100th Anniversary of the Zionist Movement

Resolution Adopted by the CCAR


Adopted by the 108th Annual Convention of the

Central Conference of American Rabbis

June, 1997

WHEREAS 1997 marks the 100th anniversary since Theodor Herzl convened

the first World Zionist Congress, which adopted the Basel Program and established the

Zionist movement , and

WHEREAS, the Zionist Movement is one of the most successful movements of national

liberation of modern times, transforming a millennial dream into a political reality, restoring

an ancient people to its ancestral homeland and creating a model society based on Jewish

value and morality, and

WHEREAS, the 50th anniversary of Israel as a sovereign Jewish State which

will be celebrated in 1998 can only be understood in the context of the accomplishments of

the Zionist Movement, and

WHEREAS, among the founders of the Zionist organization were American Reform Rabbis ,

Rabbis Judah L. Magnes, Abba Hillel Silver and Stephen S. Wise, and

WHEREAS, our movement has explicitly rejected the anti-Zionist stances held prior to World

War I, specifically endorsing Zionist aims: calling for a Jewish National Home in the 1937

Guiding Principles, joining in the 1942 Baltimore Platform’s call for a Jewish state, and

subscribing to the Jerusalem Programme, and

WHEREAS, throughout most of the Zionist century our institutional undertakings have

supported Zionist activity, from our affiliation with the Jewish Agency in 1929 to the

establishment of the Jerusalem campus of HUC-JIR, the establishment of the year study

program for rabbinical and cantoral students, to the creation of Progressive congregations and

schools in Israel. The Reform kibbutzim and mitzpim, and the Progressive youth movement,

Tzofei Telem, and the founding of ARZA, demonstrating through these activities our deep

commitment to the goals of Zionism,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the CCAR promote and encourage

congregational and community celebrations of the centennial of modern Zionism, and the

50th anniversary of the State of Israel, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this celebration be a catalyst for educating the

Jewish community about the history of Zionism and its relevance for the future, to develop

new support for the Zionist movement and to educate about Zionism’s role in the

establishment of the State of Israel whose 50th anniversary will be celebrated

next year.

Note: This resolution is based closely on a parallel resolution which was adopted by the

Rabbinical Assembly at its 1997 convention.