A Year In Review | 2023

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Introduction

We are Masorti Olami, the official International Organization of the Masorti/Conservative Movement based in Jerusalem, serving more than 70,000 Masorti/Conservative Jews around the world through over 140 communities on five continents.

Our Global Presence

832 Masorti/Conservative communities worldwide

Explore the map by hovering over the pins
USA & CANADA (USCJ)
EUROPE
FORMER SOVIET UNION
ISRAEL (MASORTI ISRAEL)
AFRICA
AMLAT
AUSTRALASIA

Support our communities and help us strengthen Masorti/

Conservative Judaism around the world 

Our Global Projects

ISRAEL AT WAR SPECIAL

In order to help our communities around the world to better understand what happened on October 7, the subsequent war against the terrorist group Hamas, and its impact on the Jewish people in Israel and the diaspora, we launched our Israel at War Special with informative events, resources, programming, religious materials, and special war-related content.

To improve accessibility for viewers with disabilities and to better engage our communities all over the globe, the events were interpreted in ASL and translated simultaneously into different languages.

The war related actions included the Masorti Leadership Solidarity Mission to Israel, that gave to participants from around the world an opportunity to see firsthand the atrocities of the Hamas attack, spoke with survivors and families of hostages, and met with top officials, including President Isaac Herzog.

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JEWISH HOLIDAY RESOURCES FROM THE MASORTI/CONSERVATIVE WORLD

As an effort to promote the principles of Masorti/Conservative Judaism around the world and connect our movement to our tradition by offering valuable content in different languages, we are gathering and sharing resources about the chagim from our communities and partners worldwide. The curation includes articles, guides, events, videos, and reflections on Jewish holidays.

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INTERNATIONAL DAYS WITH MASORTI/CONSERVATIVE VALUES

INTERNATIONAL DAYS WITH MASORTI/CONSERVATIVE VALUES

In 2023, as part of our project of choosing several international days each year and adding Masorti/Conservative content and values to the day, we shared content related to World Environment Day (June 5) and International Day of Peace (September 21). For the first one, we created a resource study page (limmud) in different languages, focusing on sustainability and based on the response (teshuva) of the International Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards on the subject. In recognition of International Day of Peace, we put together three heartfelt prayers for peace from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. Both contents were translated into several different languages.

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Our Leadership Programs

AMLAT’S NOAM AND MAROM LEADERSHIP SHABBATON​

The shabbaton, which took place at Comunidade Shalom, in São Paulo, Brazil, brought together young leaders from Brazil and Uruguay to talk and learn about fundamental topics for youth and community development. Through discussions and workshops on youth leadership, the complexity of the situation in Israel, and Masorti AmLat’s Eco Masorti initiative, the shabbaton promoted the creation of networks between young people and community leaders. Participants came from Masorti/Conservative communities in Porto Alegre, Salvador and Curitiba (Brazil) and Montevideo (Uruguay).

 

 

 

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MASORTI JUDAISM IN THE UK SEMINAR FOR FUTURE LEADERS​

Masorti Olami helped support Masorti UK’s leadership seminar held in Jerusalem in May – bringing over 20 UK future leaders together for an intensive and meaningful weekend in Israel. The seminar included meetings with WZO representatives; a panel about MERCAZ Olami’s work in the National Institutions; and a session with Masorti Olami leadership about the organization and what it means to be part of a global network and movement. The group also attended a Shacharit service at the Egalitarian Kotel, where they learned about the Women of the Wall and the Masorti Movement in Israel, as well as had sessions with Marom, the Conservative Yeshiva and many more on the topic of how to build a community of leaders.

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UDESA LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR MASORTI AMLAT

In partnership with the Center for Social Innovation of University of San Andrés, in Buenos Aires, the third edition of Masorti AmLat’s Leadership Development Program trained 30 volunteer and professional leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and El Salvador. Themed “From Institution to Network: Collaboration Strategies in the Masorti Movement”, the program included online classes on identifying ways to manage inter-institutional actions, establishing strategic alliances between different objectives and collaboration possibilities, developing key tactics and tools for the sustainability of partnerships, and learning about both the personal and organizational capacities required for communication between institutions.

 

 

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MACHON MASORTI LEADERSHIP COURSE FOR MASORTI EUROPE

In cooperation with the JDC, the training course for over 20 synagogue board members and leaders of our communities across Europe consisted of 8 online sessions with a final week-long seminar in Israel. Improving the way our communities are led and strengthening the bonds of community leaders were the main goals of the course that trained leaders from 7 different European countries. During the final part in Jerusalem, the group met with some of our key partners in the movement, learned about the challenges and successes in the fight for religious pluralism in Israel, joined daily limmudim (text studies) on different models of leadership in our history with the Conservative Yeshiva, as well as visited the Egalitarian Kotel and learned more about the Kotel deal and Women of the Wall.

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Our Regions

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Our Youth: NOAM Olami

The global network of Masorti/Conservative youth groups based on the values of Masorti/Conservative Judaism, Zionism, Community Life, Democracy and Tikkun Olam, NOAM Olami currently has thirty-two snifim (branches) in fifteen countries.

NOAM OLAMI CAMPS​

NOAM branches around the world held summer, winter, and family camps throughout the year. Our branches in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, France, Spain, Ukraine, and the UK were able to run camps throughout the year, giving the chanichim from the different communities and countries an opportunity to bond, learn from each other, and strengthen their identity and network.  Some of the highlights included over 600 participants attending the latest NOAM Argentina summer camp, which also hosted special guests from NOAM Chile and NOAM Peru, and the mazkira from NOAM AmLat; and NOAM France holding an eco-friendly and sustainable family winter camp, with their team building partnerships with local producers.

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NOAM AMLAT CONFERENCE​

NOAM’s annual regional conference in Latin America took place in Brazil and brought together 25 madrichim and leaders from across the region. The conference focused on mutual learning between branches, sharing training methods, and deepening NOAM’s values based on the different concepts of each branch.

The event, which coincided and collaborated with the annual Masorti AmLat Shituf conference, was planned in conjunction with the NOAM AmLat Committee that includes representatives from all branches across the continent.

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NOAM EUROPE SEMINAR​

NOAM Europe’s first in-person seminar since Covid took place in Nice, France, and was organized and supported by NOAM Olami, hosted by the Maayane Or Masorti/Conservative community in Nice. With participants from seven countries across Europe, including representatives from NOAM Ukraine and NOAM Israel, the seminar offered a space for sharing ideas, knowledge, and tools between different branches, and promoted mutual learning and strengthening ties for joint efforts and activities.

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Our Young Adults: Marom

Marom enriches the lives of students and young adults across the world and develops the next generation of Masorti/Conservative Jewish educators, rabbis, community leaders and active congregants. There are currently thirteen Marom centers around the world.

JORNADA SOCIAL​

Based on the principles and values of Tikkun Olam and Tikkun Atmzi, Jornada Social project carries out volunteering initiatives in different styles of vulnerable communities around the world.

By bringing the transformative experience of volunteer work and connecting with Masorti Judaism, Marom São Paulo’s project, has as its main goals to contribute to the development of the communities visited and encourage participants in an intense process of identity assistance, based on awareness of social responsibility.

This year the group contributed to the infrastructure of Comunidade do Prata and Mumbuca in Jalapão, Brazil. The population of the communities descends from communities formed by black slaves who resisted the slavery regime that prevailed in Brazil until 1888.

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MAROM VOLUNTEER MISSION TO ISRAEL​

To support Israel and contribute in a significant way at a challenging time of workforce shortages due to the war against Hamas, Marom brought together young people from around the world for a volunteer experience in Israel. Participants from Chile, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, USA, France, and Uganda joined the Mission and worked in the fields and greenhouses of Israel’s farming communities that suffered unthinkable losses at all levels during the war. Masorti Olami was proud to help support this mission to Israel and see how Marom’s network expanded through this important project.

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Our Zionism: MERCAZ Olami

The Zionist and political arm of the global Masorti/Conservative movement, with fifteen branches around the world, MERCAZ Olami is the movement’s representation in the Israeli National Institutions. Through training, resourcing, and mobilizing of worldwide chapters, MERCAZ is deeply involved in infusing Masorti/Conservative values into the wider Zionist/Jewish world.

SPECIAL BRIEFINGS ON THE WAR AGAINST HAMAS

In an effort to help our communities around the world better understand the situation in Israel since October 7, the war against the terrorist group Hamas and its impact on our people in Israel and the Diaspora, MERCAZ Olami together with Masorti Olami and other movement partners held special briefings with experts in both the political, security and community-life arenas to learn and discuss key aspects of the challenge Israel has faced since the October 7 attacks.

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PARTICIPATION IN THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS

MERCAZ Olami brought a 50 people delegation from around the world to represent our movement at the Extraordinary World Zionist Congress. This year’s vote, held online, passed by significant majorities a series of historically unprecedented resolutions that promote liberal, democratic, and pluralistic values in Israel and the Zionist Movement. The criticism of Israel’s suggested judicial reform, the adoption of a resolution calling for keeping the Law of Return in its current state, and the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community were some of them.

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Masorti Olami in Numbers

MASORTI OLAMI EXPENSES
Total Projected Income - $ 1,739,000

Pie Chart

MASORTI OLAMI INCOME
Total Projected - $1,739,000

Pie Chart

Overview

38 long-term and short-term
projects funded

6 continents with Masorti/
Conservative communities

14 NOAM Olami camps with over
2,500 participants

9 potential new communities

Over 1K refugees received aid from
our Ukrainian Emergency Campaign

12 regional Youth and
Community coordinators

Our Team

Nitzan Aharon

Bookkeeper

Rabbi Mauricio Balter

Executive Director of Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami

Nilli Glick-Asaf

Director of Zionist Educational Projects and MERCAZ Olami Chapter Liaison

Ofir Itah-Senderey

Director of NOAM Olami and Masorti Olami Projects Coordinator

Adriana Ostrofsky

Office Manager and Assistant to Executive Director

Adriana Ostrofsky

Office Manager & Assistant to the Executive Director

Rebeka Salame

Head of Latin America Desk

Tehila Reuben

Deputy Director of Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami

Rebeka Salame

Head of Latin America Desk

Ilan Tuvia

Finance Manager

Andreia Viana

Communications and Resource Development Coordinator

Our Social Media Presence

Our Thanks

Masorti Olami’s work is only possible through the generous support of our partner organizations and private supporters dedicated to the continuity and growth of Masorti/Conservative Jewish life.

Thank you to the World Zionist Organization, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and MERCAZ Olami for their continuous support and sponsoring. We also send our deepest appreciation to our top donors in 2023:

Jane and Ned Gladstein
Joint Distribution Committee
Amy and Bill Lipsey
Park Avenue Synagogue
Penny and Claudio Pincus

Fredi and Joel Rembaum
Mary and Saul Sanders
Margaret and Alan Silberman
Carl Sunshine
The Rabbinical Assembly

Jane and Ned Gladstein
Joint Distribution Committee
Amy and Bill Lipsey
Park Avenue Synagogue
Penny and Claudio Pincus
Fredi and Joel Rembaum
Mary and Saul Sanders
Margaret and Alan Silberman
Carl Sunshine
The Rabbinical Assembly

The organization (also known as The World Council of Synagogues, Inc.) was founded in 1957 with the dream of making Masorti/Conservative Judaism a force in the Jewish world. Today, together with our partners in Israel, Canada and the US, we represent over 2 million Jews worldwide.

We exist and thrive in six regions, including Latin America, Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Former Soviet Union.

Europe

The regional organization that represents our thirty-two communities in Europe, Masorti Europe was founded over twenty years ago and provides more than 10,000 Masorti/Conservative Jews across the region with religious and community services, including the European Masorti Bet Din and the European Academy for Jewish Liturgy (EAJL).

MASORTI EUROPE AT THE FIFTH SUMMIT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES

One of the summit’s supporters, Masorti Europe sent a delegation of 17 people, including representatives from more than 10 of our European communities. Organized by the European Council of Jewish Communities and the JDC, the conference brought together more than 400 lay and professional leaders from across Europe, Israel and North America in Berlin to discuss some of their communal challenges such as the current economic crisis, the refugee crisis, the rise of the far right, and relations between Israel and Jews in Europe.

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MASORTI EUROPE LAUNCHES SIX-PART FUNDRAISING WORKSHOP FOR COMMUNITIES

Led by Jeremy Kelly, former president, treasurer and board member of Masorti Judaism UK and former trustee of Masorti Europe, the workshop covered a wide range of topics, including the fundamentals of the fundraising process; how to identify, prepare, and launch a fundraising campaign; how to build a case for support and make the ask; different types of fundraising events and campaigns; and how to market your campaign and attract donors. The six-part course was well attending by over 15 participants from 7 European countries, and was translated simultaneously into French, Polish and Spanish.

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MASORTI EUROPE ANNUAL BOARD MEETING IN ISRAEL

Masorti Europe’s Board came together for their annual board meeting in June in Jerusalem – for the first time in seven years. Under the theme “Diaspora Leadership and our relationship to Israel”, the group spent a weekend learning about different examples of leadership in our history and present day. The program included learning together, visiting local Jewish and historical sites around Jerusalem, as well as hearing updates from our communities on their activities, challenges and accomplishments. On Saturday night, the group of European Leaders took to the streets of Jerusalem exercising their leadership skills at the demonstration against the Judicial reform.

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Africa

Masorti Africa consists of a community in Johannesburg, South Africa, and approximately 2,500 Abayudaya Jews spread across eleven communities and centers in Uganda and Kenya.

ABAYUDAYA REPRESENTATIVES AT WOMEN’S LEAGUE FOR CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM CONVENTION

Masorti Olami was thrilled to help facilitate the connection and ongoing collaboration between our Abayudaya communities and Women’s League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ). In July, WLCJ brought Dafna Sizomu, daughter or Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, and her husband Samson Nderitu to join over 300 women at their annual convention in Chicago. Dafna shared the history of the Abayudaya communities across Uganda and Kenya, and together with Deputy Director Tehila Reuben, spoke about the various projects that Masorti Olami has been supporting and developing over the years. WLCJ adopted and raised funds for the project of the Tobin Heath Center’s Shifra and Puah Maternity center, which serves the women of the community, and all of the neighboring villages with a diverse clientele and staff of Christians, Muslims, and Jews.

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