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Message from MERCAZ Canada November 2010

Message from Marion Mayman, President MERCAZ-Canada 
Todah Rabah to Beth Israel!

This past year was a very significant one for Zionists the world over.  We celebrated the 150th birthday of Theodore Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement and the 36th World Zionist Congress took place in Jerusalem in June. 

In Canada, prior to the Congress, MERCAZ-Canada was able to come to an agreement with the other parties within the Canadian Zionist Federation to obtain an additional delegate for the World Zionist Organization (WZO) Congress without the need for an expensive and time-consuming election. 

This agreement was a direct result of our increased membership in 2009.  Todah Rabah to all of you who took our challenge and joined.  Many thanks also to Beth Israel for including a check-off line for MERCAZ-Canada membership on your annual dues statements , as well as to the other Conservative Synagogue Rabbis, Presidents and Executive Directors across Canada who promoted and encouraged their members to join.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

.Among the benefits accruing to our Movement as a direct result of the size of our delegation at the Zionist Congress is an annual net equivalency of cash and services in excess of $2.5 million, as well as significant influence in decision making that impacts the global Jewish agenda and the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) budget of more than $300 million.  They include:

* $1.7 million in allocations to Masorti institutions in Israel every year
* Hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to Masorti/Conservative educational projects  around the world.
* Shlichim for our youth movements and kehillot throughout the Diaspora.
* $500,000 annually to meet the spiritual and educational needs of Masorti/Conservative Jews outside of Israel.
* Nearly $100,000 per year in support of MERCAZ Olami, allowing us to serve our constituency throughout the world.
* Official representation on key decision-making bodies of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization.
* Control of the Office of Deputy Chairman of the Zionist Executive with responsibilities of the Treasurer.
* An annual allocation of more than $90,000 to fund activities of MAROM, our young adult Zionist movement.
* Subsidies and Scholarships for Conservative Movement teens on USY Pilgrimage, Ramah Israel Seminar, NATIV, Conservative Yeshiva and other affiliated trips to Israel.
* Creation of a majority coalition for religious pluralism in Israel for non-Orthodox religious streams and the passing of  resolutions that called for:
a) equal status of all streams of Judaism with regard to marriage, divorce, conversion and burial

b) rejecting the current MK Rotem conversion legislation that would have unintended negative ramifications for non-Orthodox converts; and

c) recognition of NOAM, including USY as its North American affiliate, as a full fledged Zionist youth movement able to join the Zionist Youth Forum and be eligible for WZO funding.

As you can see, your membership really makes a difference.  A strong MERCAZ-Canada helps create a strong MERCAZ Olami – contributing in a very direct way to making sure that Israel becomes a pluralist Jewish state – one that advances a whole array of initiatives including those that reflect the values of Conservative/Masorti Judaism. 

Every Conservative Jew can support religious freedom for all Jews in Israel by being an annual dues paying member of MERCAZ-Canada, the Conservative Movement’s Zionist arm.  As a member, you have a voice in the WZO and the Jewish Agency for Israel, where decisions that affect World Jewry are made.

It is vital that we be able to count on you to be a member of MERCAZ-Canada.  Membership is only $9/adult or $18/couple. 

PLEASE JOIN TODAY, online at www.mercaz.ca or by phoning the office of MERCAZ-Canada at 1 866 357 3384   With your help and support our Movement will continue to grow and flourish.

Chag Hanukah Sameach.