August 14, 2018, Elul 5778





Masorti: Values in Action in August
Gideon Aronoff
Executive Director
This summer has been packed full of activity, both here at the Foundation and in the Israeli Masorti Movement. I'm pleased to report that we're truly making our voices heard.

From speaking out on the new Nation-State law to marching for full LGBTQ equality to standing firm in defense of Israelis' commitment to liberal Jewish values and practice, Masorti has it covered. Check out news and views about our recent work, and be sure to download a wonderful set of teachings from four Israeli Masorti rabbis as a spark for your High Holiday preparation.  

And, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to reach out to me at garonoff@masorti.org
Writing earlier this month in the Forward, in response to an opinion piece asserting that Conservative and Reform Judaism were "foreign" imports with little relevance to the lives of most Israelis, Sophie deftly dismantles that argument. She writes passionately of her own experience and makes the case that " growing numbers of Israelis...are seeking a Jewish identification which allows a connection to traditional Judaism along with the liberal humanistic and feminist values that they firmly believe in."

The way to have both--Jewish practice and tradition and values of inclusion, and democracy--is through liberal, Masorti Judaism.

Her full opinion piece, entitled “Opposing Liberal Judaism In Israel Erases People Like Me” is here.
Rest assured, no one is erasing Sophie!
So what did Yizhar mean?

The summoning by the police, of Rabbi Dov "Dubi" Haiyun at 5:30 in the morning, for interrogation for the "crime" of officiating at a Jewish wedding has had unintended consequences. And some of them are positive for the Masorti Movement.

First, the absurdity of the arrest brought very welcome attention to the Masorti Movement and all it stands for.

Second, by this action, " the Chief Rabbinate proved that marriages performed by Masorti – Conservative rabbis are indeed marriages according to the law of Moses and Israel and must be legally registered."

Of course we would all prefer to make progress without arresting Masorti rabbis! Read Dr. Hess's sharp (and sometimes funny) opinion piece here.

To see a collection of posts and a video about Rabbi Haiyun's arrest, click here .
Re-live your memories of Color War at camp with this lively video of young NOAM campers putting all their competitive spirits to work. Just click the image above to watch the video.
Masorti Stands Up for Values of Inclusion, Pluralism & Democracy
"The Masorti Movement and the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel oppose the Jewish Nation State Law in its present form."

The Movement urges the Government to legislate instead from the words of the Declaration of Independence, which have served Israel so well since 1948.

Read the full Movement Statement here. And for a copy of the Declaration of Independence, click here.
Raised with Masorti values of acceptance, inclusivity and pluralism--based on deeply Jewish teachings--the NOAM high school students came to support LGBTQ rights in the Jerusalem March for Gay Pride & Tolerance on August 2nd.

From their camp at Hanaton, they took an extra-long journey in an act of solidarity with their friends, fellow NOAMniks and family members.

שנה טובה ומתוקה
Shana Tova Umetuka
Rosh Hashanah comes early this year and we wanted to give everyone a head start in thinking about the New Year. We're sharing some inspiring thoughts from four Israeli Masorti rabbis. One of them, Rabbi Elisha Wolfin, writes: ". ..the noise of summer makes room for the quiet of autumn...the autumn is dedicated to thinking--returning inward for soul searching, reevaluation, recalculation..." Find your favorite reflection here.

Do you have a teaching or thought you'd like to share with fellow Masorti supporters? Email us here and we'll publish a selection of them in our next newsletter.
The Masorti Flower, Perach Ha Masorti, the name of our newsletter, reflects a teaching by Chaim Nachman Bialik about the flower, seed and fruit of Agada and Halacha . Read it here .
Don't Forget: Masorti is now on Twitter and Instagram in addition to Facebook.
Be sure to follow us there to keep up with all that's happening at the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel.