March 9, 2006
ARZA wins WZO Elections
The Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA) easily won elections for the American slate to the World Zionist Organization's 35th Congress of the Jewish People.
ARZA took home just over 38 percent of the 75,686 votes cast, garnering it 55 delegates to the June congress in Israel. ARZA's victory "demonstrates that our message -- love of Israel, devotion to Zionist ideals and commitment to policies of moderation and religious pluralism in the Jewish state -- has become the dominant voice of American Zionism," said Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
ARZA was followed by the Religious Zionist Slate, which won 24 percent and 35 delegates; Mercaz U.S.A., the Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement, which won 22 percent and 32 delegates; the Zionist Organization of America, which won 3.4 percent and five delegates; and Hatikva, a coalition of Ameinu and Meretz, which won 3.3 percent and five delegates.
ARZA also won the last election in 2002, though this year it garnered six fewer delegates, while the Religious Zionist Slate gained six delegates over the last vote. The total number of voters for the 12 slates running this year represented a drop from 2002, when 88,753 people cast ballots. -- Jewish Telegraphic Agency