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Showing posts from January, 2010

Picking up nofrat frenkel

The power of driving on a bus and speaking with leaders of the
Conservative Movement from North America and the Masorti Movement in
Israel...from Tel Aviv to Beer Sheva... Trying to take in the air of
Israel, preparing to pick up and learn from Nofrat Frenkel, who is
after all, a medical student and a normal Israeli, not just a
tallit-wearing headline. Truly surreal.--
Sent from my mobile device---
Announcing ShefaJournal 5770:1 - "The Relationship Between
Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement"
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
-- menachemcreditor.orgTo join Rabbi Creditor's email list, send a blank email to

A Note from Rabbi Creditor: "To Israel"

Erev Tu Bishvat 5770
January 29, 2010
Dear Chevreh,

This Monday morning, Jeff Rosenbloom and I will step onto the tarmac of Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.  We are representing Netivot Shalom on a 4-day mission of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel.  We are honored to participate in this journey, during which we will visit almost every Conservative/Masorti community in Israel.  From Kibbutz Hannaton, where Netivot Shalom member Michal Hirshfield moved last Summer, to Moshav Agur, where there is a Winery considering adopting a Kosher certification through the Masorti Movement, to meeting with Minister of Knesset Tzippy Livni - this is going to be a rush of important encounters.  When we return one week from Sunday, we will likely be tired and inspired.

Though the incident involving Nofrat Frenkel, the woman who was detained by Israeli police for the "crime" of wearing a Tallit in the women's section of the Kotel, only occurred after Jeff and I had …

This deserves a serious response

Review - A Very Bad Wizard
Morality Behind the Curtain
by Tamler Sommers
McSweeney's, 2009
Review by Joshua May
Dec 29th 2009 (Volume 13, Issue 53) A Very Bad Wizard is a collection of delightful interviews or conversations conducted by philosopher Tamler Sommers.  Sommers interviews an array of researchers--from psychologists to primatologists to philosophers--who all have one thing in common: their work has direct implications for the study of morality.  The distinguished interviewees are Galen Strawson, Philip Zimabrdo, Franz De Waal, Michael Ruse, Joseph Henrich, Joshua Greene, Liane Young, Jonathan Haidt, Stephen Stich, and William Ian Miller.  I read the book on my flights back to the West Coast after picking it up a few days prior in Massachusetts.  I simply couldn't put it down!  It truly is--as Steven Pinker states in his blurb--both thought-provoking and entertaining.  Itis a lively way …

Hannaton Happenings

ShefaJournal 5770:1 - "The Relationship Between Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement"

It's Happening at the...
HANNATON  Educational and Spiritual Center
January 2010, Shvat 5770 Volume 1, Issue 1Forward this message to a friendWelcome
Welcome to the first e-newsletter from the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center.  We have been busy during the past few months hosting groupsmaking light renovations,  and planning for exciting upcoming retreats and future programming.  We look forward to continue updating you on such activities.  Our vision is that the Hannaton Educational and Spiritual Center will be recognized and respected as a meaningful and essential link the in the chain of Jewish revival and survival through its efforts in strengthening the Jewish, Israeli, and Zionist identities as individuals, as a society, and as a people.Wishing you a Happy Tu B'Shvat from the Galilee!|Upcoming RetreatsThe Path to Freedom: a 7-Night Je…

[Shefa] Announcing ShefaJournal 5770:1 - "HaNefesh v'HaGuf: The Relationship Between Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement"

Announcing ShefaJournal 5770:1 "HaNefesh v'HaGuf: The Relationship Between Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement"available at, the newest ShefaJournal, focuses on both the current states of Conservative Judaism and the Conservative Movement as well as their relationship past, present and future. It includes an edited version of the discussion inspired by Rabbi Menachem Creditor's Shmirat HaGuf: Caring for the Body of Conservative Judaism which took place between November 4 and November 16, 2009 as well as views on the relationship between ideology and institutions, inspired by related ideas developed in previous ShefaJournals.

"Shefa: The Conservative Movement Dreaming from Within" is a forum for
passionate Conservative Jews to reflect together as they increase creative
energy within within the culture and environment of the Conservative
Movement in an e… "Embassy Letter on Kotel Rubs Salt in the Wound"

Embassy Letter on Kotel Rubs Salt in the WoundBy Josh Nathan-KazisJanuary 27, 2010 -

An Israeli embassy effort to address the concerns of non-Orthodox Jewish leaders regarding the treatment of some worshippers at Jerusalem's Western Wall has instead inflamed many of them.The embassy's response — to a letter-writing campaign by Conservative Jews and others protesting the treatment of female worshippers who don't abide by the strictures of the Orthodox authorities controlling the site — stressed the need for compromise at the Western Wall. In the December 21 letter e-mailed to many who wrote, the embassy's office of public affairs cited the existence of Robinson's Arch, an alternative prayer site designated for egalitarian prayer in an archaeological park adjacent to the Western Wall Plaza.But David Lissy, executive director and CEO of the Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel, reflected the views of many who wer…

Tu Bishvat from Masorti AmLat office in Buenos Aires

Op-ed by CEO of the Masorti Movement (translation)

Original Hebrew at: Achronot, Jan. 24th 2010Prevent the SchismBy Yizhar HessIt was some two months ago that Nofrat Frenkel was arrested at the Western Wall (Kotel) Plaza for the "transgression" of wearing a Tallit. Nofrat, an Israeli born medical student at Ben Gurion University, a member of the Masorti Movement (the Israeli name for the Conservative Movement), is active in Women of the Wall (WOW), a group of Orthodox, Reform and Masorti women who have gathered each Rosh Hodesh (new month) to pray in the women's section of the Kotel.Two weeks ago, the head of the organization, Anat Hoffman, was called in by the police for questioning. She was finger-printed and interrogated. She was then released. The possible charge: inciting a rebellion.These incidents, which reflect an internal problem in Israel – yet another sign of Haredi dominance of the Kotel, touch a raw nerve with North American Jewry. The events we…

Announcing: The Jewish Educators' Network

Welcome to the Jewish Educators' Network What is the Jewish Educators' Network?The Jewish Educators' Network is an exciting new initiative for Jewish educators. Wherever you teach - at a Jewish day school or cheder, at informal gatherings or discussion groups - the Jewish Educators' Network will have something for you.The Jewish Educators' Network is open to educators of all denominations and aims to reflect the diversity of Jewish teaching across the community.Take a look through this newsletter, and at our website, to see what the Jewish Educators' Network has to offer.An on-line resource centre for teachers and educators. Find out moreDetailed lesson plans on a range of topics for learners of all ages. Find out moreA growing text bank, collating resources on a variety of subjects.Find out moreFace to face consultancy and training. Find out more Tu B'Shvat on the Jewish Educators' Network!Sample what JEN has to offer: Tu B'Shvat Seder - a collect…