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We have all been reading about some of the social unrest that has taken center stage in Israel. Notable has been the silence of the religious establishment, including Shas, whose original mandate was, in theory, to address the social service needs of Sephardi communities.
The Masorti movement in Israel has not been silent. Below you will find the statement released by the tnua and an English translation which you may wish to share with your congregation or incorporate into your Shabbat materials.
David H. Lissy
Executive Director & CEO
Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel
English Translation of Tnua Statement
The Masorti movement in Israel will designate Tisha B'Av as a day of solidarity with the "tent protest" movement. On the evening of the fast, and for the duration of the day, we will hold events connecting the destruction of the ancient Temple with this struggle for the future of our homeland; linking the "senseless hatred" in their time with the gaping economic disparity in Israel today.
The Masorti movement emphasizes that social justice is among the most basic principles of Judaism and that for thousands of years the Halachah has harkened to the cry of the weak. We see the emerging shift of national priorities and the renewed vitality of the people in its land as the fulfillment of Zionism. The Masorti movement, as a religious movement, calls upon the government of Israel to concern itself with the welfare of the weak and disempowered in the society - not from the perspective of charity, but from that of justice. We call upon Israel to repair the historic failures which have brought the middle class to the brink.
The continuing erosion of the middle class in the State of Israel in the last few years strikes at the heart of democracy. It requires the government of Israel to alter the national priorities in a profound and comprehensive manner; to be attentive to the cry of the people, and to make decisions which will enable young families, and all those who experience the challenges of Israeli life, to see their future in the land.
The State of Israel is the expression of the longing of the Jewish people through the generations. An engaged citizenry should be a point of pride for any democracy. As such we seek to strengthen the hands of the protestors and believe that change will surely come.
To learn more, please contact: Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 832 New York, NY 10115-0068 (212) 870-2216; 1-877-287-7414 http://www.masorti.org/; firstname.lastname@example.org