Masorti Olami News
In This Issue
European leaders meet in Paris
Darkei NOAM Argentina, Israel trip
11th World Wide Wrap
Dates for June 2011
TuBishvat Around the world
Watch the
MAROM Olami & NOAM Olami movie
Click here for our recent movie about 2 very special MAROM and NOAM worldwide activities - a worldwide Chanukah learning session via online video conference and a NOAM Olami leadership seminar in London.

Masorti Europe and MAROM Europe meet in Paris

Paris meeting

Earlier this month, 25 representatives of Masorti kehillot around Europe attended a weekend European Leadership seminar based at the Adath Shalom synagogue in Paris. Leaders from MAROM centers around Europe also participated in their own seminar. Participants in both seminars from France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and UK celebrated Shabbat together. The next of these Leadership seminars is due to take place in Almere (near Amsterdam, Netherlands) in May.

Darkei NOAM Argentina Trip to Israel

Darkei NOAM Israel Trip

In January, a group of almost 50 young leaders from the Darkei NOAM Leadership course in Buenos Aires, Argentina arrived in Israel for a 3 week Leadership program. The participants, aged 15 to 17, came to the Israel program as part of the Darkei NOAM 2 year leadership training course for all leaders of Masorti youth activities in Argentina. Their program in Israel combined touring and visiting sites with an in-depth educational seminar into the meaning and value of leadership and their identity as Masorti Jews. The group are pictured above at their Shehechianu ceremony at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem. Click here

to see more pictures from the ceremony on the NOAM Olami Facebook fan-page. 

The 11th World Wide Wrap
11th Annual World Wide Wrap
Sunday, February 6th saw hundreds of participants put on tefillin in FJMC's World Wide Wrap. Pictured above are 'wrappers' at Emmanuel Synagogue in Sydney, Australia. Click here for an album of photos from Masorti kehillot around the world who participated in the 11th annual event.
June 2011: Masorti Olami & MERCAZ Olami events in Israel
36th Zionist Congress
Dates for Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami events in June this year are :
Va'ad HaPoel orientation

- Wednesday evening, June 22nd in Jerusalem

    Va'ad HaPoel

- Thursday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 26th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Jerusalem

    Jewish Agency Assembly

- Sunday, June 26th to Tuesday, June 28th at the Inbal Hotel, Jerusalem

For more information go to
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February 2011
ADAR 5771
Tu Bishvat 5771Tu Bishvat - A Global round-up

Our special focus this month is a Global round-up of the wonderful and meaningful celebrations of Tu Bishvat which took place in Janaury. This year more than ever, Masorti adults and young people came together to learn about the significance of Tu Bishvat, and find both traditional and creative ways to celebrate the festival. Below you can find stories from members of the Masorti movement showing the vibrant and inspiring ways that they celebrated.

Kol tuv,

Rabbi Tzvi Graetz

Executive Director, Masorti Olami  

CIP Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo, Brazil 

Rabbi Michel Shlesigner told us that Congregaco Israelita Paulista

celebrated Tu Bishvat at the Campos de Estudos Fritz Pinkuss campsite, where members of their congregation were taking part in a communal summer camp. Rabbi Schlesigner led a study session and tree planting ceremony for young people.

Pictured right is the tree planting.

Dor Chadash, BudapestBudapest, Hungary
Anna Balint
told us that the Dor Chadash community held a Tu Bishvat seder, attended by 25 people at the Moishe House. The seder was led by Ariel Polyak who had prepared a special seder booklet with brachot (blessings), explanation of customs, and quotes from the Torah and the Mishnah about environmentalism. Everyone enjoyed good food and wine as well as each others' company.
Pictured above/left are participants of the seder.

Guadalajara, Mexico  
Rabbi Guadalajara, MexicoJoshua Kullock
of Comunidad Hebrea de Guadalajara

reported that 58 people took part in their Tu Bishvat celebrations. These included a seder which focussed on environmental responsibility and a look at ways in which Israel is developing clean energy technology. Participants then planted 100 sapling Jacarandas trees which will be transplated next Tu Bishvat to a public forest. Finally, 6 mature trees were planted in the park next to the synagogue building.

Pictured right are young people from the congregation preparing the saplings.

Maayane Or, NiceNice, France
Elisheva Sabbah
described how the Maayane Or kehillah celebrated Tu Bishvat with a communal meal and limmud (learning). Participants of many different ages attended the celebration, and enjoyed the presentations given by the children of the Talmud Torah on the theme of trees. Presentations included family trees, poems that they had written, or paintings and photos specially prepared for the evening.
Pictured above/left are some of the children with their presentations.

Lisbon, PortugalLisbon, Portugal
, a member of Kehillat Beit Yisrael reported that the kehillah celebrated Tu Bishvat for the 3rd year running by planting a cedar sapling tree in the garden of a local church. The celebration was used as an opportunity for interfaith collaboration. After reciting brachot over the tree planting, the participants went back to the synagogue to enjoy fruits, wine and traditional music.
Pictured right is the tree planting.

Bournemouth, UKBournemouth, UK  
The new Masorti community celebrated Tu Bishvat for the first time in their Masorti Cheder (Talmud Torah). Burl Solomons told us that 12 children along with their parents attended the event which took place at the Avon Heath Country Park. The program included a guided tour looking at different species of trees, followed by a feast of olives and fruits.
Pictured left are the children enjoying olives and fruits.

Green globeLeeds, UK
Bill Kunin
told us that the Leeds Masorti group once again met to celebrate Tu Bishvat, with more than 20 people eating a wide variety and vasts quantity of fruits.
Montevideo, Uruguay

Ria Okret from NCI reported that kiddush after the Shabbat morning service was used as the opportunity to celebrate Tu Bishvat which included fruits from all the different species. Congregants took part in a discussion of Tu Bishvat meanings and values, the importance of the festival and planting trees, differences between the Tu Bishvat seder and the one at Pesach, and different Zionist thinkers' views of ecology.

Madrid, Spain

Mario Stofenmacher from the Bet El community told us that the community took part in a special limmud (learning) about Tu Bishvat, used special prayers in their Shabbat service, and gave seeds and tree saplings to member to plant in their homes.

Dor Vador, ParisParis, France
Emmanuelle Alhadef
from the Dor Vador community explained that the Talmud Torah groups for children devoted their entire session on the Sunday before Tu Bishvat to learning about this festival. The children learnt the Hebrew names of the different fruits as well as brachot (blessings) and songs connected with Tu Bishvat.
Pictured left are chidren at the Talmud Torah seder.

Moscow, Russia
MaMAROM Moscow groupsha Kopelyan
told us that the MAROM Moscow Masorti community decided to celebrate Tu Bishvat in a very creative manner, and held a Tu Bishvat photography competition. Nearly 100 pictures of trees were submitted, and the panel of professional photographers and artists gave their verdicts at a special ceremony. The winning 8 pictures will be enlarged, framed and given to Jewish organizatrions in the city.
Pictured right are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries. View out Tu Bishvat gallery to see all 8 winners.

Cordoba, ArgentinaCordoba, Argentina
Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff
told us about the communal Tu Bishvat celebrations of the Centro Union Israelita congregation with the Maccabi youth club. They celebrate Tu Bishvat together by planting 4 olive trees, followed by a discussion of Tu Bishvat signifiance and finally tasting many different fruits. Even though it is summer in Argentina and many congregants are on vacation, more than 40 people attended the event.
Pictured above/left are participants with one of the new trees.

St Albans, UKSt Albans, UK
Ruth Rabin
told us that 14 people took part in their community's Tu Bishvat seder and meal led by David Rabin. They ate 19 different fruits and enjoyed a hearty debate of how to classify these different fruits into the given categories. Everyone felt that they had reached and surpassed the UK government's 5-a-day recommendation ! The group sang songs and enjoyed the entire experience.
Pictured right are participants at the seder table.

Netzach Israel, AshkelonAshkelon, Israel
Claudia Giat
from Kehillat Netzach Israel reported that 60 members of the community took part in a Tu Bishvat seder on the eve of the holiday. The seder was held at the synagogue and specific mention was given to the ecological crisis in the North of the country following the massive fire in the Carmel region. The seder included the traditional 4 cups of wine and brachot over fruits and was accompanied by singing, storytelling and a special musical performance.
Pictured above/left are participants at the seder.

Masorti kindergarten, BerlinBerlin, Germany
At the Masorti Kindergarten in Berlin the children took part in a Tu Bishvat seder during the morning of the festival, and in the afternoon, parents and friends joined them for a Tu Bishvat party which included planting seeds, learning about the festival with Rabbi Gesa Ederburg and eating fresh and dried fruits.
Pictured right are trees that the kindergarten children made.

Santiago, ChileSantiago, Chile
Rabbi Marcelo Kormis
from the Circulo Israelita congregation in reported that Tu Bishvat was celebrated in the synagogue on the eve of the festival. The celebration started with a tree planting, and was followed by the Ma'ariv/Arvit service, and a Tu Bishvat seder. Rabbi Kormis and David Aris led the seder and following explanations of their significance, different fruits and wine were blessed and eaten/drunk.
Pictured above/left are participants at the seder.

Above are just a few of the great pictures we received from these events. Click here for a gallery of more than 40 other pictures.

Taking responsibility for our environment is an important message

that Judaism teaches us, and for this reason Masorti Olami prepared

an entire library of resources connected with Judaism and the

environment. We encourage you to view this library at

with support from the World Zionist Organization
Make a donation to Masorti Olami