The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel
Last Shabbat congregations around the world completed reading of the book of Exodus and ended with the declaration Hazak, Hazak V’nithazek – Be Strong, Be Strong, We Will Be Strengthened.

As with the mitzvah Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof – Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue – Hazak, Hazak, V’nithazek poses the question of why the first word is repeated twice, as there are no extraneous words in the Torah. A frequent explanation regarding Tzedek is that one should have the pursuit of justice as his or her goal, but also that just means must be used to reach that goal.

But, what of Hazak?

Thinking about the question in the context of our work at the Masorti Foundation – where we build support and raise funds for the programs, kehillot and other institutions of the Masorti Movement in Israel – there may be a similar lesson. The first “Be Strong” can be seen as a call to action that we be strong, energetic, creative, and tireless in working to build a pluralistic Jewish and democratic State of Israel. The second “Be Strong” may expand beyond the need for effort, to address how we set goals for our work. We cannot be satisfied by simply trying hard to achieve small successes, but we must be strong – in other words ambitious – in what we seek to accomplish for the Masorti Movement, for Israeli society and our own community’s engagement.

So, as we must pursue justice justly, we must strongly pursue strong goals for the spiritual, social and political change we seek in Israel. And by doing so, we in the Masorti Foundation and the Conservative Movement will in turn be strengthened – V’nithazek – for the work we must do together with our Israeli partners. Gideon Aronoff

Executive Director

Thinking About Making Aliyah? Here is a Must-Read Resource from Masorti

Read an Impassioned Vision Statement for a Jewish & Democratic Israel


Yizhar Hess, CEO of the Masorti Movement, writes:
Investing in Religious Pluralism in Israel

“Let me tell you a story. In 1926 the Conservative Movement in North America bought a nice parcel of land in the heart of Jerusalem. Two and a half acres, between the center of town and the Rehavia neighborhood. The Conservatives, who identified with Zionism from its beginnings, believed that it was not enough for the national home to come into being on a basis of the renewal of secular Zionism alone. They believed that there needed to be a major synagogue in the heart of Jerusalem which would be up-to-date, with the right mixture of old and new, of tradition and change. It was a marvelous vision, but not many people were making Aliya in those days, and those who did were Socialists looking to change the world, who weren’t so in tune with religious sentiment. The parcel of land remained bare and empty.

It stayed that way until 1934, when the Conservative Movement agreed, and was happy to do so, to make a present of it to a promising-sounding new initiative…..

Continue Reading Yizhar Hess

CEO, Masorti Movement in Israel

Rabbi Professor Gordon Tucker

Beyond the Boundaries of Halacha: Theology, Zionism and Masorti Judaism
At Masorti’s  Day of Learning,  part of  our 40th Anniversary in Israel, Rabbi Tucker gave this “sermon” connecting Tanakh, Ahad Ha’am, Heschel, Bialik, Chaim Soloveitchik and more with his aspirations for Masorti Judaism in Israel. Read the beautiful Chaim Nachman Bialik essay here.

A powerful and emotional video by Israeli rabbi, Nathalie Lastreger, on the importance of equal access for all Jews to the Western Wall

Don’t miss this impassioned video in Hebrew with excellent English subtitles. Click here Nathalie Lastreger

Rabbi, K'far Vradim