Resolution on Religious Pluralism in Israel

Posted on: Wednesday February 2, 2011


Whereas the Talmud states in discussing the merits of the opposing legal opinions of Rabbis Hillel and Shammai, (Eruvin 13b) “eilu ve-eilu divrei Elohim chayim – these and these are the words of the living God”;

Whereas Conservative/Masorti rabbis worldwide, especially those in Israel, have worked tirelessly for decades with the Israeli Government, the World Zionsit Organization, The Jewish Agency, the Chief Rabbinate and local governments to contribute to the building of the Jewish National homeland;

Whereas young Israelis need an array of attractive religious Jewish options which are in harmony with the reality of their lives. The Masorti Movement provides not only places of prayer, but serves as kehillot, community centers offering adult Jewish learning/batei midrash, youth movements such as NOAM, preschools/gannim, social service and friendship networks such as MAROM. The Conservative/Masorti Movement makes a positive contribution to the religious identity of Israeli Jews and the State of Israel;

Whereas a strong relationship between Israeli and Diaspora Jews is crucial to the long term security of Israel. The Diaspora community has become progressively more marginalized on issues of religious status and identity over the past two decades;

Whereas MK Livni recently, in addressing 120 Rabbinical Assembly members, indicated her concern at the weakening  of Jewish identity, history and culture in the hearts of Israeli youth, as well as her awareness of the detrimental nature of haredi coercion  in the religious policies of Israel; and

Whereas the monopoly of the ultra-Orthodox in religious matters in Israel is unacceptable.

Therefore be resolved the RA support and strengthen the newly established Knesset lobby for religious pluralism and partner with all those individuals, organizations, and institutions devoted to resolving issues of pluralism and to bring about the equal distribution of state resources and that no further legislation be brought forth in the  כנסתthat would further entrench the haredization in Israel; and

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly in concert with its 2009 Resolution on the Dissolution of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel call on the Government of Israel to extend to the members of the Rabbinical Assembly equal status to officiate at life cycle functions including weddings and conversions.