the Diaspora, and the formal supplementary school system therein. The department will serve the general, secular, cultural and community day schools, religious schools – day and supplementary – of the Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform movements and will develop religious and other educational programs for these constituencies. It will serve in all cases, learning populations from preschool through post high school and their families (excluding students), with the exception of those schools choosing to work with the Department of Torah Education and Culture in the Diaspora. The department will be responsible for Hebrew ulpanim.
3. The Department of Youth and Hechalutz and Informal Education
The main responsibility of this department will be to deal with informal Zionist Jewish education of youth in Zionist youth movements, community and youth organizations of all ideological and religious streams. The department will also deal with all Israel programs in informal education frameworks. It will serve summer camps and community centers, as well as unaffiliated youth through informal Zionist educational activities in Zionist and community Federations, Boards of Jewish Education and Academic Institutions.
3. Services rendered to educational institutions by the Departments will include supplementary programs in Israel, in-service training, curriculum and educational material development and the recruitment, assignment and supervisions of shlichim and educators (principals, specialists, teachers, youth and community center workers, etc.).
1. Research, development and evaluation.
Each of the departments will have a director general and a financial officer provided by the Treasury. The directors general will be responsible to their respective department heads.
8. Establishment and Timetable
Submission of document to the WZO, UIA and KH.Sept. 30, 1990
Submission to the BOG.
Approval by the BOG.
Ratification of the Commission.
Initial meeting of the Commission.
Appointment of the Executive.
Initial meeting of the Executive.
Hiring of the Director General.
Preparation of an operational plan and budget
Approval of operational plan and budget
Commencement of Activity.
1. Since its inception more than half a century ago, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel has been engaged in acquiring land in Palestine and transferring it to the ownership of the people, reclaiming and afforesting land, leasing out land for settlement and housing, and administering its lands. The fundamental principle of Keren Kayemeth Le’lsrael is that its lands shall not be sold, but shall remain the property of the people and shall be given on lease only.
The parties to this Covenant have therefore agreed as follows:
1. Upon the coming into force of the Basic Law: Israel Lands (hereinafter referred to as "the Law"), the administration of the lands which are State land or land of Keren Kayemeth Le’lsrael, whether acquired in the past or to be acquired in the future, shall be concentrated in the hands of the State.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF THERE HAVE HEREUNTO SET THEIR SIGNATURES, in behalf of the State of Israel, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Levi Eshkol, and on behalf of Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel, the Chairman of the Board of Directors thereof, Mr. Jacob Tsur, in Jerusalem, this 20th day of Kislev, 5722 (28th November, 1961).
China-Israel relations are thawing as Peking admits UN resolution [on Zionism] was wrong
Jewish-Chinese relations have received a major boost following the first-ever meeting in Peking between a communal leader and a top Chinese government official.
Mr Qian Qichen, Chin Foreign Minister, last week gave a 45-minute audience to mr Isi Leibler, co-chairman of the World Jewish Congress, at which he indicated that China was moving towards full diplomatic relations with Isarel.
He added that China would like to assist in the Middle East peace process. Previously the country has followed a pro-PLO policy.
In what Mr Leibler described as “open and frank? talks, Mr Qichen also dissociated China from the 1975 United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism, a resolution the Chinese had co-sponsored.
“It was plain to us that China now regards the wording of the resolution as a gross distortion and a slanderous slur on the Jewish people,” Mr Leibler said.
“Mr Qichen gave a clear admission of embarrassment at being associated with the resolution. He implied that, if the matter was raised at the UN at an appropriate time, China would end that association.”
Mr Leibler added that Mr Qichen had talked with warmth about his acquaintance with former Israeli Foreign Ministers, Mr Shimon Peres and Mr Moshe Arens, and said that last month he had met with Israeli counterpart, Mr David Levy.
Zionist Leaders- Chaim Weizmann. 11 Oct 1999
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Chaim Weizmann was born in 1874, in Motol – a small, isolated shtetl (township) in a bleak, marshy area, forty kilometers from Pinsk. The third of twelve living siblings, Weizmann grew up in a boisterous family, immersed in Jewish tradition. His introduction to science was from a cheder (schoolroom) teacher who surreptitiously taught him some natural science along with his Jewish studies. Weizmann left home at the age of eleven to board in Pinsk and attend high school – a rare step at the time.
At 18, his aptitude for science led him to Germany, where he studied biochemistry at one of Europe’s most prestigious science institutions – the Polytechnic in Berlin. It was in Berlin that he first became involved with Zionist intellectual circles, and became an adherent of the teachings of Ahad Ha’am – a form of “Spiritual Zionism” that held that Palestine should serve as a spiritual center for Jewry. This philosophy was to prompt Weizmann to champion the idea of a Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Later, he became influenced by Theodor Herzl‘s “Political Zionism”, which focused on obtaining an international charter for Jewish settlement in Palestine. Weizmann became an active member, and then a key figure in the Zionist movement – a lifetime career characterized by a complex, and at times stormy, relationship with less moderate Zionists.
In 1901, Weizmann received his doctorate from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and began his academic career at the University of Geneva. From this point on, Chaim Weizmann was destined to divide his life between a fruitful scientific career and very intensive Zionist activity.
Weizmann was critical of Herzl’s emphasis on external forms of diplomacy as a means to bring about the realization of Zionism, labeling such efforts “naive and bound to failure.” Zionism could not rest on personal statesmanship of several figures in the courts of Europe alone, he felt, but must be founded on development of cultural, educational and social institutions in the Jewish homeland – the concrete work of state-building. In 1904, he left Geneva for England, where he began a long research career at Manchester University, intermixed with Zionist activism in England. His empirical outlook led Weizmann to espouse a Zionism based on a synthesis of diplomatic and settlement activity. He stressed that even if a charter for settlement in Palestine could be obtained, it would be worthless if it did not rest upon a Jewish society in-the-making, rooted in the soil of Palestine. Although not a socialist himself, Weizmann was a strong supporter of the collective form of settlement (kibbutz).
Weizmann began to cultivate contacts with members of the British government, the “movers and shakers” of the time, to gain empathy for Jewish aspirations for a Return to Zion. His personal diplomacy was characterized by a charming wit and an intuitive ability to state the Zionist cause in terms with which his listener could identify personally – whether English aristocrat or shtetl Jew. Thus, in 1906 when queried about the Zionists’ rejection of the Uganda Plan by a puzzled Lord Balfour, Weizmann – who had opposed temporary settlement of distressed Jews from Eastern Europe in Uganda, a proposal raised at the Sixth Zionist Congress (1903) – asked the British politician “whether he would trade Paris for London,” noting that “Jerusalem had been Jewish when London was still a marshland.”
In 1916 – in the midst of the World War I – Weizmann, who worked as a research chemist at Manchester University, discovered a process for synthesizing acetone, a solvent used in the manufacture of munitions. His contacts in Manchester society and his supervision of mass production of synthetic acetone for the Allies opened doors for him in British government circles, where he continued to serve as an eloquent spokesman for Zionism. Royalties on his acetone patent granted the Jewish scientist financial security and independence – both material comfort and the option to devote himself to Zionism, including presidency of the Zionist movement without remuneration.
Weizmann was a striking figure of a man – a massive bald head, deep piercing eyes, set off by a tidy mustache and goatee – whose presence and eloquence left an enduring impact on others. Lord Balfour commented dryly that “Dr. Weizmann could charm a bird off a tree.”
When Lloyd George, then minister of munitions, was appointed prime minister and Arthur Balfour became foreign secretary, years of persistent persuasion and “sensitization” to Zionism played a decisive role in the decision of Great Britain to issue the Balfour Declaration. A rare constellation of British and Jewish strategic interests, together with personal empathy for Dr. Weizmann and his cause – the fruit of eight years of what today would be considered “networking” – culminated in this document, approved by the British cabinet on November 2, 1917, that proclaimed the sympathy of the British government for Zionist aims in Palestine.
Informing Weizmann of the decision, Lord Mark Sykes, secretary of the war cabinet, declared: “Dr. Weizmann – It’s a boy.” Indeed, the landmark document, which was to lead to the granting of a British Mandate over Palestine by the League of Nation, was a crucial step towards the birth of a Jewish State, and is considered Chaim Weizmann’s most outstanding achievement.
In 1918, Weizmann was appointed head of the Zionist Commission sent by Great Britain to Palestine to advise on the future development of the country. He also attempted to achieve cooperation and peaceful relations with local Arabs who, he felt, would benefit economically from the Zionist enterprise. Weizmann met with the Emir Feisal, then the undisputed leader of awakening Arab nationalism. Feisal promised to recognize Zionist aims in Palestine, as long as the aims of Arab nationalism were achieved in Iraq and Syria. Unfortunately, this agreement was short-lived.
In the same year Weizmann attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and in 1919 led the Zionist delegation to the Peace Conference in Versailles. His plea for international recognition of the Balfour Declaration was answered: in 1922, the League of Nations granted Great Britain the Mandate for Palestine, in which the historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine was cited.
In 1920, Weizmann was elected president of the Zionist Organization. He stressed that “a state cannot be created by decree”; Zionist endeavors, he believed, must be based equally on settlement of the land and the powers of science to build a “new Jewish society.” In 1924, Weizmann thoroughly irritated Polish Zionists when he proclaimed “we don’t want to build our National Home according to the model of Dezika and Neleviki (Jewish commercial districts in Warsaw), yet he was greatly admired, even adored, by the Jewish masses as an eloquent spokesman of their aspirations.
During the next two decades Weizmann succeeded in broadening support for the Zionist movement to encompass non-Zionists, mobilizing Jewish capital in the west to further rural Jewish settlement though the establishment of Keren Hayesod – the financial arm of the Zionist movement. His leadership of the Zionist movement was subsequently challenged both by American Zionists, who questioned the necessity of concerted Jewish settlement and development to give the Balfour Declaration meaning – and later by the Revisionist wing of Zionism, who opposed his moderate policies towards Great Britain; still, his Zionist program bonding “diplomacy and settlement activity” remained the approach of mainstream Zionism and its institutions as a whole.
Continuing his scientific work, Weizmann laid the foundations of the Daniel Sieff Institute in Rehovot in the early 1930s – today, the renowned Weizmann Institute of Science. In 1937, Weizmann settled in Rehovot, continuing to speak for the Zionist cause worldwide, although he was overshadowed by those who opposed his moderate, pro-British policies.
Despite changes in British policy in the wake of Arab riots in 1921, 1929, and 1936-39, which culminated in the 1939 British White Paper that severely restricted Jewish immigration and land purchase, Weizmann believed alienation of British support would be a strategic mistake and would undermine Zionist interests; changing British policy must be based on persuasion, not confrontation. Speaking before the British Peel Commission in 1937, Weizmann said: “There are in this part of the world [Europe] 6,000,000 people … for whom the world is divided into places where they cannot live and places where they cannot enter.” The message was clear. However, British policy remained unchanged, with tragic ramifications. At the end of the Second World War, the horrifying dimensions of the tragedy that had befallen European Jewry became evident; and still the British were not ready to admit Jewish refugees into Palestine.
Weizmann’s espousement of “gradualism” was symbolically epitomized in an incident at Kibbutz Hulda. Appearing hours after his scheduled arrival, the Zionist leader explained his tardiness – “The Zionist wagon rolls slowly.” In 1946, at age 72, Weizmann received a vote of no-confidence at the post-war Zionist Congress. In deference to his stature, the President’s chair was not filled. More militant Zionist leaders, led by David Ben-Gurion, ready for a confrontation with Great Britain, assumed the dominant role in Zionist affairs.
Weizmann, however, continued to play a crucial role in removing the remaining barriers along the road to statehood. In 1947, when the British brought the problem of Palestine before the United Nations, he addressed the General Assembly, calling upon the delegates to bear in mind their “historic mission”; in addition, intense behind-the-scenes lobbying – including that of Dr. Weizmann – was a decisive factor in the General Assembly’s decision to include the Negev in the territory designated to become the Jewish state under the UN partition resolution. The resolution was passed on 29 November 1947, by a vote of 33 to 13, with ten abstentions.
The State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, the day before the British Mandate was due to end. Its recognition by the US was partly due to the intervention of Dr. Weizmann, who met with President Truman under trying and fateful circumstances in March 1948. At the time, Truman was entertaining second thoughts and considering postponing partition in light of hostilities. At the urging of his former business partner and personal friend, a Jew, who compared his adoration of the Zionist leader to Truman’s own respect for Andrew Jackson, he agreed to receive Weizmann. Shortly after the State of Israel was declared, the United States announced its recognition of the new state.
In February 1949 – a month after Israel’s first elections – a special session of the Knesset in Jerusalem elected Chaim Weizmann as the first president of the State of Israel. The appointment was an act of gratitude in recognition of Weizmann’s outstanding contribution to the birth of the State of Israel. Still, he resented the limitations of this office, which was mostly ceremonial.
Chaim Weizmann died in 1952 in Rehovot and was buried there, near the campus of the Institute of Science which bears his name.
Jewish Colonial Trust
The first Zionist bank, it was founded at the Second Zionist Congress and incorporated in London in 1899. The JCT was intended to be the financial instrument of the Zionist Organization, and was to obtain capital and credit to help attain a charter for Palestine.
It quickly became clear that the amount of capital raised by the JCT was far from sufficient to attain this goal; the sum raised was only
[Yitzhak Rabin is among the foremost Israeli war criminals (see Memorandum) Among his exploits are orders to expel the inhabitants of the Arab village Emwas. On the ruins of this village a park was planted with funds from the Canadian Zionist Federation, and was named Canada Park.]
THE RABIN MEMORIAL 2004
October 26, 2004
This event, in commemoration of the 9th anniversary of the death of the late Yitzhak Rabin will feature a wonderful children’s orchestra, a well-known community member as the guest speaker, and a candle-lighting ceremony.
Mr. Marc Attali, Consul General of Israel in Montreal will be actively participating, and special invitations will be sent to dignitaries in both the Jewish and non-Jewish community. An attendance of 600 people is expected for this year’s annual Rabin Memorial ceremony.
THE ZIONIST CONGRESS
Source: http://www.wzo.org.il/doingzionism/institutions/zionist_congress.asp (March 2005)
The Zionist Congress is the supreme institution of the World Zionist Organization and its highest legislative authority. Article 13 of the WZO Constitution stipulates: "An Ordinary Congress shall meet at least once in four years at a place and time determined by the Council. It shall be convened by the Executive." Notwithstanding, the Constitution allows postponement of the Congress for special reasons, and subject to a decision of the Zionist General Council upon hearing from the Executive. The decision must be passed by 75% of the members of the ZGC but can be contested in the Zionist Supreme Court.
Powers of the Congress
In the inter-Congress period many of the Congress powers are assumed by the Zionist General Council, including the authority to amend the Constitution.
Composition of the Congress
In pursuance of Article 17, Section 1 of the WZO Constitution, the number of delegates to Congress, apart from those elected on World Election Lists and those representing International Bodies, will not exceed 500. In pursuance of Section 2 of the same Article, the Zionist General Council may resolve, not later than one year before Congress meets, to increase this number by not more than 5%. In pursuance of Section 3, the number of delegates to Congress will be allocated in the following proportion: Israel 38%, United States of America 29%, other countries of the Diaspora 33%.
In the case of countries of the Diaspora, an overall number is given, but the number of delegates from each country is determined, prior to each Congress, by a special Committee, which takes into account in its decisions, inter alia, the size of the Jewish population and all the Zionist achievements in each country, such as the number of Federation members, Aliyah, Appeals and Jewish education.
(At the 34th Congress in addition to the 500 delegates there were an additional 32 delegates, with full voting rights, from the FSU according to the decision of the Zionist General Council from 2001 resolution 47.)
Membership of Organizations in the World Zionist Organization
Since the new WZO Constitution came into force in 1960, there has been no personal membership in the World Zionist Organization. Only organizations can be members. An individual Zionist can belong to the World Zionist Organization only indirectly, through one of the member organizations.
The Central Elections Board
The Chairman of the Central Elections Board and the members of the Board are appointed by the President of the Zionist Supreme Court. The Board is chaired by a judge or judge emeritus in Israel. Factions which participated in the previous Zionist Congress participate in the Board as observers.
The Area Election Committee
The Area Election Committee determines the method of elections and conduct of the elections in each area/country where there is a Zionist Federation, which is a member of the Zionist Organization.
Elections to the Congress must be held no later than three months prior to the Congress.
The Zionist World Unions
"Zionist World Union" means a Zionist organization, which represents a special ideological point of view within the World Zionist Organization, has branches in at least 5 countries and is represented by a Congress Grouping.
The Zionist World Unions are:
The International Jewish Organizations
Since the Twenty-Eighth Zionist Congress (1972), the international Jewish organizations are represented in the Zionist Congress, provided that they accept the Jerusalem Program, even if not all their members are declared Zionist (unlike the World Unions in which every member must be a declared Zionist). These bodies have limited voting rights – they do not vote on matters of candidature and elections to the institutions of the WZO.
The International Jewish Organizations are:
The student representatives and the representatives of the Zionist Council in Israel have the same status as representatives of the international Jewish organizations.
Zionist Organizations with Special Status
There are two women’s organizations which have special status in the Zionist Organization:
The above mentioned bodies make up the Zionist Congress
Participants in Congress in an Advisory Capacity and Observers
In addition to the delegates with full voting rights participating in Congress, there are also participants in an advisory capacity only. These participants are entitled to participate in debates but have no voting rights.
These delegates are divided into two groups:
The Course of the Congress
The Congress is conducted by the Congress Presidium. The Congress deliberations are divided into five stages:
Resolutions Of the Zionist General Council 2004
Jerusalem ? 15th to 17th June, 2004, 26 ? 28th Sivan, 5764
A. Changes to the Constitution
The foundations of Zionism are:
1. The unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital, in the life of the nation;
2. Aliyah from all countries and the effective integration of all immigrants into Israeli Society.
3. Strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character, marked by mutual respect for the multi-faceted Jewish people, rooted in the vision of the prophets, striving for peace and contributing to the betterment of the world.
4. Ensuring the future and the distinctiveness of the Jewish people by furthering Jewish, Hebrew and Zionist education, fostering spiritual and cultural values and teaching Hebrew as the national language;
5. Nurturing mutual Jewish responsibility, defending the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation, representing the national Zionist interests of the Jewish people, and struggling against all manifestations of anti-Semitism;
6. Settling the country as an expression of practical Zionism.
B. The Goals of the Zionist Movement
Whereas the Zionist Federations constitute the primary arm of the World Zionist Organization in achieving its objectives throughout the world, and
Whereas the 34th Zionist Congress passed resolution #43 mandating
Whereas the 34th Zionist Congress furthermore passed resolution #41, calling upon "the Zionist Executive to provide the necessary funding, beginning from January 1, 2002, to the Zionist Federations in order to better develop an organizational infrastructure that will operate more efficiently and will carry out Zionist and educational activities and projects, in accordance with the Jerusalem Program," and
Whereas the 34th Zionist Congress furthermore passed resolution #40, which mandated that the WZO Executive "provide a plan for the creation of territorial groupings alongside the ideological ones, to allow Zionist Federations to take their rightful place within the structure of the WZO. Said plan to be submitted to the first meeting of the Zionist General Council in 2003," and
Whereas no action has been taken regarding the implementation of Resolutions #40, #41, and #43 in any of these areas,
Be it hereby resolved that the Zionist Executive and the Presidium jointly facilitate the appointment by July 31, 2004, of a Task Force on the Status of the Zionist Federations, which will include among its members at least three heads of Zionist Federations. The said committee shall issue a report on it its findings and recommendations no later than four months after its establishment.
6. The elected representatives? obligation to Zionist General Council policy
The Zionist General Council resolves that all issues related to the Jewish Agency will be deliberated and agreed upon in advance within the appropriate institutions of the World Zionist Organization ? the Zionist Executive, the Zionist General Council and the Presidium of the Zionist General Council.
This resolution is binding for all elected representatives of the World Zionist Organization.
(*) Everything stated in this resolution proposal regarding elected office holders or position holders refers equally to men and women.
7. Elections in Israel
Whereas The delegates to the Zionist Congress in Israel are determined in
And whereas As a result of this process most Israeli citizens are detached from
And whereas Democratic elections are held for the World Zionist Congress in
It is hereby resolved:
A joint committee of the Zionist Executive and the Presidium of the Zionist General Council will be formed to deliberate on, study and prepare a detailed proposal. The committee will submit its proposals for deliberation at the next meeting of the Zionist General Council.
8. Membership Campaign
Whereas the World Zionist Organization is a global movement of the Jewish People dedicated to strengthening the bonds of peoplehood between Jews worldwide based on our shared culture, heritage and traditions; our common language and our homeland Israel; and
9. Status of the World Zionist Organization
The World Zionist Organization derives its authority from its historical role in the struggle to establish the State of Israel. This role was recognized in the status law and covenant between the Israeli government and the World Zionist Organization, and in the agreements between representatives of the communities and the federations, and the World Zionist Organization, which constitute the Jewish Agencx’s framework agreements.
And whereas the World Zionist Organization believes that its status,
It is proposed that any additional changes to the existing agreements be deliberated in the World Zionist Organization before they become binding on the parties.
A think tank should be formed, to include experts from the academic world, which will initiate and lead an open, broad-based dialogue within the Jewish people, with emphasis on understanding complex contemporary realities.
The 34th / 3 Zionist General Council has determined that in the 56th year of the State of Israel ? the sovereign Jewish state founded in our historical homeland on the principles of the Zionist vision ? the Zionist movement shall be committed to furthering the Zionist enterprise and working toward its realization, through the ingathering of exiles, the social, cultural, spiritual and economic absorption of immigrants, and the settling of immigrants in their homeland.
The Zionist General Council resolves to charge a joint committee of the Presidium of the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Executive to prepare a joint operating program with the Jewish Agency for Israel, making aliya in general, and aliya from Western countries in particular, the top priority for all branches of the Zionist movement.
11. Encouraging Aliyah from all Countries
The 34th Zionist General Council reaffirms that aliyah to Israel and immigrant absorption and settlement are among the highest priorities of the contemporary Zionist movement.
The Zionist General Council resolves to begin intensive activity aimed at encouraging, cultivating and assisting organizations, associations and institutions that are directly engaged in encouraging and organizing aliyah in general, and from Western countries in particular.
D. Jewish Zionist Education
The 34th /3 Zionist General Council resolves to charge the Zionist Executive and its representatives in the national institutions with the development of a public relations campaign in honor of the 100th anniversary of the death of Dr. Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl. In this campaign, Israeli flags will be placed in Jewish schools and educational institutions in the Diaspora.
The Zionist General Council calls for educational hasbara on the subject of the national flag and the State of Israel’s national symbol, the menorah in writing and through other electronic means.
13. Hebrew Language
The 34th /3 Zionist General Council views the strengthening of Jewish-Zionist education as the basis for inculcation and practical realization of Zionist ideology.
The Zionist General Council thus resolves that 5764-5765 (2004-2005), the 100th anniversary of the death of Dr. Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl z?l(1860-1904), the visionary of Zionism, shall be declared to be the year of Jewish-Zionist education and the year of the Hebrew language.
The Zionist General Council charges the Zionist Executive and its representatives in the Jewish Agency and in all of the national institutions with making Jewish-Zionist education, the teaching of Hebrew, and the centrality of the State of Israel in the educational experience as high priorities for the Zionist youth movements, schools and educational institutions throughout the Diaspora.
The Zionist General Council resolves to charge the Zionist Executive with re-establishing Hebrew language ulpanim, through the Zionist federations, in cooperation with the communal and educational leadership in each locality.
14. Involvement in Israeli Society
Whereas the nature of Israeli society, and the integration of olim into it, are major concerns of the Zionist movement, and
Whereas the 34th Zionist Congress passed a number of resolutions regarding these areas (#2 – #4, #71-#81), and
Whereas the World Zionist Organization currently has no mechanism for furthering the objectives of the above-noted resolutions, including those dealing with legislation in the Knesset,
Be it hereby resolved that the Zionist Executive and the Presidium of the ZGC jointly establish a Standing Committee on the Nature of Israeli Society that will, among other things, serve as the official lobby of the WZO regarding such matters specified in the above-noted resolutions, including the preservation of Israel as a Jewish Democratic State.
15. Fulfillment of the Zionist Congress resolution on youth and students
The Zionist General Council is distressed by the rate at which Zionist Congress resolutions are being implemented, and calls upon the Zionist Executive to immediately implement Resolution No. 67 of the 34th Zionist Congress, referred to as “Youth and Students?:
And whereas The Zionist Congress resolved to “place youth and students at the head of the World Zionist Organization agenda”?
The Congress issued guidelines for the implementation of these resolutions in its instruction in Article 67A, B and C.
A- The Zionist Executive shall implement the resolutions of the 33rd Zionist Congress relating to the “Hagshama and Young Generation Department,” youth movements and young people (including students),
B- The Zionist Executive shall give full backing and provide the resources necessary for the “Hagshama and Young Generation Department? to conduct and even to expand its activities,
C- The Zionist Executive shall make funds available to the Hagshama Department for the establishment of courses in Hadracha and Hasbara for students participating in any program (either religious or secular, and longer than one semester) in Israel, and for seminars in Jewish and Hebrew schools and for youth movement counselors in the Diaspora as well.
Consequently, the Zionist General Council must ensure that the Zionist Executive implements these instructions.
The Zionist General Council charges a joint committee of the Presidium of the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Executive to submit, within three months, an operative plan detailing the means of purchasing “Zionist shekels” by individuals, groups, organizations and institutions.
The 34th Zionist General Council resolves to reinstate the “Zionist shekel? as a source of funding for special projects intended to promote Jewish-Zionist education and to settle new immigrant garinim.
The Zionist General Council charges a joint committee of the Presidium of the Zionist General Council and the Zionist Executive to submit, within three months, an operative plan detailing the means of purchasing “Zionist shekels” by individuals, groups, organizations and institutions, and the criteria for use of the "shekel" funds for special projects of the Zionist Movement.
17. The State of Israel ? agreement between the State of Israel and the World Zionist Organization
Whereas The State of Israel was established at the initiative of the Zionist
whereas The World Zionist Organization is currently responsible for activity
It is hereby resolved:
18. Property of the World Zionist Organization
Whereas Property acquired up to 1971 in the name of the World Zionist
whereas Property acquired by Keren Hayesod up to 1989 in the name of Keren
whereas Keren Hayesod’s charter, up to the time of its amendment, recognized
whereas The Jewish Agencx’s 1971 restructuring agreement recognizes that
It is hereby resolved:
Properties acquired by the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency up to 1971 are the property of the World Zionist Organization, and properties acquired by Keren Hayesod up to 1989 are the property of the World Zionist Organization.
Any party other than the World Zionist Organization making use of WZO property for its own purposes and not for purposes of the World Zionist Organization shall be required to compensate the World Zionist Organization for an identical and index-linked sum.
Accurate and up-to-date information regarding the properties and their ownership shall be compiled by an external professional committee and brought up for deliberation before the permanent Budget and Finance Committee, which shall submit its recommendations for discussion and approval of the XXXIV/4 Zionist General Council.
F. The Struggle against Anti-Semitism
The spread of anti-Semitism in its new and old forms was addressed by Dr. Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl in his book The Jewish State: “The very impossibility of getting at the Jews nourishes and embitters hatred of them. Anti-Semitism increases day by day and hour by hour [?]? The founding of the State of Israel in Eretz Yisrael proved that the Jewish people cannot be vanquished.
The Zionist General Council resolves to charge the Zionist federations, in conjunction with the Jewish organizations, institutions and communities, with undertaking a world-wide campaign against anti-Semitism, and with allocating special resources for educational and public relations activity aimed at fighting anti-Semitism.
20. The Struggle Against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism ? the World Zionist Federations as the Spearhead in the Battle against World Anti-Semitism
Whereas The Jewish Diaspora is the arena of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activity; and
Whereas Jewish and private institutions are the targets of violence on the part of various anti-Semitic groups; and
Whereas We, as the World Zionist Organization and as a Zionist, Jewish and democratic state, have a sense of responsibility and commitment toward the Jewish people in the Diaspora;
It is hereby resolved:
The Zionist General Council views the battle against incidents of anti-Semitism as a primary function of all Zionist federations.
The Zionist General Council calls upon the Zionist Executive to allocate to the Zionist federations the necessary resources from the World Zionist Organization budget, and from other sources, according to its executive decision.
The World Zionist Organization and the Zionist federations shall act, together with the State of Israel and other Jewish organizations active in the various countries, to fight against manifestations of racism, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, on behalf of the security of Jews wherever they may be.
Whereas The plague of anti-Semitism in its various forms includes synagogue burnings and the desecration of graves in Jewish cemeteries around the world;
The 34th Zionist General Council hereby resolves to charge the Presidium of the Zionist General Council with forming a sub-committee to address the following issues:
A. Collection and dissemination of up-to-date information on damage to synagogues and cemeteries;
B. Creation of channels of communication with the Diaspora communities, in order to stand by them and to demonstrate solidarity;
C. Consideration of the possibility of a volunteer organization to rehabilitate the desecrated graves;
Members of the Zionist General Council, gathered together for the world meeting of the World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem, June 2004.
Whereas Collective memory and the search for justice are historical values that have been preserved by the Jewish people over the thousands of years of its existence; and
Whereas The terrorist attacks on the Israeli embassy in Argentina and on the Buenos Aires Jewish community center constituted major attacks against the Jewish people in the Diaspora; and
Whereas 12 years have passed since the attack on the embassy and 10years since the AMIA attack, and the Argentinean justice authorities have thus far failed in their investigation of the incidents and in apprehending the parties responsible for them locally and abroad; and
Whereas Despite strong suspicions and existing facts, no determinations of responsibility have been made, whether at the local or the international levels, regarding persons, political organizations, terrorists and countries; and
Whereas There are suspicions of complicity and/or hampering of the investigation on the part of certain sectors of the Argentinean republic, with no results leading to the identification of perpetrators,
It is hereby resolved to call upon the Zionist Executive:
1 To add the 18th of July (the date of the attack on the Jewish community in Buenos Aires) to the Zionist calendar each year, as a day of public relations activity against anti-Semitism, and in remembrance of the victims of the attacks.
2- To dedicate this date to activity around the world to mark the terror attacks under the slogan, “Justice, justice you shall seek.”
3- To demand that both terrorist attacks be properly investigated, and that those responsible for them be arrested and brought to justice.
THE ZIONIST GENERAL COUNCIL
The Zionist General Council is the supreme institution of the Zionist movement in the inter-Congress period. The Zionist General Council has all the powers of the Congress except for those expressly reserved for the Congress.
The Zionist General Council overseas and, in so far as necessary, decides upon the manner in which the Executive will implement the decisions of the Congress and of the Council. The Zionist General Council receives and considers the reports of the Executive.
The Zionist Council, upon proposal of the Executive, either itself or through the Permanent Committee for Budget and Finance, decides upon all budgetary and financial matters, provided such a decision is not inconsistent with the decisions of Congress.
Should the position of a member of the Executive, a member of the Presidium or a deputy member of the Presidium fall vacant for any reason whatsoever in the inter-Congress period, the Zionist General Council elects a new member in his stead. This election is carried out at the next Session of the Zionist General Council or in the inter-Session period by mail/fax. The decision on such a vote is taken by the Presidium, in consultation with the Executive. The vote is valid if at least 50% of the Zionist General Council with voting rights participate.
Composition of the Zionist General Council
In pursuance of Article 32 Section 1 of the Constitution, the Congress elects the members of the Council entitled to vote in accordance with the relative strength of the Groupings in Congress. Every Congress Grouping is represented on the Council by a number of members equal to one-fifth of the total number of delegates of the respective Grouping. A remainder of at least three as a result of such division entitles a Grouping to an additional member on the Council.
The composition of the Zionist General Council elected at the Thirty-Fourth Zionist Congress is as follows:
19 Chairs of Zionist Federations of countries, which were represented at the foregoing Congress by 3 or more delegates are also members of the Zionist General Council with the same status as the members representing international Jewish organizations.
The Zionist Congress elects deputy members of the Council equal to twice the number of members.
The total number of Zionist General Council members is 187.
JNF not required to act for good of all, court told
By Yuval Yoaz
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is not required to act for the good
The document was submitted by the JNF in response to a petition
The petitioners are asking the court to annul an ILA policy that
About five years ago, the High Court set a precedent when it ruled
ACRI attorney Ouni Bana argued before the court that the Kaadan
However, the JNF argued that its right to act as the "trustee of the
The JNF currently has lands amounting to about 2.5 million dunams.
JNF lawyers argued that JNF ownership of land is completely separate
In response to the JNF, the petitioners’ attorneys argued that the
Truth – Justice – Peace