Jewish and Zionist youth leaders have appealed to the Board of Deputies to give representation to political campaign group Yachad to avoid ”alienating” a large section of the younger community.
The appeal, by way of a letter signed by UJS President Ella Rose and movement workers from BBYO, Habonim-Dror, LJY-Netzer, RSY-Netzer and Noam Masorti, urges members to recognise Yachad at the vote on Sunday, 16 November.
It states: “A vote against Yachad’s inclusion will leave many of the next generation feeling alienated from the community, and that their opinions are not valid or welcome. A vote in support of Yachad, will be a vote for democracy, accountability and representation. For the sake of the next generation of the community we urge the deputies to cast their vote in support of the organisation.”
It adds that as representatives of the “next generation of Zionist leadership in the Anglo-Jewish community”, the signatories “value and respect” the range of opinions people hold about Israel.
“The vote on Yachad’s acceptance to the Board of Deputies is a true test of our community and it’s willingness to represent these wide-ranging opinions. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the work of Yachad, we know from our own members, that the organisation represents a significant number of people. We value the contribution the organisation makes, alongside many others, in supporting the work of our youth movements.”
Non-synagogue organisations can only be admitted to the Board on the recommendation of the Constitution Committee and with the approval of two thirds of voting members at an ordinary meeting of the Board.
The vote has been postponed twice – in July, owing to the Gaza crisis, and in September – and all but one member of the Constitution Committee had voted to recommend Yachad be represented on the Board.
Yachad, which was set up in May 2011, is led by Hannah Weisfeld and describes itself as a liberal Zionist organisation that campaigns for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.