In this Issue:
 Adar 2 5774/March 2014           
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Purim Appeal for Ukraine

The holidays of freedom from persecution and slavery, Purim and Passover are upon us.  While most of us are privileged to live in communities where we have to worry about neither, not all of us are as lucky.


We have all seen the disturbing news coming from Ukraine.  Masorti Rabbi Reuven Stamov, his wife Lena and their two daughters live in Kiev where both Reuven and Lena head up Masoret Kiev - a Masorti synagogue that not only holds services but many activities as well for the entire Jewish community. There is also a Masorti presence in Odessa, Donetsk, Kharkov, Chernowitz, Berdichev and many other cities sponsored by Masorti Olami and Midreshet Yerushalalyim at the Schechter Institute. In Kharkov and Chernowitz, there are Tali Jewish day schools.  Kharkov alone has 140 students and holds daily and Shabbat services. They are located in southeast Ukraine and close to Crimea.  We even have kehillot in Crimea itself.


Masorti  Olami and Midreshet Yerushalayim are in touch with all of our communities in Ukraine and getting updates on a constant basis. The situation is tense and unstable. People in Kharkov are starting to stock up on supplies in the event of a war and in Kiev they have been doing that since the start of the demonstrations. 


Now is the time to support our fellow Jews in Ukraine. In the spirit of Matanot L'Evyonim, we would like to ask each of you to donate to our special Purim Appeal with all of the proceeds going to our communities in Ukraine. 


Together with USCJ and Midreshet Yerushalayim, with support from the Jewish Agency and the Chicago Federation, we have raised over $25,000. This is a significant sum but will only cover part of the need.  Jewish institutions need increased security especially since it is unclear who is controlling the law enforcement in Ukraine. We need to ensure that our synagogues and centers are safe places, both physically and spiritually. We need to make sure that there is funding available to help with Purim celebrations and Passover Seders for all Jews in Ukraine.  Ukraine residents are afraid to leave their homes so we are planning a secure Shabbaton weekend to bring families and kids together.


Donations can be given to your synagogue directly, online at (make sure to write Purim Appeal for Ukraine in the dedication box) or checks can be made out to and sent directly to "World Council of Synagogues" 3080 Broadway, NY, NY 10027.


May we all have a safe and joyous Purim holiday.


Rabbi Tzvi Graetz, Executive Director, Masorti Olami & MERCAZ Olami 
Rabbi Tzvi Graetz presenting the megillah to Rabbi Reuven and Lena Stamov. The Megillah has arrived safely in Kiev ready to be used on Purim! Thanks again to Rabbi Benjamin Adler, Rabbi Stephen Stern, Rabbi Mark Cooper for the megillah donation.  The Rabbis were visiting Israel as part of a MetroWest Federation mission.
Successful ShabbatonShabbaton
30 people joined together at Kibbutz Tsuba for the first leadership Shabbaton for Masorti Olami. Leaders from our entire movement including United Synagogue, Masorti Israel, Masorti AMLAT, Masorti Europe, MAROM and NOAM came together for a Friday session on Strategic Planning. Shabbat was filled with beautiful morning prayers outside overlooking the hills of Jerusalem, camaraderie, study and an exchange of ideas.  
Abuyadaya Youth ConventionUganda
At the end of January, the Abuyadaya Youth Association (AYA) held their annual convention. Samson Nderitu was installed as the new president at the installation ceremony which was presided by Rabbi Gershom Sizomu. The participants learned a lot from facilitators who included people from the US and from Uganda. Workshops focused on topics like leadership skills, compassionate listening, prayers, parashat hashavua and free time was spent together playing soccer and volleyball. After Havdalah, there was a talent show in which involved youths showed theire talents in music dance and drama. 
In the words of AYA President Samson Nderitu "All of the youth enjoyed being together as Jewish brothers and sisters". 
3G Chile: Seminar for Young Adults in IsraelYoungadults
A group of 12 young adult Masorti leaders from Latin America participated in a unique seminar sponsored by MAROM Olami, Masorti Olami and the Conservative Yeshiva.  Participants spent their time volunteering in Jerusalem to get to know different segments of the population, attended seminars with the leadership of Masorti Judaism, educational touring highlighting the different historical aspects of Israel.  This was a pilot program that received very positive reviews.  Participants were able to reflect on the the many different aspects of the program and how  their experiences would relate to their leadership positions.


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