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Showing posts from April, 2010

Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Movements Joint Statement on the Rotem Conversion Bill

The Rabbinical AssemblyApril 30, 2010 - 16 Iyar 5770

Statement Reflects United Stance on Proposed Legislation


CONTACT: Conservative: Shira Dicker at 917.403.3989,
Reform; Kate Bigam at 202.398.2800,
Reconstructionist: Yael Ridberg at 917.287.4207,
Carl Sheingold at 215.885.5601,

April 30, 2010 (New York, NY) -- Israeli Knesset Member David Rotem, author of a proposed bill dealing with conversion in Israel, met this week with leaders of the North American Jewish community to discuss the bill's possible ramifications. Following a series of discussions with Rotem, the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements together issued the following statement:

We are appreciative of the substantial amount of t…

JTA: "Divestment bills reportedly fail at two Calif. universities"

JTA: "Divestment bills reportedly fail at two Calif. universities" April 29, 2010 (JTA) -- The student government at the University of California, Berkeley fell a vote short in a bid to override a veto against a divestment bill. Meanwhile, a vote early Thursday morning by the Associated Students at the University of California, San Diego reportedly was unsuccessful in passing a similar measure. At Berkeley, 13 senators voted early Thursday morning to override the veto, with five voting to uphold it. Fourteen votes were necessary for the override. The vote at about 4 a.m. followed a meeting that began in the evening attended by about 200 people, according to reports. "We lost the vote, but won the night," read a statement on the CalDivest from Apartheid Web site. "We made a statement recorded for posterity and forced everyone to listen and watch what th…

The Day the RCA became Agudah

The Day the RCA Became Agudah By Yitzchok Adlerstein, on April 28th, 2010 Not in the way you think. This is written in praise of the RCA, not to score points for Agudah. (I wouldn't take sides – I have a high regard for, and work with, both.) If you can't take a tongue-in-cheek title, please read no further. The story, in the end, was not in the resolution that repudiated the ordination of women "regardless of title," but how they arrived at it.The resolution is reproduced in its entirety, below. Several people debated every phrase for days before it was put before the membership, who also debated it phrase by phrase. Four poskim within the RCA orbit were consulted. The language that was adopted represents a compromise, since the poskim did not always agree with each other, but could live with the final version.After vigorous debate, the resolution was passed without opposition. A few people abstained, but all thought it was importan…

Thoughts While Surrounded by Green

Thoughts While Surrounded by Green
Rabbi Menachem CreditorI just spoke on the floor of the ASUC meeting pouring out my soul,
admitting my fear, asking the student senators to call upon my Jewish
community to stand with them in working towards a Palestinian state.
But I was one of a very few people wearing a blue sticker in a sea of
green stickers. I don't feel safe. I don't feel affirmed. I don't
feel safe. I don't feel safe.I tried my best to share how vulnerable the Jewish community is, how
afraid for my children I am. But I'm surrounded by green. And I feel
suspicious eyes on my kippah. I am with some brave members of my
shul. But why must it take bravery to go to my local university?My shul is a strong, safe, holy place, down the block from this very
hall. Special people call it home: Jewish, not-Jewish, believers,
skeptics. I affirm an Infinte number of Faces of God, including the
Muslim faith. Why do I feel surrounded by green, as if the color is
outside of tha…

Emergency: Join me on campus tonight

An Emegency Note from Rabbi Creditor:
Join me on campus tonight
Dear Chevreh,Please join me tonight at 10:30 at Pauley Ballroom on campus.I apologize for the late notice, but the agenda for tonight's ASUC Student Senate meeting just changed.  They were to spend the bulk of the meeting allocating 1.6 million dollars to the student groups on campus, but just changed the agenda to focus on the bill to encourage the University to divest from Israel.  (The DailyCal editorial last week condemned the student senate for devoting this much time to an issue that is not central to student needs.)  ASUC President Will Smelko vetoed the bill two weeks ago, and last week I, along with two survivors, Consul General Akiva Tor, and an Israeli teenager spent hours at Hillel with the one student senator who had abstained from overturning the veto the week prior.  This led to the upholding of the veto.  Tonight, again, the proponents of divestment have plastered the campus in an effort to overwhelm the…

Ramah Israel News and Updates

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If you or anyone in your community is going to Israel this summer...
please consider theRamah Mini-Seminar for Adultsand theRamah Jerusalem Day Camp, two of the many wonderful opportunities available through Ramah Programs in Israel. You will find more details below.

In addition, we encourage you to scroll down to see the Yom Ha'Atzamaut newsletter sent earlier this month to participants and alumni of our Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) high school program. The Ramah Mini-Seminar for Adults, July 11-15, is designed for adults (college-age and above) who have been to Israel before and who are looking for something different and in-depth. The Mini-Seminar is five day-long tours to less-traveled sights in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and places in between. Participants are expected to arrange their own accommodations in Jerusalem, and each day they will be picked up and dropped off at a central location in the city. Price per person is only $500, w…

MK's Rotem and Ayalon visiting in the US -- to talk with Masorti/Conservative Leadership

[shared with permission from Rabbi Peretz Rodman, acting chair of the Masorti Movement's public affairs committee]

Minister of Knesset David ("Dudu") Rotem is visiting now in the US (along with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon) to convince Masorti/Conservative leadership that Rotem's proposal for a law regulating the conversion process in Israel will not disenfranchise our movement from conducting conversions in and out of Israel.  
If Rotem and Ayalon see that across the geographical divide, our movement speaks in one voice, and if they see that they also cannot succeed in driving a wedge between us and the Reform movement's leaders either by pretending to find us so much more authentic and reasonable than our Reform friends, then they will act to ensure that our concerns are reflected in the wording of the bill before it is brought to a vote.

To learn more:  YNet article (Hebrew):,7340,L-3881056,00.htmlEarlier YNet story (Englis…

copycat divestment resolution at USSD - act now!

This a request (below) from the UCSD Jewish student body, is shared through the Israel on Campus Coalition.  A copycat divestment resolution—substantially identical to the one vetoed at Berkeley— was submitted to the ASUC at UC-San Diego. The vote is planned for Wednesday evening.  Sign the petition here: :

please spread this widely.

laylah tov,rc

Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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---------- Forwarded message ----------

Friends,It has come to our attention over the weekend that Students for Justice in Palestine intends to submit a copycat divestment resolution—substantially identical to the one vetoed at Berkeley—to the ASUC, or student government body, at UC-San Diego. The vote is planned for Wednesday evening.The pro-Israel student group at UCSD, Tritons for Israel, i…

Masorti Foundation: Tehran in Jerusalem

If you're having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online. Tehran in Jerusalem Dear Friends,            You may shake your head in disbelief at the news of the latest effort to segregate women in the public arena in Israel – but the fact is that it happened. Read the story below from the Jerusalem Post, or click on this link:                   This article by Yizhar Hess, executive director & CEO of the Masorti movement in Israel, appeared first in Hebrew in Yediot Achronot, the largest circulation daily paper in the country. This is significant because it means Masorti is making its mark with the Israeli public. Yediot Achronot would not have allotted the space if it was not perceived as an important Israeli issue.             Help us promote pluralism and democratic values in Israel. Click here to go to our website to contribute online or mail your contribution to the Masorti Foundation, 475 …

Dailycal: "No Resolution Reached on ASUC Senate Divestment Bill"

dear chevreh,
thanks to rabbi adam naftalin-kelman, the rabbis of all the Berkeley shuls, two survivors who spoke last night and akiva tor's tireless (and skillful) work, the veto over the ASUC divestment bill held last night.  i participated in the meeting with a few student senators along with those mentioned above, and assure you that our work is far from over.  below is the dailycal article, and I ask all of you to send words of support to berkeley hillel (, and to support them financially if possible.  They are, students and professionals, working 20-hour days to defeat divestment, and deserve chizuk from the wider Jewish community.
kol tuv, rabbi creditor

Dailycal: "No Resolution Reached on ASUC Senate Divestment Bill"

After deliberating in closed session last night over ASUC President Will Smelko's March 24 vet…

Cleveland Jewish News: "Conservative movement makes changes with eye on youth"

Cleveland Jewish News: "Conservative movement makes changes with eye on youth" Click image to enlarge Wernick
By Douglas J. Guth
Senior Staff Reporter Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:22 PM EDT Conservative Jewish leaders acknowledge that recruiting, retaining and engaging younger members is an ongoing aim of the aging, shrinking movement.

However, it's unfair to blame young Jews for not wanting to join synagogues or take on time-consuming leadership roles within the denomination when the movement's governing body is largely at fault, says Rabbi Steven Wernick, chief executive of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism. He was in Cleveland earlier this week to visit with local Jewish leaders.

"They didn't abandon us; it's more like we abandoned them," Wernick, 42, told the CJN during an interview at B'nai Jeshurun Congregation. "We gave them…