Next Generation: MERCAZ

Nearly 40% of the attendees at MERCAZ Olami’s Leadership summit in Israel were young leaders in their communities under the age of 35. This exciting new development proposed by MERCAZ Olami´s Board, points to more active interest on the part of MERCAZ leadership in incorporating and hearing the younger voices in the movement and also shows active preparation in planning for the 2020 WZO elections as well as developing the next generation of leadership for MERCAZ.

For more insights we spoke with Leandro Galanternik from Argentina currently living in Brazil who represents Marom on the MERCAZ Olami board. Leandro attended the conference and is very excited by this development. “We need to open the door for youth in the decision-making bodies of our movement. Don’t decide for youth what they want. Invite them to be a part of the conversation and making decisions”—a strategy which he recommends for every institution throughout the movement, regardless of its size.

Leandro outlined for us one part of MERCAZ’s three-point strategy for engaging youth in the 2020 elections. The first goal is to strengthen the relationship between Masorti, MERCAZ and Marom. Secondly, we need to strengthen Marom chapters around the world and give youth members good roles. Thirdly, there needs to be a push to encourage young people to vote in the WZO elections and let them know that being involved in MERCAZ is a way to be involved in the movement.

When asked why youth should join MERCAZ, Leandro doesn’t skip a beat. “MERCAZ is the way to be involved in Israeli politics and to make an impact in the Jewish world both in Israel and abroad” he says. “It’s a way to make a change. Some people think politics are bad, but that’s not true. It’s how change is made. And the way to be involved and make an impact is to be involved in and through MERCAZ.”

Feel free to contact Leandro to discuss ways to involve Marom members on your organization’s board. Write him at: lean.galanternik@gmail.com