How do we celebrate 70 years of Israel’s existence? how do we celebrate being Zionistic Masorti Jews in this day and age? These are the questions I deal with as a Zionist Masorti Jew and as Executive Director of the Masorti Olami Movement.
In a world of extremism, demonization, and delegitimization of Israel and Zionism, we must connect more to our identity and our values in order critically evaluate the messages we receive in the media and know to separate the truth from the lies.
On the one hand, globalization invites us to be like everyone else—there is no difference between people, groups, and cultures. In nearly every place in the world one can find the same stores, music, and food.
But in contrast to globalization, we are fighting to protect the unique nature of traditional Jewish identity, of which Zionism will always constitute one of the central tenets.
With time, MERCAZ Olami transformed into not only the political and Zionist arm of the Masorti Movement but also to the Zionist expression of the movement. The value that before us is the first attempt to renew the discussion on Masorti Zionism, and attempt to offer all the Masorti communities around the world reading material on various Masorti views, and various explanations on being Zionist Masorti Jews in our age.
The Educational Kit is designed to be continuously developed, along with our identities. We invite you to send us articles, activities and lesson plans for us to add to the kit.
I would like to thank:
- Anyone who has submitted articles and materials to the cut to date and to all those who will submit them in the future.
- The entire professional staff at Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami—Louis Sachs, Reut Yahav, Alexis Silverman, Suzanne Farber, Tehila Reuben, Ariela Rosemberg-Garbatzky and first and foremost Nilli Glick Assaf, Educational Project Manager of MERCAZ Olami and the project leader for the Educational Kit.
- Ami Infeld, CEO of Melitz on the collaboration
- The volunteer board of MERCAZ Olami, who work with a farsighted vision, and particularly to the organization’s president Rabbi Dr. Alan Silverstein, on his ongoing support of our work.
There is no better way to celebrate 70 years of the State of Israel than the production of an educational kit on Masorti Zionism in our day. I invite you to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut with us—Mazal Tov to the State of Israel!
Rabbi Mauricio Balter
Executive Director of Masorti Olami and MERCAZ Olami