Action Points, Masorti Agenda from Bay Area Masorti
14 Cheshvan, 5771
October 22, 2010
I would like to introduce you to an exciting initiative in the Bay area: "Bay Area Masorti."
Bay Area Masorti is a program promoting the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel, but it is also much more. It involves introducing new tools and language to the way we see Israel in order to promote the pluralistic Israel we dream about.
This year, with increasingly stringent Orthodox restrictions in Israel, it has become clear that unless we support Israel's Masorti Movement, we will end up supporting an Israel that is not comfortable for Masorti (Conservative) Jews.
Now, Bay Area Masorti is reaching out to the area's USCJ congregations and encouraging personal involvement. This email is being sent to every Conservative rabbi in the Bay Area, as well as leaders in each USCJ-affiliated community. Please talk to each other about ideas you might have, and please ask us for support.
There are many ways to become involved:
1.We will happy to help you arrange a "Masorti Shabbat" led by Bay Area Masorti visiting scholar Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, or to help you arrange this event yourselves. To date, four USCJ communities in the Bay Area have already scheduled an inaugural "Masorti Shabbat," a strategic event to garner support and raise awareness.
2. We can arrange for a lecture or lecture series focusing on issues that are part of the Masorti agenda.
Some suggested topics for lectures include:
Women of the Kotel and religious freedom in Israel
"Va'ani Tefilati" - introducing the new Masorti Siddur.
The Rotem Conversion Bill: what does it mean and why should we care?
Israeli and American Jewry: ideas for a new conversation.
Suggestions for a series of three to six classes include:
Israel in the Headlines from a Masorti perspective
"Va'ani Tefilati" - The goals and challenges for an Israeli Siddur.
Accessibility: what does it mean to have an accessible synagogue and what kind of dilemmas does this entail?
Equal and Pluralistic: challenges and difficulties in Israel society.
3. We have invited Masorti visiting scholars to speak. Dr. David Breakstone, WZO Vice President and former Masorti Chairperson will be visiting in November, and will be speaking at a Shabbat davening and dinner at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley on November 12th at 5:30pm. If you would like to attend the dinner, please RSVP to Rachel at email@example.com.
We would be happy to help you form a Bay Area Masorti Chapter or an Israel Committee, or to help your Israel Committee bring a Masorti perspective to its work. Please contact me or Bay Area Masorti Visiting Scholar Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting to arrange your involvement in this exciting and vital Initiative.
Kol Tuv, and Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Chair
Bay Area Masorti
Bay Area Masorti. Supporting Masorti.Supporting Israel. tiny.cc/bamasorti Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Bay Area Masorti Visiting Scholar email@example.com // home: 510-524-1473 // cell: 510-323-5869
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance. Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm, calling God out, standing at the center of a whirlwind holding your ground.
No cathedral is immune to agony, no soul impervious to life itself
no nation purely noble. If it were any other way, there would be no need for cathedrals in the first place.
To kneel is to submit
to lower oneself
to step down
To kneel is to call attention
to touch the Earth's face
to listen to those
whose blood saturates
the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside
to step outside
to invite others to come closer
To kneel is not to stand
not to stand
not to stand idly by. Speak your truth, God damn it.