United Synagogue of America Helps Organize First Conservative ‘garin’ to Live in Israel

In a significant move to actively encourage aliya, the United Synagogue of America, the congregational are of the Conservative movement, has announced that it has helped organize the first United Synagogue “garin” (nucleus) of a group of young men and women who will band together to live in Israel in a communal settlement.

Simon Schwartz, president of the United Synagogue, and Rabbi Benjamin Kreitman, executive vice president, said the new group, known as “Garin Nitzan,” is composed of “a dedicated core of young idealists trained in the values of Conservative Judaism.”

The garin, a project of the Department of Israel Affairs and Aliya of the United Synagogue, has received the official endorsement of the Thuah M’soratit, the movement of Conservative Judaism in Israel. According to Garry Skolnick, chairman of the group, the garin seeks “to establish a pioneering Conservative movement collective settlement designed to attract both Israeli and American Jews. The combination of Conservative Jewish ideals and service to the State of Israel, will provide a means of aliya both ideologically appealing and economically viable for young Jews.”

One of the goals of the garin is to create an educational center at its settlement which will attract all members of the Conservative movement who seek to deepen their understanding of Conservative Judaism and its spiritual and historic ties to Israel.

Garin Nitzan expects to organize its settlement within the borders of Israel. As of now, the core group of the new garin consists of about 25 persons from throughout the United States. The garin is open to married couples and singles, ages 22-35, who plan to settle in Israel within five years, Skolnick said.

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