NEW YORK (Aug. 18)
The establishment of the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARTZA) and its affiliation with the American Zionist community under the umbrella of the American Zionist Federation “marks a quantum leap forward toward the unification of the American Jewish community in support of Israel and the Zionist idea.” This view was expressed by Mrs. Faye Schenk, AZF president, at the conclusion of a session of the AZF executive committee which voted to admit the new Reform Zionist group into the AZF.
“The Reform movement,” Mrs. Schenk added, “has demonstrated its deep commitment and concern for Zionism, its goals and aspirations. We welcome them with open arms.” This is the first time that the AZF has admitted a new constituent organization. The other 14 constituents were all in existence prior to the formation of the AZF.
The official induction of ARTZA (a Hebrew acronym which means “to the land”) will take place following a special session of the AZF national board in September. Once this approval has been formalized ARTZA will be in a position to offer its own slate of delegates for election to the World Zionist Congress due in February, 1978. ARTZA was formally established last June. It is open to any rabbi or layman affiliated with the Reform movement.
Commenting on ARTZA’s affiliation with the AZF, Carmella Carr, AZF executive director, said: “Despite a few dissenting voices, a majority of the constituent organizations voted to admit the new group, a move which may ultimately have far-reaching effects on the American Zionist picture since it can generate a new Zionist identity drive among Jews in even the remotest communities wherever a Reform synagogue may exist.”