This page will guide you through the many related institutions to the Masorti and Conservative Movements.
Masorti Israel. The Masorti Movement in Israel is a part of the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement dedicated to a pluralistic, egalitarian, and democratic vision of Israel and Zionism; to structuring communities built on these ideals, and to advocating for an Israeli society where all Jews may enrich and enhance their lives. Masorti continually advocates for equal recognition under the law, including rights for life-cycle events, fair government funding, and egalitarian prayer opportunities all over Israel, including the Kotel (Western Wall), Judaism’s holiest site. Masorti ensures that all Jews are able to connect with Judaism on their terms throughout our congregations (kehillot), programs, and communities, in a welcoming environment. The Masorti Movement in Israel is led by Rakefet Ginsberg.
Masorti Olami. World Council of Masorti/Conservative Synagogues is an umbrella organization which supports and advances the Masorti/Conservative Movement throughout the world, with the exception of the United States, Canada, and Israel, which have their own representative bodies. Masorti Olami helps support, strengthen, and establish successful Masorti synagogues, schools, camps, NOAM youth groups, and MAROM youth leadership networks. As part of the worldwide network of Masorti Judaism, Masorti Olami is committed to supporting values of egalitarianism, pluralism, democracy, and Zionism.
MERCAZ Olami is the Conservative Movement’s worldwide Zionist membership organization. It functions as the Conservative/Masorti Movement’s political lobby within the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and the Jewish Agency, including advocating for the Masorti Movement’s fair share of Jewish communal funding. MERCAZ Olami encourages Aliyah and connections to Israel by offering Zionist education and programming throughout the Conservative/Masorti Movement. MERCAZ Olami further functions as a link between Conservative/Masorti communities in the Diaspora and in Israel.
Each of these organizations belongs to the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement, and works in concert to advance and support Conservative/Masorti Judaism.
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Israel, the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, the Zacharias Frankel College in Berlin, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University (AJU) in Los Angeles, are academic institutions which train Jewish leaders and educators, and ordain rabbis and cantors, to serve the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement in every locale where Jews reside. Additional leadership and support is provided by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), which serves as the umbrella organization of North American Conservative congregations.
The Shirley and Jacob Fuchsberg Jerusalem Center is the North American United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s Israeli headquarters. The Fuchsberg Center is dedicated to providing a wide spectrum of programming, support, and hospitality to North American Conservative Jews when visiting Israel. It offers assistance in planning trips to Israel, hospitality at its Agron Guest House, as well as a variety of educational and tzedakah opportunities. The affiliated Conservative Yeshiva provides academic experiences for those wishing to deepen their Jewish knowledge in an egalitarian, welcoming, and supportive environment. Additionally, the Fuchsberg Center is the Israeli headquarters for Conservative Jewish programs such as USY and Nativ, offering Israel-based programming and experiences for young adults from the Diaspora.
The Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem (the People’s Yeshiva) is a co-educational Yeshiva providing a supportive, egalitarian, and academically rigorous environment for the study of classical Jewish texts and thought. Located at the Fuchsberg Center in Jerusalem, it is open to students of all backgrounds and experience, and provides unique study opportunities for Conservative rabbinical school students, as well as those who simply wish to increase their Jewish knowledge. The CJ’s mission is to imbue students with the ability and desire to continue Jewish learning and practice throughout their lives. Year-long programs, summer programs, online learning and more are available. Curricula at the Conservative Yeshiva include such topics as Talmud, TaNaKh (Jewish Bible), Halacha (Jewish Law), and Philosophy.
Hannaton Education Center and Kibbutz is a Masorti community located in Israel’s Northern region, east of Haifa. Hannaton includes an educational center, a Mechina (post-high school) program, and a guest hostel. Hannaton’s Mechina program, similar to “gap-year” programs in the United States and throughout the world, provides young people the opportunity to expand their personal experiences and knowledge prior to joining the Israeli Defense Forces. Hannaton’s Mechina program enriching the Jewish learning and experiences formed in Masorti’s NOAM (youth movement) chapters throughout Israel.
Kibbutz Ketura is a Masorti kibbutz located in the southern Negev desert, north of Eilat. While it is a functioning kibbutz and Masorti community, Ketura is also home to NOAM’S Garinei Nahal, a program that provides Masorti soldiers the opportunity to live and work in a Masorti community. Garinei Nahal allows soldiers such as former NOAM or Mechina participants to continue their education and experience in the familiar welcoming and pluralistic environment of the Masorti Movement.
The Rabbinical Assembly of Israel is the organization of Masorti Rabbis living and working in Israel. It provides religious services and teaches Torah in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for the individual. The Rabbinical Assembly is instrumental in aiding and advocating for a wide spectrum of Jews who would be otherwise disenfranchised by the Israeli government and Orthodox Chief Rabbinate, including Jews by Choice and their children, those with disabilities and immigrants.. Additionally, the Rabbinical Assembly provides organizational support for Masorti Rabbis who serve congregations (kehillot) or educational institutions across Israel.
The Schechter Institutes, known also as Machon Schechter, is an Israeli educational network whose rabbinical school is affiliated with the Masorti Movement in Israel. Dedicated to advancing Judaic Studies in Israel in a pluralistic and academically rigorous environment, The Schechter Institutes also include the degree-granting Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Neve Schecter in Tel Aviv, the TALI Educational Network for Israel’s public schools, and the Midreshet Yerushalayim educational network for Russian-speaking Israelis, the last two of which are not affiliated with the Masorti Movement.
Schechter Rabbinical Seminary is the Masorti Movement in Israel’s rabbinical school. While affiliated with the Masorti Movement in Israel and the worldwide Conservative/Masorti Movement, the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary functions independently of other Conservative rabbinical ordination centers. Primarily responsible for training educational and spiritual leaders for the Masorti Movement in Israel, Schechter additionally provides opportunities for further learning for Masorti/ Conservative rabbis and lay leaders from the Diaspora.
Ramah Programs in Israel offer a variety of short- and long-term opportunities in Israel for North American young people, including a Jerusalem-based, summer day camp for English-speaking children from abroad to encourage Jewish learning and connection to the Land. Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) is an international high school program, offering students in grades 10-12 an intensive Hebrew curriculum and Jewish/Israel studies. The Ramah Israel Institute (RII) designs and leads programs for both synagogues and schools, which blend touring with educational experiences. Ramah Programs in Israel are affiliated with worldwide Camp Ramah and USY, as well as NOAM in Israel.
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the umbrella organization and network association of Conservative synagogues throughout North America. It advances and promotes Conservative Judaism throughout the continent through programming, networking, conferences, and professional development. In addition, USCJ serves as a clearinghouse and resource to its affiliates, and works to formulate Conservative Jewish responses to pressing social and religious issues.
The Cantors Assembly is the largest organization of professional Hazzanim in the world. Affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, it preserves and enhances Jewish musical and liturgical traditions. The Cantors Assembly is a founder and supporter of the Cantors Institute, now the H.L. Miller Cantorial School of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, which is the main cantorial ordination center for the Conservative Movement in North America. The Assembly provides placement services and publishes Jewish liturgy, music, and educational materials.
The Conservative Movement’s Aliyah Committee operates under the auspices of MERCAZ USA. Dedicated to strengthening the commitment of Conservative Jews to Israel, the Committee facilitates the Aliyah process. The Aliyah Committee provides shlichim (emissaries) to many North American Conservative communities, with the aim of providing information on Conservative/Masorti life in Israel. It encourages involvement with the Movement, whether in North America, or as an oleh (immigrant to Israel).
The Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs is the umbrella organization of more than 250 groups serving 25,000 men throughout the U.S. and Canada. FJMC enhances Conservative Jewish identity by strengthening local Jewish Men’s Clubs. FJMC heads a number of initiatives to encourage greater Jewish practice throughout the world, such as laying tefillin (The World Wide Wrap) and distributing yarzheit candles for Yom Ha’Shoah. FJMC also creates a variety of print and electronic publications throughout the year.
The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) is Conservative Judaism’s academic and spiritual center on North America’s East Coast, based in New York City. JTS’s campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood houses the headquarters of many Conservative Jewish organizations, in addition to the following five schools, all of which aim to produce new leaders for the Conservative Movement.
List College, JTS’s undergraduate school, prides itself on preparing students for responsible Jewish citizenship and leadership in Conservative Judaism. Offering a dual-degree program with either Columbia University’s School of General Studies or Barnard College, it provides a rigorous education in liberal arts and Jewish studies. The Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary offers Jewish studies programs, awarding Masters and Doctorates, as well as advanced certificates, in numerous areas of specialization and interest which run the breadth of Jewish civilization–history, philosophy, and society. The H.L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music are both devoted to Jewish musical studies and training in the traditions and liturgy of Conservative Judaism. Each school trains select advanced students, including hazzanim (cantors) for congregational service, teachers of Jewish music, choral directors, composers, and research scholars. Upon graduation, the H. L. Miller Cantorial School awards a diploma of Hazzan, while the College of Jewish Music awards a Master’s degree in sacred music.
The Rabbinical School is the only school on the North American East Coast that ordains rabbis for the Conservative Movement. It prepares both women and men for lives of service to God, the Jewish community, and the world through its celebrated and unique curriculum, including time spent learning in Israel. JTS rabbinical students are privileged to study with exceptional scholars and seasoned practitioners in an academically rigorous yet welcoming and pluralistic environment.
The William Davidson Graduate School of Education prepares Jewish educators in Conservative Judaism. It is North America’s largest pluralistic school of Jewish education and students take courses with peers from each of JTS’s other branches, earning graduate-level degrees in Jewish education.
The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies is the first and only independent rabbinical school on the West Coast affiliated with the Conservative Movement in North America. Located at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, it offers rabbinical programs for Conservative Judaism. While completely independent, it is JTS’s sister school, and boasts a strong commitment to learning and scholarship, culture, ethics, leadership and Jewish peoplehood. Upon graduation, Zielger School students are ordained as Conservative Movement rabbis.
MERCAZ USA is the Conservative Movement’s U.S.-based Zionist organization, representing Conservative Judaism within the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Zionist Movement and the Jewish National Fund. MERCAZ USA works through education and programming to encourage knowledge, connection, and love of Israel among its American constituency. MERCAZ USA increases the impact and influence of Conservative/Masorti Judaism on Israeli society through tourism, Jewish education, Hebrew language study, Israel programming, and Aliyah.
MERCAZ Canada is the Canadian-based Zionist organization of the Conservative Movement, similar to MERCAZ USA.
The North American Association of Synagogue Executives (NAASE) is a Conservative Movement umbrella organization that supports the Movement’s executives and lay-leaders by providing professional skills development. NAASE works with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and with the Jewish Communal Service Association to provide a deep network of support and leadership development.
The National Ramah Commission is the coordinating body for Conservative Judaism’s camps in North America and Israel (Ramah-NOAM). Dedicated to raising knowledgeable young people to be active participants and future leaders of the Conservative Movement, Ramah provides each camper with a balanced program of Jewish education and experiences, along with recreational activities in an egalitarian, pluralistic, and Zionist environment.
The Rabbinical Assembly is the organization of Conservative/Masorti Rabbis, overseeing all Rabbinical Assemblies throughout the world and providing support, training, and organization for the Conservative Rabbinate. The RA promotes the values and causes of Conservative Judaism, including pluralism and Zionism andworks to benefit Klal Yisrael. Publishing learned texts, prayer books and works of Jewish interest, the RA additionally administers the work of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards for the Conservative Movement, and oversees aspects of Halakha and Conservative responsa.
Solomon Schechter Day Schools is the network of Conservative Jewish Day Schools throughout the United States and Canada, committed to raising and educating students in a renowned dual program, with dedication to both Judaic and secular studies. Currently located in 20 states and two Canadian provinces, they serve Jewish families and communities who seek an intensive education that is both traditional and modern in spirit.
United Synagogue Youth (USY) is Conservative Judaism’s youth movement in North America. Comparable to NOAM in Israel, USY raises and educates young people in the Conservative Movement through programming, such as outings, camps, and conferences. USY provides leadership training, community service, and Israel advocacy programming, empowering and preparing the next generation of Conservative Movement leaders.
Women’s League for Conservative Judaism (WLCJ) is the network of Conservative congregational sisterhoods serving over 700 affiliated sisterhoods in Conservative/Masorti synagogues in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Israel, and throughout the world. With a total membership of 150,000, WLCJ provides support and organizational services for Conservative Judaism’s largest women’s organization. WLCJ encourages the practice of traditional Conservative Judaism in the home, synagogue and community by providing opportunities for continuing Jewish education, and promoting the values of pluralism and Zionism to its members.
The organizations listed below are each analogous to the USCJ and provide support to developing congregations, NOAM youth movements, conferences and periodic publications in their respective regions:
Midreshet Yerushalayim at the Schechter Institute is an affiliate organization under the direction of Israel’s Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, which sponsors and directs Jewish programming and outreach in the Ukraine, Hungary, and Israel. Midreshet Yerushalayim, through its advocacy of pluralistic Judaism, is dedicated to reaching the large Jewish populations of former Communist regimes throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Many of these communities were deprived of their connection to Jewish heritage and practice for decades, and Midreshet Yerushalayim is committed to reigniting and nurturing these connections and the values of pluralistic Judaism through programming and education.
Zacharias Frankel College is a Masorti/Conservative Rabbinical School operating in Berlin, Germany. The only Masorti/Conservative school in mainland Europe, the Zacharias Frankel College trains and educates Europe’s Masorti Rabbinate. Operating under the direction and auspices of AJU’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, it facilitates the college’s connections to the worldwide Masorti/Conservative Movement while maintaining its independent and unique character.
Marom Olami is the worldwide Masorti/Conservative Movement’s organization for young adults, including university students and people in their 20’s. Marom Olami organizes social, religious, and educational events across the globe through its regional and local organizations. With branches throughout Israel, Europe, and North and South America, Marom Olami provides young Conservative/Masorti Jews with opportunities to connect and learn with their peers in environments similar to those in which they were raised, such as NOAM, USY, or Ramah camps. Marom Olami is committed to providing Masorti/Conservative Jews throughout the world the opportunities to deepen and expand their connection to their fellow Jews and Judaism through non-traditional programming, outings, and conferences.
NOAM Olami is the international Masorti/Conservative youth movement, with branches in Israel, Argentina, France and the United Kingdom. Equivalent to USY in the United States, and NOAM Israel, NOAM Olami is dedicated to raising and educating young people in the Conservative Movement through non-traditional programming, outings, camps, and conferences. NOAM seeks to empower its participants through its many member affiliates and regional councils, as young leaders are given the opportunities to take ownership of their experiential and social Jewish educations. NOAM is committed to educating Jewish young people around the world with programming including leadership training, community service, and Israel advocacy.
World Wide Wrap is a special international project of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs. As part of FJMC’s dedication to growing and promoting adherence to traditional Conservative Judaism and practice, World Wide Wrap is designed to educate and encourage participation from otherwise not-involved Conservative Jews in more in-depth Jewish practices such as wapping/laying of tefillin.
Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano, located in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the headquarters and academic, cultural and religious center of Masorti/Conservative Judaism in South and Latin America including Argentina, Brazil and many developing nations in the region. Dedicated to promoting and advancing Masorti/Conservative Judaism throughout the continent and region, the Seminario provides similar services to those of USCJ in North America. In addition, however, it acts as the region’s only school and center for education, training, and ordination of Conservative/Masorti rabbis.