United Synagogue’s Israel Committee
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism has established a permanent Israel Committee, which can be described best is by sharing its mission statement:
“The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism is deeply and passionately connected to the Land and the State of Israel. The Israel Committee will seek:
- To provide the United Synagogue Congregations, districts, regions and departments information and programming concerning Israel.
- To offer user-friendly services to congregations by facilitating contacts with extant agencies and resources.
- To encourage aliyah and provide olim from our movement with a Conservative contact in Israel.
- To develop support for other Israel-oriented agencies within and without the Conservative movement.
To make clear that our love for Israel is not theoretical but real, we will hold some of our meetings in Israel.”
Each United Synagogue-affiliated congregation is asked to appoint an Israel Affairs chair, who will work with the Israel Committee. The committee is made up of district and regional chairs, as well as ad hoc members, works both proactively and reactively, and has developed materials and services for our member congregations that are both relevant and timely. These materials are sent to each synagogue’s Israel Affairs chair, who is encouraged to share it with synagogue members. The committee also can arrange to have the free emailed daily alert from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations sent to any committee chair who wants it. (United Synagogue is a member of the Council of Presidents.)
These materials and services include:
- The Masorti Guide to Aliyah, a resource for Conservative Jews planning (or contemplating) aliyah.
- The Israel Internet Resource Guide, containing a wealth of information on organizations and programs that a synagogue can use in planning and implementing its Israel programming.
- Two Minutes of Israel, a short message sent monthly to all synagogue chairs, meant to be read aloud or distributed at the synagogue’s board meeting and with the synagogue’s members.
- Today’s Israel, a quarterly emagazine containing articles on the Conservative/Masorti movement in Israel as well as on Israeli life in general.
- The Israel Committee Speakers Bureau, providing information on speakers from Israel who have scheduled visits to North America.
- Ma’alot, a program aimed at raising awareness of Israel in our congregations, is a joint project of United Synagogue’s Israel Committee and Nefesh B’Nefesh. This program offers modest grants for synagogue Israel programming to United Synagogue affiliates.
- The Israel Committee listserv offers an opportunity to raise issues and seek solutions to problems and challenges related to Israel and United Synagogue affiliates. Anyone who interested in enrolling should email committee director Rabbi Paul Freedman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here to serve you. Email questions and requests for your synagogue to email@example.com. For example, if you need suggestions for Israel programs, if members of your synagogue is considering a trip to Israel, or if the congregation is planning a trip, please, be in touch. We’re glad to provide you with ideas and help.
Rachel Russo chairs the Israel Committee and Rabbi Paul Freedman serves as its director.