November 2014 Issue

Women’s League Resolutions

Now is your last chance to vote on the Women’s League resolutions. We decided to present the resolutions to all of our members instead of just to the limited number of people at a convention.

There are six resolutions:

  1. Inclusion & Disabilities
  2. MERCAZ Olami Electoral Support
  3. Minimum Wage Increase and Other Supports for Low Income Families
  4. Women’s Reproductive Health
  5. Sensible Gun Control in the United States
  6. Voting Rights in the United States.

You can read the resolutions on this website. Log in and go to: download WLCJ Member Materials.

To vote, click here.

Voting is open until December 1, 2014.

World Zionist Congress, October 2015

The 37th World Zionist Congress will convene in October 2015 in Jerusalem. This Congress is held every four to five years and is the Parliament of the Jewish people worldwide.  About 300 delegates represent Diaspora Jewry with another 200 delegates from Israel.  Next to Israel, the United States is the largest delegation with 145 delegates.

Elections will determine how many delegates will represent MERCAZ USA. The election will take place from January 13, 2015 until April 30, 2015.  It is critical that we maintain or increase the number of our delegates.  MERCAZ was the second largest delegation, with 22% of the vote, at the last election in 2006.  A direct result of the election is funding for Masorti (Conservative) institutions in Israel, South America, Europe, and elsewhere.  It also supports American Conservative Movement programs such as USY’s year course, NATIV, Ramah Seminar, and the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

We will be asking for your help to get out the vote in your sisterhood and congregation.

Hate Crimes

On November 6, President Barak Obama recognized the 5 year anniversary of the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  According to President Obama, this Act has “strengthened the protections” against bias motivated crimes.  On the same day, a White House conference was held at which a series of initiatives were announced.  To read more about this topic, click here.


Conflicts in Syria and Iraq have forced many people from their homes.  At the present time, the US has a refugee admissions goal of 70,000. This petition requests that President Obama increase the ceiling for refugees in 2015 to 100,000.  The petition gives a good summary of what the issues are. In addition, has good information about the refugees.

Fair Trade Judaica

On the website you will find information about kosher fair trade chocolate including Chanukah gelt and Passover candy.  The Chanukah gelt helps support the 65,000 members of Kuapa Kokoo, a Fair Trade cooperative in Ghana who are co-owners of Divine Chocolate.  Fair Trade standards prohibit child labor. The children of these farmers attend school rather than work in the fields.  Besides chocolate, they offer other Judaica that meets Fair Trade guidelines. is running a trip to Guatemala in February to meet some of the artisans producing their Judaica.

Israeli Flying Aid

Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based, non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides humanitarian life saving aid and relief to communities in areas stricken by natural disaster or territorial conflicts. It was founded in 2005 by Gal Lousky to meet the needs of people suffering in disaster areas around the world.

IFA is dedicated to providing supplies and assistance for every individual in need, and to transcending political differences, prejudices, race, nationality, and creed.  To read more about what this organization does, click here.

Communicating the Truth about Israel

Both during Operation Protective Edge and in its aftermath, there has been misinformation about Israel and a polarization of people in North America and throughout the world against Israel.

The Israel Action Network, a joint project of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and Jewish Federations of North America, has developed materials for you to use in talking about Israel and educating your sisterhoods about Israel.

They have also developed a messaging guide to teach you to effectively engage in talking about Israel.

Communications strategist Frank Luntz gave a presentation at an AEPi (a primarily Jewish college fraternity) conference.  He asked if the students had ever encountered anti-Semitism.  He documented the intimidation our students face on campus. Click here to view the full nine-minute video. Click here to watch a condensed five-minute version.