This week on the Seekers of Meaning Podcast, Rabbi Josh Weinberg, executive director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA), discusses the World Zionist Congress Elections, which conclude March 11. Any Jewish person outside Israel is eligible to vote for representatives at the Congress. ARZA represents progressive and reform Jewish groups whose voices have had limited influence in Israeli religious life because of Orthodox control of religious decision-making.
The 152 delegates elected from the United States will join hundreds from Israel and around the world at the 38th World Zionist Congress in October 2020, the international “parliament of the Jewish people”, to make decisions and set policies regarding key institutions that support global Jewish life and which allocate nearly $1 Billion annually to support Israel and World Jewry (including the World Zionist Organization, Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Agency for Israel). With more slates and candidates than ever before, American Jews have a rare opportunity to make a direct impact on the future direction of Israel and diaspora affairs.
Watch the video conversation here.
Listen to the podcast here.
About the Guest
Rabbi Josh Weinberg serves as the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. He was ordained from the HUC-JIR Israeli Rabbinic Program in Jerusalem, and is currently living in New York. Josh previously served as the Director of the Israel program for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and as a faculty member of NFTY-EIE High School in Israel teaching Jewish History. Josh is a reserve officer in the IDF spokesperson’s unit, has hiked the Israel-trail, and came on Aliyah to Israel in 2003.
Originally from Chicago, he has a B.A. from University of Wisconsin in Hebrew Literature, Political Science and International Relations, and an M.A. at the Hebrew University in Jewish Education.
Josh has taught and lectured widely throughout Israel, the U.S. and Europe, as well as on Kivunim and Shnat Netzer gap-year programs. He has led numerous tours and trained tour educators for the Reform movement’s Israel experiences. In addition to being a STorahtelling “Mayven,” Josh has a passion for the environment and spends lots of time outdoors hiking and climbing, playing music and volleyball. Josh is passionate about anything connected to Israel and hopes to strengthen the connection between the Reform movement and the Jewish State. He is married to Mara Sheftel Getz, and is the proud abba of Noa, Ella, Mia, and Alma.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.