Kislev 5775/December 2014
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Hanukah Message from Rabbi Tzvi GraetzHanukaTzvi

When tragedy occurs, we can either curse the darkness or light a candle in hope of miracles. In Israel we are going through a very difficult period of several terror attacks. Even though we continue to mourn the loss of life, we prepare for the spiritually meaningful holiday of Hanukah to celebrate our unique Jewish identity. Let us rededicate ourselves to our mission of rekindling the holy spark of Masorti Judaism throughout the world.


We wish you a happy Hanukah and the ability to see the light in your lives, in Israel and around the world.


Chag Hanuka Sameach! 

Rabbi Tzvi Graetz

Evening of Solidarity and CelebrationTribute 

Over 225 people, a record number, attended this year's Tribute Event, on November 16 at Park Avenue Synagogue, New York. The memorable evening highlighted the incredible accomplishments from around the Masorti world.


The Tribute program was truly an international event with over 12 countries represented. There were display stations showcasing the culture and gourmet cuisine from Israel, Chile, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Hungary, manned by MAROM leaders, that gave people a real taste of the Masorti world.


This year's honorees were:


Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, the spiritual leader of Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens, NY who was honored with the Rabbi Mordecai Waxman Memorial Rabbinic & Community Leadership Award.


Cantor Randy Herman, cantor at Bet Torah in Mt. Kisco, New York since 2008, who was honored with the Hiddur Mitzvah Award.


Adam Schonberger, director of MAROM, the Young Professional Masorti Group in Budapest since 2003 and the founder of the young Masorti community Dor Hadas, who was honored with the Rabbi Benjamin Z. Kreitman International Leadership Award. 


"I thought the event was inspiring," said Rabbi Gerald Skolnik. "We [in North America] have a very myopic view of the Conservative/Masorti movement and it is wonderful to be reminded that there is vitality in the movement in places that most of us have never traveled to. The Masorti movement is alive and well and growing."


Click here to view our photo gallery. Click here to see our online Tribute journal.
You can still make a donation to honor any or all of the Tribute honorees.


From left: Masorti Olami President Gillian Caplin; Cantor Randy Herman, Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik, Adam Schonberger, and Masorti Olami Executive Director Rabbi Tzvi Graetz.

NOFIM Chile Videonofim

View the two-minute 2014 NOFIM graduation video from Santiago, Chile.

NOFIM Chile provides Jewish and Zionist educational programming, as well as a social framework, for young adults ages 19-22 in order to prepare them to be activists and leaders in their kehillot. They study the traditions and roots of Judaism, leadership development, Jewish life in Chile,  and participate in hands-on experiential learning.


There are two NOFIM Chile groups; one in in Santiago that holds weekly classes and one in Vina del Mar that meets once a month. The graduation ceremony, featured in this video, was held November 10.

The Lech Lecha Projectlechlecha

It is in parashat "Lech Lecha", that we first learn about the connection between Clal Yisrael, the people of Israel,and Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel.


To strengthen this relationship, WZO has partnered with Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami to send shlichim around the world, beginning on Shabbat Lech Lecha until the end of the year, to visit kehillot, NOAM chapters, Jewish schools, and Zionist organizations in order to foster connections to Israel and promote Aliyah. Click here to read more.

Rabbi Mauricio Balter, the spiritual leader of Masorti Kehilla Eshel Avraham in Beer Sheva, Israel, was a Lech Lecha shaliach to Chile and Argentina. He is pictured in a class with the students of the 

Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer.



Nathalie Lastreger was our Lech Lecha Shalicha to France. Here she is at Or Chalom in Aix-en-Provence.

Around the Masorti Worldworld


The Bet-El community in Madrid, Spain held a Mitzvah Day this past fall. Clothing and toys were collected and donated to charity organizations.




Tashlich on the banks of the Dnieper River in Ukraine. Around 20 people listened to the sounds of the Shofar and symbolically threw their sins into the river.



NOAM Argentina's youth directors held a Sukkot dinner where they socialized, played games, and learned about the Arbaat Haminim.



La Asociación Israelita Montefiore (AIM), the Masorti synagogue in Bogotá, led by our Masorti Rabbi Guido Cohen, celebrated its 75th anniversary on November 29 with an event that was open to the entire Bogotá Jewish community. To celebrate this important milestone, AIM set up an exhibition of its history; from the beginning as a small first minyan that met in a family's home to a vibrant synagogue today. The exhibition was coordinated by Hazzan Daniel Rosenthal - a member of AIM from childhood -  with the cooperation of members of the synagogue's board.



Honoring Dr. Joanna Kubarkubar

Dr. Joanna Kubar (L) was presented with an award by Gillian Caplin (R) at the end of her term as Masorti Europe President during the Masorti Olami Board meeting at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York on November 16. 


NOAM Olami - Fifth International Leadership ConferenceNOAMolami
NOAM Olami held an international leadership conference in London, United Kingdom from October 23 through October 26. The goal of this annual conference is to create and develop an international youth movement, headquartered in Israel, within the Masorti movement.


Sixteen youth leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Israel, United Kingdom, the United States and two staff from MAROM Olami participated in the four day conference. The youth from each country represented gave a presentation about their NOAM groups' activities that relate to Zionism, strengthening Jewish identity, and leadership development.


The learning sessions included: how Zionism is practiced in different countries, learning about the WZO and its role, and developing leadership qualities.


By the end of the conference the group had created four va'adot (committees): building structure and responsibility for NOAM Olami, creating new NOAM chapters around the world, working on enhancing publicity for NOAM Olami, and joint activities. The participants were inspired by one another and motivated to start working together as an international movement from their home communities.

Masorti Olami European MissionGladstein

Registration is Closing Soon! Very Few Spots Left!

Don't let this opportunity pass you by.  There is still time to sign up through Masorti Olami for the exciting Gladstein Fellowship Masorti Europe Mission to Budapest, Paris, and London that will take place from May 31 through June 7. Click here for more information.