We applaud the Orthodox surge in the World Zionist Congress elections. The two Orthodox lists in the U.S. portion of the just concluded World Zionist Congress elections together garnered 33.7%, almost double the 16.9% achieved by the single Orthodox list in the last election in 2015. The Mizrachi and Eretz Hakodesh lists thus eclipsed the 25.5% percentage of the Reform movement, the single list leader, and almost tripled the Conservative movement’s 11.9%. The Reform movement result was down from its 2015 tally of 38.4% and the Conservative movement’s number was down from 17.4 %.
The World Zionist Congress meets once every five years in Jerusalem and allocates more than $5 billion to be distributed over a five-year period to Jewish causes in Israel and around the world. It also appoints board members to other major organizations with independent funding programs of their own. The Orthodox lists are committed to pushing for increased funding for religious schools and support for the settlement movement.
The U.S. portion of the election accounts for about a third of the Congress’s seats, another third based upon representation in the Knesset and the rest are elected by other diaspora communities. There are a total of 500 seats in the Congress with 152 now reserved for U.S. lists, which, because of increased numbers of U.S. participants, is up from the 2015 total of 145.
Pro-religious causes and settlement projects will benefit from the increase in the Orthodox numbers and we are proud to have played a role in the telling of the Eretz Hakodesh story to the American Jewish public.