Mercaz ‘adopts’ Msorati Movement of Conservative Synagogues in Israel

Mercaz, the Zionist organization of Conservative Jews, held an extended board meeting here last week at which the 55 members in attendance decided to “adopt” the Msorati movement of Conservative synagogues in Israel, according to Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz, Mercoz president.

The participants also decided to launch a massive membership drive on Tu B’Shvat, Arbor Day, which was chosen because it is a day when Jews celebrate the physical and spiritual centrality of Israel for Jews, Rabinowitz, a past president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the association of Conservative rabbis, said.

The Mercoz board members also decided to help fund the Conservative movement in Israel, Rabinowitz said, adding that many Conservative synagogues in this country already do so.

Speakers at the board meeting included Yehuda Mohr of Tel Aviv, vice president of the Msorati movement, and Rabbi Yosef Green, rabbi of the Jerusalem Synagogue of the World Council of Synagogues.

Both Green and Mohr stressed the need for Mercaz to support the movement in Israel, reporting that its 30 synagogues attracted more than 9000 worships is for the High Holy Days in 1979. They reported that on Nov. 1 last year there was a dedication of the sanctuary of the large new Conservative synagogue in the French section of Jerusalem in memory of Rabbi Max Artz, who had been a vice chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Mercaz, which was founded in November, 1978, now has more than 200 paid-up members, Rabinowitz said, and its application for membership in the American Zionist Federation is pending. Simon Schwartz, president of the United Synagogue of America, the association of Conservative congregation, presided at the board meeting.

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