Summer 2017

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Sarrae's Corner

Sarrae G Crane, Executive Director, MERCAZ USA

Message from MERCAZ USA Executive Director, Sarrae G Crane

I write this shortly after we joyously marked Yom Yerushalyim, this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and on the eve of the semi-centennial of the start of the Six Day War. These 6 days were transformative not only for Israel and its citizens, but for Jews around the world, including those of us in the United States. We continue to wrestle with the impact of that miraculous moment in time. One of the consequences of this new reality was that the Conservative Movement, which from its outset was Zionist in spirit, finally in 1979, entered the arena of the world Zionist movement with the creation of MERCAZ.

And so as we look upon events unfolding in Israel, we also need to reflect on the direction of MERCAZ here in the United States.

It’s not quite a year since I became the Executive Director of MERCAZ USA. We moved our office, realizing a significant savings in rent. Our new address is: 520 Eighth Avenue, 4th floor, NY, NY 10018. (A short walk from both Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal). We are located in the office of the JCCA along with a variety of other Jewish organizations, with many more in the neighborhood. We have also carefully monitored our expenses, paying off our loans and basically eliminating our deficit.

As promised, we have spent the past year re-evaluating our mission of engaging Conservative/Masorti Jews with Zionism/Israel and the Jewish people world over and of reaffirming our commitment to pluralism in Jewish religious life and promoting its acceptance in the State of Israel.

Aware that Zionism is multi-faceted and there is more than one way to connect to Israel and the Jewish people, we need to hear many voices, especially yours. We want to hear your views on Israel and Zionism. MERCAZ is a big tent organization and the articulation of all views is welcome.

To trigger your reflections this newsletter includes two thought pieces: “American Jews and Zionism Today” and “Revisiting, Rethinking, Reframing and Reclaiming the Zionist Idea.” The former is by our president, Dr. Marilyn Wind; the latter is by Dr. David Breakstone, who represents MERCAZ Olami on the World Zionist Organization Executive and currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel Executive. We urge you to read these pieces and share your reflections with us. Moreover, we ask of you to engage family members (especially high school and college students, as well as those in their 20’s and 30’s), in this discussion and share with us their perspectives.

We are opening a discussion on Zionism today on our Facebook page – Mercaz USA. We invite you to like our page, Mercaz USA and join the conversation.


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