Results Press Release for Eretz HaKodesh
“A Tectonic Shift:” Traditional Groups to Lead American WZC Delegation
Far Rockaway, NY, Mar. 23, 2020 — For the first time, groups promoting traditional religious values and Jewish rights in the entire Land of Israel will lead the American delegation to the 2020 World Zionist Congress. This comes according to initial results published this morning, and indicates a profound shift from five years ago, when liberal groups won a supermajority of delegates.
The biggest surprise is the sudden launch of Eretz HaKodesh, which claimed the third largest block (over 15% of votes) despite starting from scratch without the backing of a sponsoring organization. “Our motivation was to protect the holiness of the Land of Israel and cultivate traditional Jewish practices and beliefs,” said Rabbi Pesach Lerner, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values and leader of the Eretz HaKodesh campaign, “and we are grateful to all those who volunteered and voted on behalf of our new slate.”
Overall, the success of traditional parties indicates the degree to which American Jews are now expressing their Jewish affiliation in more traditional ways. Rabbi Moshe Parnes, Dean of the Hollywood Community Kollel in Hollywood, Florida and an Eretz HaKodesh delegate commented that “it’s so rewarding to see how many Jews, especially younger voters, are invested in preserving the Jewish character of the State of Israel. This vote will help solidify the future of the Jewish people and unify the Jewish nation around its eternal, unchanging principles.”
“Thank G-d, many segments of the Jewish community took this matter seriously,” added Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, CEO of the Chazaq organization, “and we see that the new Eretz HaKodesh slate headed by Rabbi Lerner, and other pro-tradition slates, succeeded greatly. We will see increased holiness and Torah in the Land of Israel because of this.”
Marc Jacob, a lawyer in St. Louis, MO and an Eretz HaKodesh activist and delegate, said, “It is humbling that Eretz HaKodesh was able to achieve what we did in only our first year in these elections. When we started, we had no idea so many people would turn this into their cause, that so many esteemed rabbinic leaders would back our efforts or that, in the end, we would see such success. Now that we have a seat at the table, the real work begins.”
“This is a momentous occasion as we all stood up to the plate in recognition of the importance of building Torah in the Holy Land,” concluded Rabbi Yechezkel Moskowitz, an Eretz HaKodesh delegate and President of Chovevei Zion. “But this is just the beginning; now we must push forward and address the challenges that lie ahead of us.”