SHABBAT TIMES, LONDON

Yom Masorti Report

By Masorti Judaism 27th Jun 2024

Sharing the success of Yom Masorti, the one-day festival for 250 Masorti Jews from around the world, sharing perspectives now. 

250 delegates from 14 countries including Sweden, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany the Ukraine, Israel and North America came together at New North London Synagogue on Sunday 2 June 2024.  The goal was to engage with the challenges and triumph of being Jewish in Europe today.  It felt uniquely comforting to be together, sharing our stories in difficult times.  The sun shone, and food and conversation flowed.

There was an array of books and crafts for sale, as well as different community projects advertised on the day.  Delegates chatted and rushed from session to session so as not to miss a moment.  There was something for everyone with outstanding sessions on Halacha, history, Tefillah, Zionism, on how to increase inclusion and on the value of sustainability. 

It was a long day with 19 excellent sessions to choose from including some particularly moving moments. Yizhar Hess, the Vice Chair of the World Zionist Organization, led a powerful exploration of identity and Zionism since October 07, with Rabbi Gesa Ederberg from Berlin and Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, from New London Synagogue. 

The panel discussion facilitated by Rabbi Adam Zagoria-Moffet, St Albans Masorti, explored the stories of building Masorti communities in Barcelona, in France and the Ukraine communities now in exile in Berlin, was particularly impactful. 

One delegate told us he went to a session on the melodies of L’cha dodi and said that he had never experienced Judaism like that before. 

A session that turned out to be particularly useful was on how to have difficult conversations, based on the Talmudic principle of machloket (disagreement).

Towards the end of the day, everyone stood together to sing Acheinu for the hostages. It was led by Miléna Kartowski-Aïach, Marom Dorvador, Paris. Everyone around the room, from around the world, was in tears. 

The evening closed with a performance of Heschel’s Passover Eve play. The whole day was a triumph, as Rabbi Brad Artson said: 
‘During this year of chaos, thank you for making it possible for us to participate and gain hizzuk from being with you and with our colleagues in Europe! The energy in the sessions and throughout the day was a tribute both to the power of our Torah, but also of the hard work of organizing an event like this.’ 

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