Photo Credit: Hadas Paruch / Flash 90
At the Western Wall

For the first time in the history of the Zionist Movement,The 38th World Zionist Congress (WZC) this year will convene online through a special broadcast center in Jerusalem.

Seven hundred and twenty delegates and observers from more than 30 countries around the world will participate in the 38th World Zionist Congress that convenes between 20-22 October, 2020 (2-4 Cheshvan, 5781) for a period of 3 consecutive days of discussions. The sessions will take place in the afternoons synchronized with time zones in Israel,North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

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During the Congress, whose theme is ‘Mutual Responsibility and Aliyah (Immigration to Israel)’elections will take place for the leadership positions of The National Institutions -The World Zionist Organization, Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel (Jewish National Fund-JNF)and Keren Hayesod.

Similarly current issues relating to The Jewish People will be deliberated: The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on Jewish communities worldwide; preparation for a wave of immigration to Israel as a result of this worldwide crisis; battling growing antisemitism; developing settlement in Israel and more.

In spite of the Coronavirus pandemic and closed skies,the Executive of The World Zionist Organization,nevertheless, decided to convene online the upcoming 38th World Zionist Congress.

The World Zionist Congress(WZC) has taken place since 1897 and has never before been cancelled except on two occasions during both World Wars.

Today, despite the ramifications of Coronavirus, modern technology allows for the WZC to convene online to deliberate and pass resolutions relating to current issues on the the Zionist agenda.

The schedule of the WZC is available with details on panels,speakers and proposed resolutions.

All the participants in the World Zionist Congress will be connected online through their own digital devices or personal smart phones directly to the deliberations,lectures,panels and voting at the Congress that will be broadcast live worldwide through an innovative special digital online platform of the Jerusalem International Convention Center(Binyanei Ha’uma).

Similarly the delegates and observers will be able to communicate directly between each other using this digital platform.

The World Zionist Congress is a public event of representatives of Jewish Zionists worldwide.

The WZC is the supreme legislative body of The World Zionist Organization regarding policy and resolutions,a kind of worldwide Jewish ‘House of Legislators’.

Delegates to the World Zionist Congress are elected representatives from their respective Zionist Federations worldwide, International Zionist Movements, Jewish Organizations and Jewish Religious Streams that are members of the World Zionist Organization, and representatives of the Zionist Political Parties in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament).

Delegates to the WZC deliberate current events relating to the Zionist agenda, set the budget and constitution of The World Zionist Organization(WZO), as well as electing officials to the institutions of the WZO such as the executive of The World Zionist Organization and the Zionist General Council that is responsible for overseeing the operations of The Zionist Movement.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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