The Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel

The Masorti Foundation applauds the clear and principled statement from the Israeli Rabbinical Assembly condemning Minister of Education Rabbi Rafi Peretze’s statement endorsing the gravely harmful “conversion therapy”, purportedly to cure sexual orientation and gender identity. On behalf of all of the Masorti/Conservative rabbis in Israel, the RA makes clear that Jewish tradition and an #InclusiveIsrael are fully compatible.

The full English translation is below, but we would like to highlight a passage representing the vision of The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל and its welcoming approach to #LGBTQIsraelis.

The RA writes,

Despite differences in the religious world regarding possible interpretations related to sexual orientation, it is clear that every person, whoever they are and regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, has the foremost right to live their life without negating their identity… We invite our friends in the LGBT community to visit Masorti Movement congregations, in which they will be welcomed without any agenda to change them.”

Israeli Rabbinical Assembly Response to the Minister of Education’s Statement on Reparative Therapy

You shall keep My laws and My rules, by the pursuit of which man shall live: I am the LORD.” (Vayikra 18:5)

Members of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel (organization of Masorti/Conservative rabbis) believe that, according to the Torah, the sanctity of human life is an overriding value which we must safeguard.

We therefore strongly oppose the words of Education minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz, who supports reparative therapy as a legitimate avenue in dealing with sexual orientation and gender identity. We call upon him and those who agree with his stance to accept the position of the Ministry of Health, the Israel Council of Psychologists and the Israel Psychological Association, that reparative therapy should not be employed to change sexual orientation, since it causes depression and suicide. If a psychologist is forbidden from utilizing this therapy, all the more so for a rabbi, who is not certified to proffer psychological treatment and whose task is to offer spiritual support.

Despite differences in the religious world regarding possible interpretations related to sexual orientation, it is clear that every person, whoever they are and regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, has the foremost right to live their life without negating their identity. As it is written in Pirkei Avot 3:18, “Beloved are human beings, in that they are created in the image [of God]” – we should not encourage life-threatening solutions to halakhic issues.

We invite our friends in the LGBT community to visit Masorti Movement congregations, in which they will be welcomed without any agenda to change them. The Religious Affairs Bureau of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Masorti Movement is happy to facilitate the celebration of life-cycle events for your families.””

#NoConversionTherapy