The World Zionist Organization is committed to promoting Zionism & the Zionist idea and the Zionist enterprise through Israel Education as vital and positive elements of contemporary Jewish life, in accordance with the principles articulated in the Jerusalem Program. This manifesto is dedicated to instilling the centrality of Israel and Jerusalem its capital deep within Jewish consciousness, encouraging the return to Zion, fashioning an exemplary society in the Jewish state, expanding Zionist education including Hebrew language instruction, settling the land, and combating Anti-Semitism.
The WZO strives to enhance the impact of Zionist ideology and activity in Jewish communities around the world, including Israel, both by working through shlichim of the Zionist Federations and their constituent bodies and by influencing the agenda of the organized Jewish community, particularly through its involvement with the Jewish Agency for Israel.
The World Zionist Organization was founded at the initiative of Theodore Herzl at the First Zionist Congress which took place in August 1897 in Basle, Switzerland.
When it was founded, the goals of the Zionist movement were stated in a resolution that came from that Congress and came to be known as the “Basle Program.”
Zionism aims at establishing for the Jewish people a legally assured home in Eretz Yisrael. To achieve this purpose, the following means shall be employed:
Promoting the settlement of Jewish farmers, artisans, and tradesmen in Palestine.
Organizing and uniting the whole of Jewry through effective local and international means in accordance with the laws of each country.
Strengthening of the Jewish national sentiment and national consciousness through Israel education with shlichim.
Preparatory steps toward obtaining the consent of governments, where necessary, in order to achieve the goals of Zionism.
The WZO consists of the following bodies: The World Zionist Unions, Territorial Zionist Federations; and International Organizations that define themselves as Zionist, such as WIZO, Hadassah, Bnai-Brith, Maccabi, the World Sephardi Federation, the three major streams of world Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform), a delegation from the CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union), the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS), and more.