What would make this New Year particularly sweet? If we were able to, finally, bring about Equality at the Kotel! We can make it happen, but all of us need to be involved in the campaign, and to Raise Masorti Voices to such a level that no government would dare to ignore us.
When I was in Israel this summer, everywhere I went, I heard people in Israeli kehillot complaining about the actions of the government towards Masorti communities. In direct contradiction to the commonly heard adage “Israelis don’t care about the Kotel,” I heard our brothers’ and sisters’ disgruntled and discouraged voices. While they were proud of all they had accomplished as a community and country, they were upset about the highjacking of the Kotel by the ultra-orthodox. They were upset that the government had made an agreement that they were not implementing. They were upset that they were not being included in the administration of the Kotel (only Orthodox men are allowed on the committee) and that new legislation had been passed (while I was there) excluding their use of the mikvaot paid for by their tax shekels.They were upset and they knew they could not change this alone; they needed worldwide help to get Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to live up to their promises.
It was with this background that we have created the Equality at the Kotel campaign. We are doing it in conjunction with the worldwide Masorti/Conservative Movement, the Reform Movement, and (to some extent) the Federation. The worldwide Masorti/Conservative Movement is using the platform we created (and paid for) to take this action working from our new website. As a supporter of the Masorti Foundation you have a lot to be proud of.
Nearly 2,000 people have taken action in the opening days of the campaign. We have a ways to go to reach our goal of 100,000 participants! But we have been busy and with your help will be even busier. Join the campaign: raise your voice!
· The leadership of the worldwide Masorti/Conservative movement has sent its own letter to the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Knesset, the Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and the President of Israel.
· Each organization has sent out a message to its membership, asking members to take action and giving them the links to do so.
· The Masorti Foundation’s website and Facebook page are loaded with background materials, a campaign video, and action links. For background information, click here. And to get your top 10 questions answered, click here.
· A dozen people have volunteered to be Congregational Captains and we are creating a web form to get more to do so. Congregational Captains will help drive the campaign in their own congregations. We provide the tools; Captains provide the relationships to make the personal “ask”. Sign up today!
· Congregations are starting to send out action alerts to their whole membership and many are going to be printing and distributing, over Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, a flyer version of the action alert for their members. Can you imagine how many people we will be reaching?!!! Each and every congregation in the Twin Cities is handing out the flyer. Adas Israel in DC is sending the message out electronically. Adath Jeshurun in Louisville is doing both. More are joining as I write this newsletter.
· We are going to start a running list of congregations involved in the campaign, get yours added! Let us know what you are doing and we will add you to the list!
Not quite ready to be a Congregational Captain? There is still plenty for you to do and it will take just minutes!
1. Send your own email letter today from our special action page.
2. When you get your thank you message, use the links to share your action through social media or email messages.
3. If you use Facebook, go to Masorti’s Facebook page and share our top post which has the campaign video and link to our action page.
I know that with your help we will be successful. Israel cannot afford to discriminate against Masorti/Conservative Jews and Reform Jews. Right now the government thinks the only cost is if they implemet the Kotel agreement. We have to let them know that too many of us care, to ignore us.
Have ideas for me on how we can grow this campaign? Send them in!