Who can write a motion?
Any member can write a motion. However, you will need to get a WUJS member organization to back your motion if you want to submit it for debate at the WUJS General Assembly.
What types of motion are there?
There are several different types of motions that members can submit:
- Policy motion: a proposal for a particular policy
- Emergency motion: a proposal that relates to a specific development after the deadline for submitting normal policy or constitutional motions
- Amendments: a proposal to change a constitutional or policy motion. Emergency motions cannot be amended
When and how do I submit my motion?
Motions must be submitted via the form at the bottom of this page. In exception circumstances on the day of the General Assembly, the Steering Committee has the the power to hear motions proposed from the floor, by an official delegate, which were not previously submitted.
What happens after that?
All the submitted motions are discussed by the Steering Committee, who then select which motions are going to be debated. You will be emailed by a member of the steering committee to tell you if your motion has been selected. All selected motions will then be published in the General Assembly Agenda.
What if my motion isn’t selected?
You will be told by the member of the Steering Committee why your motion was not selected. If you don’t agree with this decision, you then have the right to appeal in writing to the WUJS Executive via the WUJS President.
What makes a good motion?
There are no official word limits but it’s important to make sure your motion is not overly long. The Steering Committee generally looks less favourably on an emergency motion which is more than 250 words or a policy motion that is over 500 words.
STYLE AND CONTENT
Motions should be written as concisely as possible. Facts and figures are important but should be kept to a minimum. If quotations are included then they should be kept short.
Check that any factual points are accurate – motions that have inaccuracies are less likely to be selected. You should also not rely on a single source, especially if it is a newspaper article or a campaign.
The policy recommendations are the most important part of the motion and what you should give most thought to. A common reason for motions not being selected is that they contain a lot of criticisms and a detailed description of the problem but are thin, unclear or entirely negative in their conclusions.
When writing your policy recommendations it is better to stick to a few substantial points which make for a coherent plan, rather than a long list of small changes.
You should refrain from personal attacks.
In general a motion is more likely to be selected if it:
- Contains genuinely new and interesting proposals
- Is on a subject where we don’t have much policy and which hasn’t been debated at Congress recently
- Is on a subject of high political salience
- Is likely to lead to an interesting debate, with amendments and speakers both for and against
It is less likely to be selected by the Conference Committee if it is:
- A repeat of old policies with nothing really new
- On a subject which has been debated recently
- Unlikely to lead to a good debate, for example if it is so uncontroversial that no one will want to disagree with anything in the motion
The best motions are structured as follows:
- Description of the issue or problem which the motion seeks to address
- The Jewish principle(s) or WUJS mission points which underlie the solution
- The policy proposals which normally conclude the motion and are its most important element
It is normal to break down each section of the motion into a series points. This makes it clearer, and also easier to deal with amendments later.
The first section should describe the issue being addressed by the motion, using the words “this Congress notes…”. Basically this means “These are the facts” or “This is what the problem is”.
The motion then continues with the things that you, the proposer, “believe” informs your understanding that the issue being discussed is something WUJS should have policy on. This could include points from WUJS mission statement or general reference to Jewish values.
Policy recommendations are always introduced by the word “resolves”, committing the WUJS leadership to carry out the desire of the policy should it be passed by the GA.
The final set of proposals should be listed 1.,2.,3. etc. Previous sections should alternate between different styles of letters and numbers. For example:
This Congress notes with concern:
This Congress believes that the WUJS commitment to:
This Congress resolves: