February 2007

Adar 5767

WELCOME to the new MERCAZ USA E-Letter being sent to MERCAZ members and supporters from the 2006 World Zionist Congress elections. Information to Unsubscribe is available below.

MERCAZ USA is the Zionist membership organization of the Conservative Movement, the voice of Conservative Jewry within the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Zionist Movement and the Jewish National Fund to support religious pluralism in Israel and strengthen the connection between Israel and the Diaspora. Click here for common questions and answers.



The annual MERCAZ USA membership campaign for 2006-2007 was launched last July. Memberships run from July 1st to June 30th. Take this opportunity to support our ongoing work to lobby on behalf of religious pluralism in Israel and to strengthen Israel and aliyah within the American Conservative movement. Click here to (re)join for the current 2006-2007 fiscal year. For further information, contact the MERCAZ office at 212-533-2061 or

Looking to join an organized trip to Israel? Click here for a list of upcoming Conservative Movement synagogue trips for 2007.

The Conservative Yeshiva summer program, housed at the United Synagogue's Fuchsberg Center in Jerusalem, provides an opportunity to study the classic texts of Judaism, including Rabbinic literature, Bible and Philosophy. Courses are built on the traditional model of chevruta, learning one-on-one with a partner, and shiur, a seminar-style class. The program is appropriate for students of all levels, backgrounds and interests and includes intensive Ulpan to build Hebrew speaking and reading skills. Two sessions are being offered: July 1 - July 19 and July 22 - August 9. For more information about Summer and Year Programs, please contact: Rabbi Daniel Goldfarb or Rabbi Gail Diamond at, or

Masorti Olami-The World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues is helping to renew and strengthen Jewish life in Europe, Latin America, the Former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and Australia by supporting more than 100 communities, 45 congregational rabbis, a dozen fieldworkers, countless educational projects and thousands of youngsters in our youth movements, camps and schools. Our activities are conducted within the context of the overall Conservative/Masorti Movement, in close cooperation with our affiliated organizations in North America and Israel.

The demand far outweighs the resources at our disposal. Kol Yisrael arevim zeh b'zeh: All Jews are responsible for each other. We need your support in meeting the needs of growing numbers of Masorti Jews throughout the world who are turning to us for assistance. Join us in looking out for their futures. Help us in providing them with the options they are seeking. Send your donation to the Masorti Olami Office: 3080 Broadway, New York, New York 10027; Tel: 212-678-5319 or 212-280-6039; Fax: 212-678-5321; E-mail:

Going to Europe, Australia or Latin America? What about visiting one of our Conservative/Masorti Congregations? Click here to find a Masorti community where you are visiting.



MERCAZ USA, the Conservative Movement's Zionist arm, calls on its members and friends to support the annual American Zionist Movement (AZM) Purim Connection — an opportunity for American Jews to demonstrate their solidarity with Israelis who have been on the front lines in defense of their country. Last summer was an extremely difficult time for Israel. Now more than ever, the people of Israel need to know that American Jews are behind them.

We invite you to make a donation to help cover the cost of traditional mishloach manot Purim baskets filled with sweets and other gift items. This year, recipients of the baskets will be both soldiers who are recovering from injuries incurred during this past summer's fighting and Israeli children from the North who were confined to bomb shelters for more than a month while Hezbollah rockets descended on their families' homes.

Through special arrangements with AZM, the children of the "HaKrayot" Masorti Congregation in Kiryat Bialik will be among the recipients of this year's mishloach manot campaign. Over the past decade, hundreds of new immigrant children from South America have found a warm and embracing first home in Israel within the congregation as part of the group absorption program organized by Rabbi Mauricio Balter.

Click here to provide a little "ora/light" and "simcha/happiness" to the soldiers and to the children of the more than 500 South American families of the HaKrayot" Masorti Congregation that are building new lives in Israel. For more information about the community, click here.

Not only will these gifts improve the spirits of the receivers — they will also help support the Israeli economy, as all products used are made in Israel. Each package will contain a card personalized with a contributor's name. In addition to sending mishloach manot in your own name, consider making an extra gift on behalf of family members, friends and neighbors. AZM will send out a card telling them of your gift.

Remember, your mishloach manot basket will tell a young Israeli — soldier or child — that you care. It's a gesture that will long be remembered. But please act quickly. The deadline is coming up fast!

The American Zionist Movement is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") and all contributions to it are deductible as charitable contributions as provided in IRC section 170. All contributions of $10 or more will be acknowledged.


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