A Simchat Torah Message from the Heart
Dear Friends of Masorti,

The High Holiday season is behind us and as Chairman of the Board of the Masorti Foundation, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity and advocacy on behalf of the Masorti Israel Movement. I am particularly delighted to introduce you to a new feature of the Masorti Foundation--" Blogging from the Bimah...Mobilizing for Masorti Israel."

In recent weeks, we've heard respected Jewish voices -- Ronald Lauder and Thomas Friedman --express grave concerns about the direction Israel is headed in. Our dynamic, powerful movement in Israel will not be sustainable unless we in the United States work together with Masorti Israel to advocate and defend our Masorti values.

We are so fortunate that many Masorti rabbis and activists have stepped up.
This holiday season we heard inspiring and affecting talks from the Bimah. We want, with " Blogging from the Bimah...Mobilizing for Masorti Israel " to create a home for these voices, to share their teachings, and create a platform where we can advocate for the Israel we want to build.

Here's a taste of the what's been coming from the Bimah:
Rabbi Robert Tobin
B'nai Shalom
West Orange, N.J.
Rabbi Tobin refuses to accept Masorti's exclusion as an accepted stream of Judaism. " Our Israel efforts...need to include a Masorti education process…we need to engage the Masorti movement, learn about it, support it, and advocate for it." His passion for Jewish community and Israel impels him to step up for Masorti.
Rabbi Susan Grossman
Beth Shalom
Columbia, Maryland
“Masorti is the antidote to extremism on one hand and nihilism on the other, with its system of Jewish values that can motivate Israelis to defend the unity of the Jewish people and show respect for the pluralism of our traditions and safeguards of democracy," according to Rabbi Grossman's fiery sermon. It's a powerful call to action for everyone in the Masorti community.
Rabbi Greg Harris
Beth El
Betheda, Maryland
Says Rabbi Harris, "...many Israeli policies concerning the Diaspora, Jewish identity, religious pluralism, conversions...and other issues devalue the Jewish communities outside Israel. It feels like Israel assumes I will support the country no matter what it does.” Rabbi Harris has a plan, the Campaign for Jewish Values in Israel.
In closing, I want to extend my personal thanks to Ambassador Dan Shapiro and Julie Fisher for their warm-hearted and full-throated support for Masorti over the High Holidays. If you haven't yet, please do read their letter,

If there's a rabbi or other congregational leader with a strong message, someone whose voice you'd like heard, please send your suggestion to me at rslosberg@masorti.org.
Advocating for inclusivity, diversity and acceptance while fully respecting Jewish tradition and practice -- working to make Israel truly a home for all Jews --is the essence of Masorti Judaism. Your support does make a difference. L’shana tova!

With best wishes for 5779,

Rabbi Robert B. Slosberg
Congregation Adath Jeshurun
Louisville, Kentucky
Chair, Masorti Foundation