October 19, 2018 10th of Cheshvan, 5779
Special Report:
Masorti Majority in Israel?
If you will it, it is no dream.
Important Findings: Ascendency of Liberal Judaism in Israel
The Jewish People Policy Institute released its 2018 assessment of the state of Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel. The report describes nothing short of a paradigm shift--Conservative Jewish practice is " now seen as authentic and preferable by largely secular and traditional Israelis."

JPPI reports 12-13 percent of Israeli Jews identify as either Conservative or Reform --representing nearly 800,000 people --a near doubling from 7 percent just five years ago.
The report is a deep dive into issues of vital concern to Masorti and paints an encouraging picture. Notably, we see changed public attitudes: " pluralistic expressions of Judaism in general are positive ."

According to the report, " a majority of Israeli Jews favor granting recognition and equal rights to the movements on par with the Orthodox .  And, importantly, Israeli Jews are frustrated with the control of lifecycle events by the Orthodox Rabbinate and are increasingly seeking out non-Orthodox rabbis for these events.

T he NY Jewish Week quotes Executive Director, Gideon Aronoff, who calls this trend: something of critical importance: Under the most adverse conditions possible — an ultra-Orthodox monopoly and millions of tax dollars going to build up Orthodox communities and institutions alone — Israelis are still tending towards more progressive options.”

Responding the the report, Rabbi Robert Slosberg, Masorti Foundation Chair says: "This is huge ...We are clearly making progress but have a LONG way to go."

It's evidence that the hard work of Masorti Israel to build a democratic, pluralistic, traditional, but also modern, Judaism is succeeding. Secular and traditional Israelis increasingly thirst for an authentic Jewish life and " want to (re)connect to Jewish practice and text, but from a place of individuality, meaning, or tradition."   They will turn to Masorti when given an opportunity to experience it. For more, r ead the full report or our Masorti Matters Blog post.

JPPI Stats At-a-Glance
Want to share the good news about all the progress Masorti is making?

Here's a great infographic that tells the story in a bold, colorful way.

Click on the image to get a downloadable, printable PDF!
And now for more about the LONG way to go...
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior has denied Asiimwe Rabbin, an Abayudaya Jew, a Birthright Israel staff member and founding participant of Onward NOAM Olami, a visa necessary for him to study at the Conservative Yeshiva.

The Abayudaya, recognized as a Jewish community by the  The Jewish Agency for Israel   and the global Masorti/Conservative Movement, have been practicing Judaism for 100 years and went through rigorous conversions under the Conservative
Asiimwe Rabbin is in the foreground, center. (Birthright Israel via JTA)

This action, which is part of a shameful trend that violates Jewish and Zionist principles, must be reversed and Asiimwe allowed to take up his studies. For more, read the Times of Israel story .
Celebrating Masorti Conversions
Conversion by Masorti rabbis makes possible a Jewish family life rich in observance and tradition for many who would otherwise be excluded by the rigid control of the Orthodox rabbinate. For converts and those seeking to convert, an embrace by Masorti rabbis is crucial. Click on image below to watch our video as Israelis express their deeply felt thoughts and emotions about what it means to be recognized as fully Jewish. Read the blog post here.