Winter 2004-2005

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MERCAZ USA Newsletter — Winter 2004 - 2005


Report of the MERCAZ Nominating Committee

Rabbi Vernon Kurtz

Rabbi Charles Savenor
Stephen Steckler
Dr. Marilyn Wind
Stephen Wolnek
Gloria Cohen (WLCJ)
Rabbi Perry Rank (RA)
Daniel Stern (FJMC)
Judith Yudof (USCJ)

Sandy Myers

Mark Samuels

The following slate of officers has been proposed by the Nominating Committee, chaired by Janet Tobin, for approval at the MERCAZ USA General Council Meeting, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, March 6, 2005, 3:00-4:30pm, in Houston TX, to be held in conjunction with the annual Rabbinical Assembly convention and quarterly United Synagogue Board meeting.

According to the MERCAZ USA By-Laws, Article 6C(I): Additional nominations may be submitted to the Nominating Committee, care of the MERCAZ USA office, up to 30 days prior to the General Council Meeting by means of a written petition from at least two members in good standing from each of at least 5 regions of the United Synagogue. The consent of any such nominee shall first have been obtained in writing and attached to the petition.

Final MERCAZ-USCJ Team Israel Mission Planned

The Jewish Agency has just given the green light for a last MERCAZ-United Synagogue Team Israel Mission, scheduled for December 22-30, 2004. The special study mission is designed for synagogue lay and professional leaders to gain new insights about life in Israel and ideas as to how to develop more effective programs to provide greater awareness about Israel for congregations. Over and above airfare, participants will pay only $850 for land accommodations (lodging, meals, transportation, lectures) in double occupancy, thanks to a $700 per person subsidy being provided by Joint Program for Jewish/Zionist Education. For more information, contact the MERCAZ office at 212-533-2061 or

FJMC Endorses Israel "Shabbat" & Statement

The Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs has made Israel and Zionism the theme of its annual Men's Club Shabbat, April 8-9, 2005. Entitled "Or Hadash Al Tzion Ta'ir — May a New Light Shine on Zion,"the Shabbat will focus in sermons and educational activities on Conservative Judaism's relationship to Zionism and Israel. MERCAZ USA contributed material to the Shabbat workbook that will be distributed to men's clubs throughout North America.
The FJMC is also asking men's clubs to work with their region and synagogue to adopt a number of Israel-oriented projects, including supporting trips to Israel, joining MERCAZ USA or MERCAZ Canada, raising donations for the Masorti Foundation and "twinning" with an Israeli Masorti congregation.

Underlying the selection of the theme of this year's Men's Club Shabbat is the FJMC's new mission statement on World Jewry. Now, for the first time, the FJMC has formally accepted as part of its mission "to support the [World Zionist Organization's] Jerusalem Program and to provide our members with information on Masorti organizations involved in helping Masorti Jews around the world . . . and to participate in providing the option of Masorti Jewish religious life for them."

For more information about Men's Club Shabbat, contact the FJMC office, 212-749-8100 or


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