On Wednesday, May 7 at 6 PM, Twin Cities Masorti is hosting an art event to support the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel. The art sale includes, paintings, photography, jewelry and more from local and Israeli artists (click here for a sneak peak). As well as live music by Midwest Hotel and an open bar. Admission is complimentary. Show your support for Jewish creative expression. RSVP today and get a free tshirt at the door.
Many of us care deeply about the State of Israel, and so we should care deeply about the state of religion in Israel. In large part, the State of Israel was established to give the Jewish people a homeland where we could practice our Judaism freely and be safe from those who would discriminate or oppress us. The irony is that the government of the State of Israel still does not officially recognize any form of Judaism other than Orthodoxy.
Admittedly, we have in the very recent past made a few initial steps forward in gaining rights, such as having a section at the Western Wall for mixed prayer services and the promise of access to public ritual baths (mikveh) for non-Orthodox conversions, but there is still a long way to go to remedy the problem of Jewish religious freedom in Israel. Despite the obstacles and the fact that the Ministry of Religion only recognizes and funds Orthodox institutions (within Judaism), the Masorti (Conservative) and Reform movements continue to grow and expand with a religious curriculum in hundreds of public schools, and the Masorti movement alone has over 70 congregations all over the country.
All of this is encouraging, but it is up to the entire Jewish world to raise its voice and cry out: There can be no Jewish second class in the Jewish homeland! The Jewish future stands in the balance, and the question is what we will do to ensure a Jewish homeland, where the spectrum of Jewish expression (from secular to Orthodox and all colors in between) stand equal in status and support. Please know that your voice and similar voices from abroad are being heard and are making a difference in changing policy and public opinion. We believe that we all stand equal in the eyes of God; now it is time for it to be seen in this way according to government policy in Israel. If we care deeply for Israel we must make it our responsibility to ensure that the Jewish State is home equally for all Jews of all streams of Judaism.
Your support can make all the difference. Come support Jewish creative expression at the Masorti Art Salon. RSVP NOW. (By the way, art is a great gift for Mother’s Day.)
Rabbi Yonatan Sadoff is the Rabbi of the Magen Avraham Congregation in Omer (the Negev); formerly Associate Rabbi of Adath Jeshurun, Minnetonka.