Kabbalat Shabbat Service with David Bernstein

We begin Shabbat with Kabbalat Panim (a social gathering) at 5:30 pm in our Social Hall. This is an opportunity for the community and guests to congregate and enjoy a light nosh before services.

David Bernstein (Israel Reform Movement) will join us for services to discuss the World Zionist Congress elections.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Bernstein has a long history of involvement with Reform Judaism in the US and in Israel. He was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel, the first Reform Movement kibbutz in Israel, and made Aliyah in 1979. He worked for the Jewish Agency for Israel for more than 20 years, founding and directing the Partnership 2000 project.
Throughout his years in Israel, Bernstein has been a volunteer activist in the Israel Progressive Movement, as chair of his congregation at Kibbutz Gezer, and as chair of the National General Assembly of the IMPJ. In 2014, he joined the IMPJ’s professional team as Deputy Director General – Director of Overseas Relations and Development. Today, he lives near Rehovot with his wife and their two sons.

What You Need to Know About the WZC (World Zionist Congress) Elections

The World Zionist Congress represents the world’s Jewish people. Established by Theodore Herzl in 1897 to promote Zionism around the globe, the WZC meets in Jerusalem every 5 years. The next meeting is in Jerusalem in 2020, and about 500 Jews will attend from all over the world, representing all denominations.

Voting is the only way North American Jews can weigh in democratically about
issues in Israel. The US currently has 145 delegates in the WZC, the largest single delegation outside Israel. Of those delegates, 39% represent the Reform Movement. These US delegates have ensured that more than $4 million/year ($20 million/5 years) is directed to Israeli Reform Movement and its causes. By comparison, the Israeli government provides $1.1 billion/year to Orthodox & Haredi institutions in Israel.

More Reform votes = more influence to support the Reform Movement’s values and positions. These include:

o Religious freedom and equality
o Personal status issues (marriage, divorce, conversion)
o Access to holy places, such as the Kotel
o Commitment to a two-state solution
o Gender rights
o Combatting racism
o Women’s leadership
o Support for Reform synagogues and education in Israel
o Transparency in government funding

Voting is open to: Those age 18 and over (by 6/30/2020) who self-identify as
Jewish, agree to the Jerusalem Program (the official platform of WZC and the
Zionist Movement), and agree to pay a minimal processing fee of $7.50.
MOST IMPORTANT: Voting is quick (about 2 minutes), easy, and accessible by computer or cell phone. Let us know if you’d prefer a paper ballot.