This is a guest post by Veronica Gagnelius and TC Jewfolk writer Daci Platt.
What’s Masorti? No, it’s not a cool Italian luxury car. You’re thinking of Maserati. You got the cool part right – but last time we checked, Maseratis aren’t breaking down barriers for thousands of Israelis.
The Masorti movement in Israel (affiliated with the Conservative movement) combines tradition and modernity in a fun and engaging way. In a country that views Orthodoxy as the mainstream Judaism, Masorti represents the religious rights of all Jews – regardless of affiliation – to the Israeli government. Masorti efforts have brought many changes to Israel and were fundamental in ensuring a place at the Kotel for non-Orthodox prayer.
“The Masorti movement offers a warm and welcoming form of Judaism for the large percentage of non-Orthodox Israelis,” says Rabbi Yonatan Sadoff, a Masorti movement Rabbi. “Because of the Masorti efforts and protests, there is now a place at the Kotel for non-Orthodox prayer, where men and women can pray together, and girls can make aliyah to the Torah and have Bat Mitzvah services.”
Rabbi Sadoff, a Minnesota native, currently heads the Masorti congregation Magen Avraham in Omer, Israel. Rabbi Sadoff is helping to grow the Masorti movement by mentoring new rabbis in Israel to lead Masorti synagogues.
On January 17th, take a night to socialize, have a glass of wine, and bid on handmade art from artists of Magan Avraham and Adath Jeshurun. All proceeds will benefit the mentorship program and the growth of the Masorti movement.
At the event, Rabbi Sadoff will recount his time as part of this exciting movement. “I recently led a Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Kotel and it was the first time musical instruments have been allowed in a service there since temple times,” he recalls. “Hundreds of people attended. It was a very spiritual experience.”
According to the Jewish Journal, the Orthodox rabbinate rules over religious Jewish rituals in Israel. They decide who can have a state-recognized Jewish wedding, convert to Judaism, or be buried in certain cemeteries. Additionally, the Jewish Journal states that the Israeli government “spends at least $450 million annually for Orthodox education and congregations, and gives under $50,000 to Masorti. “I believe once all streams of Judaism are recognized in Israel, and true freedom of religion is realized, the Masorti movement will grow by leaps and bounds. The realization of that goal – religious freedom — is one we should all support.”
Don’t miss this amazing event:
From Omer to Israel
January 17th @ 7pm
Adath Jeshurun 10500 Hillside Ln W, Hopkins MN
For more information and to RSVP to From Omer to Israel click here
For more information on the Masorti Movement, click here.