I ask myself how many of us actually know the importance and transcendence of the World Zionist Congress; a few months ago I just knew about some dates, some places where it took place, and the name of someone of utmost importance to all of us: Theodor Herzl. I didn’t know about the challenges nor the efforts implied by taking care of, nurturing and transforming by proactive development this connection between the Diaspora, the State of Israel, and the role the congress has in all of this.
During the congress, I was able to see the level of organisation and dedication coming from the leaders of our movement; their words of motivation and urgency mixed with their examples and roles made the experience something unforgettable and inspiring. However I can’t just not mention what happened as a result of the negotiations and what this meant for us, and it’s just now that I know the consequences of: not knowing about the challenges nor the efforts implied by taking care of, nurturing and transforming by proactive development this connection between the Diaspora, the State of Israel, and the role the congress has in all of this.
The lack of vocabulary, of concepts and of knowledge facing the structure of the Congress and its functions led me to the alarming realisation that our politics isn’t explored nor successfully fomented in our organisations, religious or youth, and were it not for my participation in this occasion, I wouldn’t have seen the urgency we have to open a new space for educating about it, something I now can’t ignore.
Being able to be part of ARZENU, and working in collaboration with institutions that follow and sustain our values was an awakening as to how primordial and fundamental it is to educate and to incite – not just our youth and synagogue members – but also to ourselves to take a participatory role, critical and living, of what it means to be a Zionist. For the trust and opportunity, I thank all those who made my participation possible: rabbi Sergio Bergman, Carole Sterling and Lior Argaman.
Rebeca Orantes is the president of Adat Israel – Asociación Judía Reformista de Guatemala.