MERCAZ Reads Israel | On June 2, Discuss ‘A Rabbi’s Daughter’ with Author Avigail Graetz

May 15, 2020

Join us for our first MERCAZ Reads Israel Book Club Meeting!

Discuss our first book selection, ‘ A Rabbi’s Daughter ‘ with author Avigail Graetz on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Register for our Zoom Webinar on June 2 at 1:00 p.m. EDT


MERCAZ Reads Israel is an online book club featuring contemporary Israeli literature that provides insight into and understanding of the lives and concerns of our Israeli counterparts.

If you do not have an account on Facebook, you can still see the discussion questions on the Israel Forever Foundation’s landing page for “A Rabbi’s Daughter.”

MERCAZ Reads Israel is a partnership between
MERCAZ USA and The Israel Forever Foundation

Mercaz Reads Israel Book Club | Inaugural Webinar: A Rabbis Daughter

April 23, 2020

Watch the inaugural webinar for the MERCAZ READS ISRAEL book club!

On Wednesday, April 22, Mercaz USA launched our online book club – MERCAZ Reads Israel – featuring contemporary Israeli literature that provides insight into and understanding of the lives and concerns of our Israeli counterparts.

This new, exciting initiative is a partnership between Mercaz USA and the Israel Forever Foundation.

Our first selection, ‘A Rabbi’s Daughter,’ a novel by Avigail Graetz, is a semi-autobiographical story of three generations of strong women. Drawing inspiration from the author’s life experience growing up in the south of Israel, in the home of a Masorti (Conservative) rabbi serving a Masorti kehilla, this book is the first Israeli novel set against the background of Masorti Judaism.

Nearly 200 individuals joined our inaugural MERCAZ READS ISRAEL book club webinar with Avigail Graetz, as she took us on a journey of her experiences, providing background and context for what inspired her to write this novel and have it translated into English. If you missed the webinar, you can watch it here now!

A second webinar will be scheduled in late May/early June for participants to discuss the book, after they have read it, again with the author!

You can buy a copy of the book on Amazon (Kindle or paperback).

Then join our MERCAZ READS ISRAEL Group on Facebook to participate in book club conversations!

In Partnership with

MERCAZ Reads ISRAEL: Join The Club Today!

April 7, 2020

Join MERCAZ READS ISRAEL, an online book club featuring contemporary Israeli literature that provides insight into and understanding of the lives and concerns of our Israeli counterparts.

This new, exciting initiative is a partnership between Mercaz USA and the Israel Forever Foundation.

Our first selection, ‘A Rabbi’s Daughter,’ a novel by Avigail Graetz, is a semi-autobiographical story of three generations of strong women. Drawing inspiration from the author’s life experience growing up in the south of Israel, in the home of a Masorti (Conservative) rabbi serving a Masorti kehilla, this book is the first Israeli novel set against the background of Masorti Judaism.

On Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, we will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with the author, Avigail Graetz, via a Zoom conference.

Join us to learn about the background of the book, before you read it!

Click here to register for the webinar.

A second webinar will be scheduled in late May/early June for participants to discuss the book, after they have read it, with the author!

Buy a copy of the book on Amazon (Kindle or paperback).

Join our MERCAZ READS ISRAEL Group on Facebook to learn more and participate in book club conversations!

CONSERVATIVE/MASORTI MOVEMENT APPALLED BY CHABAD OF POWAY SHOOTING

May 1, 2019

At our Seder tables, we retell the Exodus story of the liberation from bondage of the Jewish people. Throughout the Passover holiday, we read of the power of redemption. Sadly, at the very same time when we celebrate the gift of freedom, we also recall the history of anti-semitism which weighs so heavily on us today.

We are deeply saddened and outraged at yet another senseless shooting of worshippers at prayer. This time, at the Chabad synagogue of Poway in San Diego County, one innocent woman has been murdered and three injured, including a child and the synagogue’s rabbi. It is not lost on us that this violence came both on Shabbat and the end of Passover, exactly six months to the day after the deadly shooting of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.

Jews and all people of faith should be able to enter their houses of worship and live out the lives of their faith without fear, whether in Paris, Oak Creek, Charleston, Pittsburgh, Christchurch, Opelousas, Sri Lanka, Sunnyvale or Poway.

Deeply angered that modern-day anti-semitism has led to the increasing number of attacks on synagogues and Jewish institutions in the United States, we must stand together and condemn all hatred and bigotry. We need to be among the voices that oppose the rising tide of white nationalism and racism, as well as anti-semitism. We must be clear that language matters and indifference to it breeds violence.

The Jewish Community has kept the promise of redemption alive for thousands of years. We will not be deterred as we, along with people of all faiths, continue to work for the day when “Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree and no one will make them afraid. (Micah 4:4)

Rabbinical Assembly
USCJ
Cantors Assembly
Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
Jewish Educators Assembly
Jewish Theological Seminary
Jewish Youth Director’s Association
The Masorti Foundation
Masorti Movement in Israel
Masorti Olami
MERCAZ-Canada and Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism
Mercaz Olami
MERCAZ USA
North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE)
The Schechter Institutes, Inc.
Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
The Zacharias Frankel College
Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies

 

COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO NY TIMES CARTOON

April 29, 2019

Dear Mr. Baquet,

We, the undersigned organizations, were extremely disturbed by the Antisemitic cartoon published in the international edition of the New York Times on April 25th. While we appreciate the clarification and acknowledgment of responsibility, we contend that you continue to owe an explanation.

Moreover, it is difficult to fathom why, at a time of increasing Antisemitism and hate violence, the New York Times editors would have been so insensitive to the impact of such a cartoon. Were the editors not aware of the Pittsburgh shootings, the rise in hate crimes aimed at Jews, and the spike in Antisemitic rhetoric on both ends of the political spectrum, all of which are animated precisely by such depictions of Jews and Israel?

Specifically, we would like to know the following: 1. How did such a blatantly Antisemitic representation elude the editors? 2. What do you intend to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? 3. What consequences do you intend to impose on the editors, cartoonist, and the syndicate?

We would appreciate an expeditious response. Thank you.

Sincerely,

JCPA National Organizations:
Anti-Defamation League
B’nai B’rith International
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish Labor Committee
National Council of Jewish Women
ORT America
Rabbinical Assembly
Reconstructing Judaism
Union for Reform Judaism
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

JCPA Local Organizations:
Atlanta Jewish Community Relations Council
Baltimore Jewish Council
Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council
Charleston Jewish Federation
Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest
Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater
Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council
JCRC of Greater Phoenix
JCRC of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines
Jewish Community Federation of Richmond
Jewish Community Relations Committee of Akron
Jewish Community Relations Committee of Columbus
Jewish Community Relations Committee of Greater Santa Barbara
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Jewish Community Relations Council of Palm Beach County
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Pittsburgh
Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties
Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey
Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte
Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Cincinnati
Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC – Detroit
Jewish Federation of Central Massachussetts
Jewish Federation of Cleveland
Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne
Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor
Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Jewish Federation of Greater Portland
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle
Jewish Federation of Reading
Jewish Federation of San Antonio
Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
Jewish Community Relations Council – Jewish Federation of Springfield
Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Memphis Jewish Federation
Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation
Tampa Jewish Federation
The Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York
The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey
United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula
Youngstown Area Jewish Federation

Other Organizations:
Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs
Jewish Family Service of Seattle
Jewish Federation & Family Services
Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee
Jewish Federation of Central California
Jewish Federation of Edmonton
Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara
Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon & Warren Counties of New Jersey
Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey
Mercaz USA
New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations
UJA Federation of Greenwich
Westchester Jewish Council

cc: Azam Ahmed

LIBERAL BRANCHES ON THE RISE IN ISRAEL

Our own Jerusalem Center for Conservative Judaism is featured in The Times of Israel  – 800,000 Israeli Jews, or 13% of the country’s Jewish population, now self-identify as Reform or Conservative, a marked increase from numbers charted in previous studies. The study also found that the number of Reform or Conservative communities throughout Israel has climbed to 125, 56 of which have permanent synagogues.  There are 280 rabbis affiliated with the movements nationally, with 85 of those working in a communal capacity.  To read the full report from The Jewish People Policy Institute, click here:  RisingStreams