Masorti Olami
Masorti Olami News

Iyar 5769 - May 2009

In This Issue
Lag B'omer in Berlin
Meeting of Central and South American Masorti communities
Quick Links
Shavuot begins on Thursday evening, May 28, the sixth day of Sivan, and continues until Saturday evening, May 30. (In Israel, it ends Friday evening). The Torah refers to Shavuot as "Chag Ha'katzir "--the feast of the harvest-- (Exodus 23:14-19), as "Yom ha-bikurim"-- the day of first fruits, when farmers brought their produce to the Temple as an offering--,(Leviticus 23:9-22) and "Zman Matan Toratanu" (the time of the giving of our Torah) because it commemorates the time of giving the Torah to the Jewish People on Mount Sinai.
Make the time to study Torah! Check out "Words of Torah from the Masorti World" on our new website. Click here to  find a list of Torah commentaries from our Conservative/Masorti institutions.

Rabbi Claudio Jodorkovsky studying Torah with children in Bogota, Columbia
Bogota resized
 Yom Yerushalayim
 Kotel Hamasorti
Yom Yerushalayim--Jerusalem Day-- celebrated on the 28th day of Iyar (May 22 this year), commemorates the anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem under Jewish sovereignty that occurred during the Six Day War in June 1967. The day is celebrated by ceremonies, reciting the Hallel prayer in synagogues, parades and special programs on Jerusalem related topics.
here to find out how you can celebrate events or arrange prayers at the Kotel Ha'Masorti (Robinson's Arch).
Next Year in Jerusalem!

 Elderly group CIP Brazil
Rabino Michel Schlesinger (in tie and jacket)  from Congregacao Israelita Paulista (CIP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil at a bi-monthly meeting with the elders of the kehillah.
Updates from our UN representatives
Gloria Landy, main representative, and Judy Horowitz, alternate, represent the World Council of Conservative Synagogues-Masorti Olami-in the Non-Governmental Organizations to the  Department of Public Information in association with the United Nations.  Our organization was one of the co-sponsors of the Durban II Counter Conference which took place in NY. You can read reports on their important work on the UN section of our website.
UN protest 2
Demonstrating at the opening of the UN General Assembly in September 09 when Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak.
(from left: Janet Tobin (Masorti Olami Sr. VP), Don Horowitz (NGO Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs), Judy Horowitz and Gloria Landy (representing World Council - Masorti Olami)

Upcoming Event: 
The United Nations Department of Public Information's Outreach Division will organize a seminar on "Cyber Hate: Danger in Cyber Space" on on June 16, 2009 in the New York Headquarters. This seminar will explore the impact of hate-related discourse on the Internet and ways to counter it.
For more information, please contact Gloria Landy.
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Tzvi Graetz
Dear Chaverim,
Pesach, Yom Ha'shoah, Yom Ha'zikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut, Lag B'omer are now behind us and we continue our commemorations and celebrations with Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot in the coming week. In this newsletter, we give you a taste of the variety of our activities in our kehillot around the world.  
There is nothing that can compare to making a personal visit to a kehillah and getting to know its members and customs. If you are traveling in the next few months, be sure to make the time to visit a Masorti community. Our new website makes it easy for you to find a kehillah on your travels. Those of you who would like to join us in our Masorti Olami Mission to Berlin and Budapest in November are most welcome. Click on missions or contact me for details.
Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Tzvi Graetz, Executive Director 

NOAM Argentina begins its year of activities
With great joy, NOAM, the youth movement of the Masorti opening Darkei NOAMMovement in Argentina, has begun the seventh year of activities of Darkei NOAM. Darkei NOAM is the institute for training counselors for the youth movement. The students meet twice a week for two years to learn informal education, counseling skills, Jewish texts and Israel education. Participants include teenagers from the following congregations: Amijai, Bet Hilel, Benei Tikva, Beit Israel, Bialik de Devoto, Dor Jadash, Jerusalem, Kehilatid, Or Jadash, Pardes and SIO.

Darchei NOAM operates in two venues: Kehila Dor Jadash and in the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer.  In both venues there are approximately 80 students who, along with their counselors and the project's coordinators, Dalia Mendiuk and Gabriel Barsky, began the year filled with positive energy and much enthusiasm. They have set goals and new challenges for themselves this year. B'hatzlacha--we wish them much success!
On Friday, March 13, the Bureau of Youth Organizations in the Jewish community of Buenos Aires, which includes NOAM and Marom, the Argentinean Youth Council and the Maccabi Youth Movement, organized a special Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony for the youth. The ceremony took place at the square of the Israeli Embassy where  the tragic bombing took place seventeen years ago that ended the lives of 29 people. The event brought together 150 young people.  The ceremony was attended by Ambassador of Israel, Daniel Gazit. NOAM was responsible for the organization of Kabbalat Shabbat service, which was conducted by Eze Herszage, Jonathan Meta, Uriel Kohn and Alejandro Cozachcow.

embassy ceremony

Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony at site of the Israeli Embassy bombing in Buenos Aires. The photo is taken moments before candlelighting.
Commemorations and Celebrations at Adath Shalom, Paris
By Stephanie Lebaz
On Yom Hashoah, Monday, April 20, the community of Adath Shalom held a moment of silence in memory of the six million Jews murdered.  With the background sound of prayers and psalms, six candles were lit and extinguished in the remembrance of the death camps. The evening was marked by the presence of the representative of the German Embassy in Paris, Tobias Eichner. The film, "The Memory of Children" directed by Hannes Gellner and Thomas Draschan, was screened followed by a discussion with the director Hannes Gellner and four survivors. 
On Yom Hazikaron day, Adath Shalom held a ceremony in memory of Jewish fighters and Israeli soldiers who fought to give dignity and national expression in Israel.
To celebrate Yom Ha-Ha'atzmaut, the shofar was sounded and our choir sang its repertoire of Israeli songs. Guests were invited to enjoy falafel and pitot. This year Adath Shalom gave the Israeli cinema the spotlight.  Ariel Schweitzer, a historian of film, introduced Israeli modern film by talking about the filmmaker, David Perlov. Participants attended the screening of "Be'Yerushalaim"  (1963) and an excerpt from "Diary" (1973-1983), two of the major works of the Israeli filmmaker. A discussion on the evolution of Israeli cinema continued with the specialist.
 Yom Haatzmaut Paris

Adath Shalom choir performs for Yom Ha'atzmaut

Lag Bomer Berlin  Lag B'omer Party in Berlin
On Lag B"omer, Tuesday, May 12th, Masorti Germany and the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue organized a Lag B'omer party. 70 people, amongst them many children and families of the Kindergarten and members of the synagogue, celebrated together on the meadow behind the Masorti Movement building in Berlin. We made a campfire and a barbecue, and the children were busy keeping the fire going. The Masorti Kindergarteners peformed a show. We enjoyed the barbecue, especially getting together, singing, and the sun. Everyone is looking forward to the next celebration!

Meeting of the Masorti Communities from Central and South America
by Ariel Blufstein, Executive Director Masorti Latin America (AMLAT) 

Between May 3-5th 2009, the Second meeting of Conservative / Masorti communities from Central and South America took place in Bogota, Colombia. In addition to the organizers from AIM (Asociacion Israelita Montefiore) in Bogota, representatives of the communities of Cali, Guadalajara, Quito and Lima participated. Dr. Daniel Fainstein, vice-chancellor of the Hebrew University of Mexico, was the scholar in residence.  
One of the topics discussed at the meeting was the different leadership dilemmas that volunteer lay leaders and professionals confront in our region. One of these dilemmas is the Masorti identity of the communities. Despite the historically established links with the strong presence of Masorti rabbis in the region, in the past the significant presence of the movement was not felt.
Ariel Blufstein, Executive Director of Masorti AMLAT and Yoel Schvartz, Masorti shaliach, made a presentation about how Masorti AMLAT and Marom were successful in generating a new working atmosphere in the movement. The rabbis who were present emphasized the importance of maintaining a formal link with Masorti AMLAT and the movement by participating actively in the organization of the next meetings and in the incorporation of new communities in the region. They also discussed the necessity of generating resources for the work of the movement by a minimum contribution from  the communities. Specific Masorti AMLAT projects, such as the creation of long-distance study opportunities  and the development of programs related to the movement, were also discussed
The meeting was enriched with a study taught by Dr. Daniel Fainstein who expounded on the origin and evolution of Masorti Judaism in the context of the religious thought in the nineteenth century as an answer to the challenge of Emancipation. The meeting ended with a call to get back to the belief in our mission and the passion for the religious and educational work that characterized Masorti Judaism in its best moments.
The next meeting will take place in Lima, Peru in November.