Skip to: site menu | section menu | main content

Chalav U'Dvash

Brandeis' Journal of Zionist Thought
Currently viewing: Chalav U'Dvash » Home

Volume 0, Number 0

From the Editors

By Daniel Temkin '08 and Jason Lustig '08

This June, the thirty-fifth World Zionist Congress will meet in Jerusalem. Theodor Herzl and his colleagues founded this important body in 1897, and since then, the Zionist movement has achieved more than anyone could have dreamed. The State of Israel has been established, Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) is once again a hub of World Jewry, and Jews can now stand upright and proud, knowing that they will always be welcome in their homeland.

Today, the Zionist movement finds itself in crisis. The elections for the World Zionist Congress recently concluded, with dismal participation. Organizations such as Vote Torah, Mercaz USA, and the Association of Reform Zionists of America have flooded the inboxes of Jews across America, pleading for their vote. However, only 85,000 American Jews registered to vote—most in the last two months of the registration period.

Why should anyone vote in the World Zionist Congress? What good will it do? How does it help the Zionist project—and do we even want to be a part of that? These are all valid questions that Jews today ask, as the Zionist Organization seems to fight most of its battles over the appropriation of funding.

Voting in the World Zionist Congress is more than a simple gesture. It is said that you have no right to complain about your elected leaders if you did not participate in the democratic process. It is the same with the Jewish People and Israel.
Many will debate whether Diaspora Jews have a right to have a say in—or even an opinion on—what happens in Israel, when they do not live there and take part in the Zionist project directly. However, no one can say—if you voted in the World Zionist Congress—that you are not throwing your lot in with the Jewish People. The World Zionist Congress may not be the government of Israel, but it is where the future of the Jewish People was determined when they fought over the issues of Uganda, the White Paper, and how best to enable aliyah to Eretz Yisrael.

Herzl said that "At [the first World Zionist Congress] I founded the Jewish State ... Perhaps in five years, and certainly in fifty, everyone will know it." While this may have been an exaggeration, the first World Zionist Congress ultimately determined the future of the Jewish People. Here in the pages of Chalav U'Dvash, we too have the power to help determine the fate of the Jewish People, through discussing the pressing issues the Jewish nation has faced, is currently facing, and will face in the future.

Jason Lustig and Daniel Temkin
Founders and Editors-in-Chief, Chalav U'Dvash
March 2006

© Copyright  Chalav U'Dvash

Chalav U'Dvash: Brandeis' Journal of Zionist Thought (Print ISSN 1559-1069, Online ISSN 1559-1077) is an independent forum for discussion relating to Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish People and is a recognized club by the Brandeis Student Union. We publish a journal twice per semester, and copies are available free-of-charge to Brandeis students. Contact us to request copies.

Chalav U'Dvash has no ideological or political bias. We give our writers the opportunity and freedom to express their opinions and viewpoints within a well-researched and factual framework, and so any bias within Chalav U'Dvash is strictly that of our writers and not the journal itself.

© Copyright 2005, Chalav U'Dvash. All rights reserved.