MEET THE SLATES AND THEIR POSITIONS ON LGBTQ ISSUES

 

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Below you will find all 15 slates by alphabetical order. Included is information about each slate, highlighted slates statements regarding issues affecting our work, and responses to 3 identical questions.

Questions?? Contact us.

 

American Forum for Israel

ABOUT

The mission of the American Forum for Israel is to facilitate the integration of Russian Jews into the American society, to strengthen American Jewish connection to Israel, to develop American Jews’ appreciation of the centrality of Israel to Jewish life, to deepen their understanding of Israeli society and the challenges it faces, to encourage travel and Aliyah to Israel, and to facilitate dialogue, debate, and action to further Zionism in the United States and around the world.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions. 

 

 

 

Americans4Israel

ABOUT

As the non-partisan and independent party, Americans4Israel (A4I) is committed to peace, unity, and security for the Jewish State of Israel and for the Jewish people of the world. A4I shares common goals of increasing the scope and scale of Zionist youth movements, promoting young professional activity that encourages Jewish and Zionist values and identity, and supporting cultural and religious pluralism, social responsibility and a commitment to democracy in Israel and in the United States. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

Although the slate’s platform does not address specific LGBTQ issues, it supports equality for all and securing the promise of religious freedom and strengthening Israel both as a democracy and as a Jewish state.

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

On any resolution placed on the floor of the WZO our faction would vote favorably on measures to secure the equal rights of LGBTQ people in Israel and the diaspora.

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

Our slate believes that all citizens of Israel, regardless of race or religion, are entitled to equal civil rights, and that to the extent that existing laws might not extend equal rights yet, we would support resolutions to achieve such equality.  We support any efforts by the Israeli government to improve the quality of services to groups that are “marginalized” by, for example, being provided with substandard infrastructure for their communities or restrictions on freedom of movement and occupational and educational opportunities.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

We believe that Israel’s commitment to a parliamentary system in which all adults are entitled to representation through fair elections is an important expression of democracy, and that recognizing the religious minorities in Israel, we support efforts to ensure that Israel’s identity as a Jewish state does not deprive anybody in Israel of the rights to equal participation and equal treatment to which they are entitled as a matter of basic human rights.

 

 

 

ARZA-Vote Reform

ABOUT

ARZA represents the Reform Movement and Reconstructing Judaism. The movements are deeply committed to a strong and secure Israel, and to strengthening the Israel-Diaspora relationship. ARZA is committed to the vision and aspiration outlined in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

ARZA’s platform addresses and advocates for full equality in Israeli society including gender equality and push for full LGBTQ rights. ARZA slate has 10% LGBTQ representation (in the top 20).

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

Yes, absolutely. Not only do we commit to doing that but we have actively and aggressively pushed for such legislation and resolutions. I think it is important to point out that we made a conscious effort to make sure that there was a 10% LGBTQ representation on our slate for the WZC including in our top 20.

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide.

One of the main issues for our Reform Movement in Israel is to push for LGBTQ rights. We have actively lead the Jerusalem Pride parade and have been staunch advocates for these issues for many years. We have pushed for gender equality and against discrimination based on sexual orientation in rabbinical schools and in the public sphere in Israel and will continue to do that through the National Institutions.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

This is at the center of our campaign. Our Movement champions the equal placement of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and we fight daily to uphold the statement in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. 

We represent Israeli society in the courts and in the Knesset and our efforts in the World Zionist Congress are in direct support of our ideology of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State.

 

 

Dorshei Torah V’Tziyon

ABOUT

Dorshei Tzion ve-Torah – Torah and Israel for All (DTT) is a coalition of organizations with the mission to bring the voice of a committed and open-minded Modern Orthodox Zionist worldview that is committed to Orthodoxy, dedicated to working with all Jews, open to expanding the role of women in all areas of religious and spiritual and political life, and focused on strengthening the ties between the Diaspora and the State of Israel.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

Although the slate’s platform does not address specific LGBTQ issues, they emphasize the commitment for inclusion and support for Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, with security and dignity for all. DTT slates committed to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community.

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

As reflected in our platform, DTT supports “efforts to allow multiple religious options in the public and private sphere.” Fundamental to this is the right of every person to fully express their full selves, which must include their sexual identity. While reserving the right to consider each resolution in detail, we expect to support resolutions in the World Zionist Congress that support LGBTQ+ communities in Israel and the diaspora consistent with these principles.

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

As reflected in our platform, DTT believes that Israel must be “the nation state of the entirety of Klal Yisrael,” which includes members of the LGBTQ+ community. Equality for this and all marginalized communities in Israel is fundamental to achieving this vision.  We believe that people should not have to sacrifice their LGBTQ+ identities to be part of Israeli society, the Jewish community or to be strong Zionists. Furthermore, it is part of our platform to work to combat anti-Zionism which includes in Progressive and LGBTQ+ spaces.  Just as a person should not have to sacrifice their LGBTQ+ identity to be a Zionist, a person should not have to sacrifice their Zionist identity to be part of the LGBTQ+ community or any other community.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

As a Democratic state, Israel must provide an equal voice to all of its citizens. As a Jewish State, all Jews must be able to connect to their religion and heritage. As reflected in our platform, this requires options “in kashrut supervision, halakhic paths to conversion, weddings, and prayer spaces for all at the Kotel.” We want Israel to be this type of Jewish and Democratic state.  Building on our relationships with Religious Zionist organizations and institutions, we hope to seek models for advancing inclusion in the Israeli religious community. In addition to valuing the LGBTQ+ and Zionist aspects of people’s identities, we want to also affirm for religious LGBTQ+ the religious aspects of their identity.

 

 

Eretz Hakodesh

ABOUT

Eretz HaKodesh slate represents the Ultra-Orthodox communities of the United States. Eretz HaKodesh stands for a  strong dynamic Israel illuminated by the teachings of Jewish tradition and believes that classical Jewish values of Torah as taught for millennia should play a central role in modern Israel.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

Hatikvah: Progressive Israel Slate

ABOUT

HATIKVAH: Progressive Israel Slate, are committed to transforming the State of Israel into the dream of a just and thriving democratic Jewish state by democracy and the rule of law and believes that all citizens of the State of Israel must be treated equally, and their civil and human rights protected. HATIKVAH oppose policies of discrimination, fear, and tribalism. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

HATIKVAH’s platform addresses and advocates for full religious and cultural pluralism in Israel and is committed to ensuring full legal and social equality for the LGBTQ community, including marriage rights.

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

Absolutely! It is on our platform.

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

We stand with Israelis striving to ensure full legal and social equality for the LGBTQ community, including marriage rights. 

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

We are inspired by Israel’s Declaration of Independence –which proclaimed the State “will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace as taught by the Prophets; and will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed, or sex; and will guarantee full freedom of conscience worship, education and culture.” Our commitment is to democracy and the rule of law, believing that all citizens of the State of Israel must be treated equally, and their civil and human rights protected. We oppose policies of discrimination, fear, and tribalism.

 

 

Herut Zionists: The Jabotinsky Movement

ABOUT

The Jabotinsky Movement, representing traditional and progressive unapologetic/proud Zionism, Training Zionist Activists to combat anti-Semitism. Educating the next generation of Zionist leaders in the United States. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

Israel Shelanu (Our Israel)

ABOUT

“Israel Shelanu” was formed by a group of Israelis living in the US who seek to nurse the relationship between world Jewry and the state of Israel and to promote a policy of open and formalistic Jewish culture, support our brothers in their effort to be recognized in the State of Israel.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

Although the slate’s platform does not address specifically LGBTQ issues, they emphasize supporting and promoting pluralistic views through the World Zionist Organization.  

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

Israel Shelanu is committed to standing for equality and therefore stands for the LGBTQ community rights in Israel and the diaspora. As Israel Shelanu members support a pluralistic approach, we stand by everyone who suffers from any discrimination on the basis of religion, sex or gender.

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

Even though Israel is quite open to the LGBTQ rights, there is still a lot to go. We believe that the state of Israel should recognize gay marriage just as “Traditional” couples, legalize gay right to adopt and ensure their social rights.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

Israel was founded as a National home for the Jewish people and therefore should be open to every Jew, no matter what religious stream he belongs to. As a democracy, the state of Israel must always seek to promote equality, law, and order and to make sure that no minority rights are being violated

 

 

Kol Yisrael: For the Love of Israel

ABOUT

The Kol Yisrael slate is led by StandWithUs and The Israel American Council (IAC). Kol Yisrael strives to build vibrant communities across the U.S., engage with Israel, and overcome challenges like antisemitism. Kol Yisrael believes that It is critical that we raise our voices to lead change and innovate within our institutions to meet the evolving needs of our people. That now is the time to strengthen the bonds between Jews in America and   Israel, that it is the time to empower diverse Jewish voices and bold new Zionist ideas and that now is the time to put our collective resources to work for all of us. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues. 

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

Kol Yisrael is a slate that wants as many Zionists as possible to have a voice in the Zionist movement. Among other things, this means establishing infrastructure that will provide funding and institutional support for great new Zionist ideas and projects. We believe this will create powerful opportunities for Zionists across the board, including the LGBTQ community. We will also support resolutions that promote inclusion and engagement of LGBTQ Zionists and other under-represented communities in the diaspora and within the WZC. 

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

The goal of the Kol Yisrael slate is to unite all American Zionists who share a love of Israel, a commitment to bringing American and Israeli Jews closer together, and a fierce determination to fight antisemitism. Kol Yisrael means “All of Israel.” Bringing in communities that have historically been under-represented in the Zionist movement is one of our core values. This includes women, LGBTQ, Mizrahi, Ethiopian, Latino, Russian, and many other Jewish voices worldwide.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

As a non-partisan American slate, it is not our place to advocate for specific Israeli government policies. We respect Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state, and fully support the values enshrined in its Declaration of Independence. We are proud of Israel’s progress with the LGBTQ and other marginalized communities, which have fought for their rights over many decades and won many victories. While Israel is certainly the most progressive society in the Middle East, we know their fight is not over. We believe it is up to the Israeli people and their elected leadership to address inequalities in Israeli society.

 

 

MERCAZ USA

ABOUT

MERCAZ USA is the Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement, representing Conservative Judaism with the mission to support religious pluralism in Israel and strengthen the connection between Israel and the Diaspora. MERCAZ USA is the advocate and the force that guarantees funding for religious streams that is so crucial to the Conservative Movement’s growth in Israel and around the world. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

MERCAZ USA’s platform addresses and advocates complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex. The platform is backed by The Rabbinical Assembly resolution on LGBTQ inclusion.

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

MERCAZ USA supports welcoming the LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora into the Zionist Movement and supports passing resolutions addressing and supporting the needs of the LGBTQ communities. 

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

MERCAZ USA positions on LGBTQ equality in Israel are based on The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement’s Resolutions in Support of Equal Rights and Inclusion for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, And Transgender (GLBT) Persons calling for full and equal civil rights and for a full welcome, acceptance, and inclusion of people of all gender identities in Jewish life and general society.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

Conservative Judaism holds as essential the complete equality and dignity of every person, created in the Divine image, that is the central premise of democracy. We envision and therefore advocate for a State of Israel dedicated to the principles enshrined in its Declaration of Independence, to include equality and dignity of every member of society without discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.  We, therefore, advocate for a State that affirms these values, encourages religious pluralism and freedom and has strong civic institutions and laws that protect individual rights and democratic norms.

 

 

Ohavei Zion: World Sephardic Zionist Organization

ABOUT

Ohavei Zion is the platform of The World Sephardic Zionist Organization ensuring the future of the Jewish people by furthering Jewish and Zionist education, and promoting spiritual and cultural Sephardic values and heritage. 

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

Orthodox Israel Coalition (OIC)

ABOUT

The Orthodox Israel Coalition (OIC)- Mizrachi: Vote Torah, is a broad-based coalition of the major Religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox organizations that has represented Orthodox Jewry in the World Zionist Congress for over 100 Years.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

Shas Olami

ABOUT

Shas Olami has a slate of 41 candidates who are committed to representing the interests of Sephardic Jews at the World Zionist Congress. They are all committed to continuing the legacy of Maran HaRav Ovadya Yosef zt”l and working for the benefit of the entire Torah world.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

Vision

ABOUT

VISION is a coalition of grassroots movements committed to inspiring a new vision for our current chapter of Jewish history with the commitment to Jewish liberation as a means of pursuing justice for all peoples and a better world in accordance with the values of our sacred tradition.

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT AND RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

The slates platform does not address specific LGBTQ and inclusion issues and did not respond to our questions.  

 

 

ZOA Coalition

ABOUT

The ZOA Coalition includes the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Torah from Sinai, Make Israel Great (MIG) & National Pro-Israel Partners – Courageously Defending Israel, Sovereignty & the Jewish People. The ZOA Coalition promotes Jewish safety worldwide, positive Zionist and Jewish education, combat BDS, promotes love and respect for Jewish tradition and the defense of Israel.  ZOA Coalition was endorsed by Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana (Israel’s first openly gay Minister).

 

OFFICIAL SLATE STATEMENT

The slates platform does not address specific  LGBTQ and inclusion issues. 

 

RESPONSES TO A WIDER BRIDGE

1. Will your slate commit to supporting resolutions in the World Zionist Congres that support LGBTQ communities in Israel and the diaspora?

ZOA Coalition’s first priority in this era of rapidly rising global antisemitism is the safety and well-being of Israel and EVERY Jew – saving Jewish lives, rescuing and helping endangered Jews make Aliyah to Israel, no matter what their status is, and combatting antisemitism and BDS (anti-Jewish boycotts, divestment and sanctions).  ZOA Coalition initiated and obtained passage of the World Zionist Congress’ combatting anti-BDS policy and the WZC resolution to make Aliyah for endangered Jews the highest funding priority. We provide free legal services to Jews and pro-Israel individuals who face harassment and discrimination on college campuses. We agree with A Wider Bridge Executive Director Tyler Gregory’s statement that “anti-Semitism manifests against Jews irrespective of privilege and status.”   The ZOA Coalition platform also calls for love and respect for EVERY Jew. We avoid making advance commitments to support or oppose WZO programs sought by any particular Jewish denomination or segment, because we believe that the WZC’s priority must be the safety of the ENTIRE Jewish people. We believe that this focus on the entire Jewish community serves LGBTQ and every other Jewish group well.

ZOA Coalition is endorsed by the highest ranking openly LGBTQ official in the Israeli government, Minister of Justice Amir Ohana.  

ZOA has often worked with LGBT groups and individuals on security issues.  ZOA sponsored and arranged talks for MK Ohana at New York synagogues when he visited the U.S.  See our article on MK Ohana’s brilliant speech about Israel’s security here.  

ZOA and the LGBTQ group Log Cabin Republicans worked together to obtain Senate confirmation of diplomat Ric Grenell as U.S. Ambassador to Germany.  Ambassador Grenell is a great friend of Israel, was honored at ZOA’s annual gala, and is now the highest ranking LGBTQ member in the current U.S. administration.  ZOA and Amb. Grenell worked together to successfully deport the last remaining known Nazi war criminal residing in the U.S., and on pro-Israel issues.  

ZOA was one of the main organizers of the large anti-Iran deal protests in New York, and asked LGBTQ groups to join us at the protests.  We were pleased that some LGBTQ groups participated. We often speak about and condemn the Iranian regime’s brutal murders of LGBTQ individuals.  

2. Please describe your slate’s position on LGBTQ equality in Israel and the protection advancement of marginalized Israelis and Jews worldwide. 

Sadly, with rising antisemitism, all Jews are marginalized people today.  As discussed above, ZOA Coalition prioritizes the safety and security of Israel and EVERY Jew, and promotes love and respect for EVERY Jew. The ZOA Coalition is a coalition of 27 strong pro-Israel groups and 152 diverse candidates from every ethnic, etc. segment of the Jewish community.

3. How does your slate define Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state?

Israel is the historic, lawful homeland of the Jewish people.  We support Israel’s nation-state Basic law, which declares that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination.”  The nation-state law protects minority rights and is consistent with democracy and the laws of numerous other democratic nations. ZOA Coalition believes that Israel’s court system needs to become more democratic by giving the Israeli public or their democratically-elected representatives a say in the appointment of judges, instead of letting judges appoint themselves.   In 1897, the ZOA was at the first World Zionist Congress, helping lay the groundwork for the re-establishment of the Jewish state. Today ZOA Coalition is at the forefront of the battle against those who challenge Israel’s legitimacy. We educate people about the binding international agreements guaranteeing the Jewish people’s right to settle the land of Israel and reconstitute the Jewish homeland.  ZOA Coalition initiated and obtained passage of a resolution establishing a WZO program to teach this vital information about Israel’s and the Jewish people’s legal rights. 

 

 

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