Rosh Hashana


October 2015 We Need You Now Tishrei 5776  

As we write these words, the new Jewish year 5776 is just a few weeks old. Our hope that it has gotten off to a good start for you and your family. And in just less than a month's time, we will be joining with Jewish leadership from Israel and around the world at the 37th World Zionist Congress. As was noted in our Fall newsletter: "MERCAZ USA, although down from 33 to 25 mandates, still scored an important success in the recent American Zionist poll, rising to become the second largest party among the 11 slates running in the election. . . . In addition, with a planned political faction being envisaged . . , MERCAZ should become one of the key players at the international Jewish parliament taking place this October in Jerusalem."

Preparing for and running the Zionist election campaign has been the primary focus of our organization for the past 18 months. We thank all of our members and supporters who took the time to register to vote and who cast a ballot on behalf of MERCAZ USA. With the decline in MERCAZ voters from 18,500 in 2006 to just under 10,000 now, it is clear that to do better we need to redouble our efforts in the future to teach about Zionism and strengthen the connection between our contemporary Jewish community here in the United States and our ancestral homeland in Israel. The opening of a new round of our MERCAZ/Women's League Essay Contest towards the end of 2015 should be a wonderful teaching opportunity about the connection between Jewish identity and Zionism. Check the MERCAZ website for further details about the essay contest.

As we begin to envision the agenda for the new year, we also are painfully aware of the physical challenges facing Israel. We pray that 5776 will be a year of peace and stability for the Middle East. But the challenges including Iran, ISIS, Hizbullah and Hamas force us to stay ever vigilant for Israel's safety and security.

That same vigilance is needed here at home as well as we defend Israel against those who seek to challenge her legitimacy. To this end, MERCAZ continues our effort in Israel Advocacy which we began four years ago. Our calendar already has a date in November in the greater Philadelphia area and another one in the Westchester/Rockland County area around New York City. If you are interested in attending to learn more about how to defend Israel and to gain useful tools to organize advocacy activities in your congregation, visit the MERCAZ website or contact the MERCAZ office.

Zionist Education and Israel Advocacy are part of the essential ongoing work on which MERCAZ focuses its attention. In order to do our job successfully as the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, we rely on our members and the annual dues that they pay, as they are our only source of funding. Whether you are a member now, have been a member in the past or never joined our organization - WE NEED YOU NOW!

Commit yourself to our organization and to its agenda of political lobbying in Israel for religious pluralism, Zionist Education and Israel Advocacy. Your support as a paid-up MERCAZ member helps us fulfill our goals. Click here and take this opportunity to renew your MERCAZ membership for the current 2015-2016 fiscal year!

Wishing you and yours a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!

שתחדש עלינו שנה טובה ומתוקה

Janet Tobin

Rabbi Robert R. Golub
Executive Director