Yom Masorti and Masorti Europe Conference Schedule - June 2, 2024

A European Conversation



Light refreshments and optional shacharit led by Rabbi Yael Jaffe, New North London Synagogue and Ohel Mo’ed at 9:20am.

Room: Beit Midrash, NNLS

10am-10:45am OPENING PLENARY

Room: Beit Knesset, NNLS

Introductions and ‘What does it mean to be a Masorti Jew in Europe today?’ A Panel discussion led by Rachel Sklan, CEO of Masorti Judaism with panelists: Brenda Bender (Spain), Elias Garzon (France), and Miriam Farbey, Co-chair, Masorti Judaism.

Masorti Europe: Who we are and where do we exist? Wanda Teplitsky, President of Masorti Europe

10:50am-11:45am FIRST SESSIONS

Between Ideology And Identity: Asking The Tough Questions About Your Zionism And Israel

Room: Beit Knesset, NNLS

Panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Yizhar Hess, Vice Chair of the World Zionist Organization, with Rabbi Gesa Ederberg, Oranienburger Strasse (Berlin), Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, New London Synagogue, and David Djemal, Co-cantorial Lead, New London Synagogue. Looking at the space between ideology and identity, and examining how we are identifying with Zionism since October 7.

Rabbinic Leadership – What Is It And How Do We Cultivate It?

Room: Beit Midrash, NNLS

Rabbi Joel Levy, Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva and Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue, Rabbi Cheryl Peretz, Associate Dean of Zacharias Frankel College and Ziegler School and Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of Zacharias Frankel College and Ziegler School, in conversation on the process of becoming a rabbi. What does it mean to be on a religious journey as a leader? What does it mean to grow through rabbinic studies so that you’re a compelling soul? What does it take to be a rabbi in service to your community?

What’s The Point Of Prayer?

Room: Beit Tefillah B, NNLS

A discussion and craft-based session on how to get the most out of prayer by understanding the role of Kavannah (intention,) with Rhiannon Humphreys, Shema Koleinu and Miki Friend, Noam Masorti Youth.

European Jewry Today, An Overview

Room: Beit Tefillah A, NNLS

Mariano Schlimovich, Director of The European Council of Jewish Communities, will speak about the particular challenges and opportunities for Jews in Europe right now. And more specifically, what does this look like for Masorti Jews in community today? Dr. Sari Scheinberg, Secretary, Masorti Europe Executive will present initial results from research conducted across our communities about their specific issues today, particularly in relation to growth, antisemitism and relationship to Israel.

Bringing Music Into Our Community

Room: Leo Baeck Drawing Room

How can our Oral Torah of music open and embrace our community, supporting the spiritual needs of our kehillah? Come and learn with the European Academy of Jewish Liturgy (EAJL) how music, nusach and niggun can deepen our prayer experience, with Chazan Jalda Rebling, Director of Studies, EAJL.

Digital Masorti: Connecting Communities

Room: Leo Baeck Room 1

A discussion between Rabbi Josh Weiner, Adath Shalom, Paris and Carmen McPherson, Masorti Europe Coordinator about digital resources and how to embrace these to enhance and expand our learning and community impact across Masorti Europe.

11:45am - 12:10pm BREAK

12:10pm-1:10pm SECOND SESSIONS

Sustainability – Protecting God’s Creation

Room: Beit Tefillah B, NNLS

Looking at what we can do for the environment in a Masorti Context and how to build a sustainable community with Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism and New North London Synagogue; Naomi Verber, Executive Director, EcoJudaism; Andrea Passe, Director of Operations, EcoJudaism and Donna Cohen, Community Liaison Manager, EcoJudaism. 

Seeking Justice For The Postmasters

Room: Leo Baeck Annexe

The Post Office Scandal was perhaps the biggest miscarriage of justice in English legal history. Paul Harris, criminal defence solicitor for over 30 years, describes his experience acting for a number of the postmasters in their successful appeals against conviction. Hear the stories of those who lost everything, including their good name, liberty, and self-respect.

A Conversation: Halacha Of Tomorrow

Room: Beit Tefillah A, NNLS

Rabbi Chaim Weiner, Director of the Masorti European Beit Din and Rabbi Yael Jaffe, New North London Synagogue and Ohel Mo’ed in conversation about new frontiers in Halachah. They will focus on select topics in Jewish law that require careful consideration and innovative thinking in our evolving, modern world.

How To Have Difficult Conversations

Room: Beit Knesset, NNLS

The principle of machloket (conflict) teaches that debate can be highly productive when navigated with mutual respect and open communication. Join Rachel Sklan, CEO, Masorti Judaism, in conversation with Rabbi Joel Levy, Rosh Yeshiva of the Conservative Yeshiva and Kol Nefesh Masorti Synagogue, to think together about how the principle of machloket can help your interpersonal relationships and be used as a model for healthy community life.

Who Are We? Jewish Identity In The UK Today

Room: Beit Midrash, NNLS

Dr. Jonathan Boyd, Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research, presents the findings of their recently published report. In this session, he will describe the complex picture around religiosity, education, morality, Israel and antisemitism in the UK now.  This has implications for what Jewish community organisations can do to secure Jewish life in the future.

Learning Melodies For The Chaggim

Room: Leo Baeck Room 1

A chance to sing, learn and enjoy some of our special Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur melodies.  For everyone who wants to build their skills and learn more, with Chazan Jalda Rebling, Director of Studies, European Academy of Jewish Learning.

Prayer For All

Room: Leo Baeck Drawing Room

Learning, discussion and a chance to explore how gender and other barriers affect our experience of participating in and leading Tefillah, with Noam Masorti Youth, Rabbi Zahavit Shalev, New North London Synagogue and Rabbi Natasha Mann, New London Synagogue.

1:10pm-2:10PM LUNCH

Hamotzi and Benching lead by newly ordained Zacharias Frankel Rabbis: Rabbi Karen Engel and Rabbi Levi Israel Ufferfilge

2:10pm-3:10pm THIRD SESSIONS

Too Early To Tell: Talking About The Sho'ah After October 7

Room: Beit Midrash, NNLS

Exploring the impact of October 7 on the ways we might experience and respond to the memory of the Sho’ah, with Angela Gluck, an experienced educator for March of the Living and throughout the Jewish community. Reflecting on this issue of major complexity can be demanding and distressing and may not suit some people.

“For My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer For All Peoples" – Inclusion: Why We Should Increase It And How?

Room: Beit Tefillah A, NNLS

The aspirations of ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ (DEI) are not new. Together with Daniella Shaw, Masorti Judaism's Inclusion Manager, we’ll look at the Jewishness of DEI and explore its relevance in Jewish communities now. Then we’ll plan some practical steps to work towards deeper inclusion within all areas of community life.

The Judaism We Need Today

Room: Beit Knesset, NNLS

Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg's new book, Listening for God in Torah and Creation offers a uniquely Masorti perspective on the weekly parasha and the Jewish calendar. Join him in conversation with Masorti Judaism's CEO, Rachel Sklan, about how the Torah offers wisdom and moral guidance for the Masorti Jew in a modern world.

Building A Masorti Community Of Diverse Origins

Room: Leo Baeck Annexe

A panel discussion facilitated by: Rabbi Adam Zagoria-Moffet, St Albans Masorti, who will speak on how the Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs affair kickstarted Masorti in the UK; Rabbi Irene Muzas Calpe, Atid, Barcelona, on how Ashkenazi migrants founded the Masorti community in Spain; Andrea Ausztrics, Marom Budapest on how the Masorti community was established in Budapest; Eyal Dali, Masorti Ukraine-Berlin on Masorti communities in Ukraine before the war, and as refugees.

Explore The Melodies Of L’cha Dodi

Room: Leo Baeck Drawing Room

Singing and discussion about one of our most beloved prayers of the week. Learn new tunes and enjoy old favourites, with explanations designed to enrich your Jewish journey, with Rabbi Zahavit Shalev, New North London Synagogue and Rhiannon Humphreys, Shema Koleinu.

When Peace Is A Verb: Drawing Jewish Texts

Room: Beit Tefillah B, NNLS

Everyone wants peace, or at least to give it a chance, but what does peace, shalom, really mean? Looking at traditional Jewish texts and using drawing prompts we will explore peace as a constructive act. No experience necessary for traditional textual learning of using drawing as a mode of thinking, with Jacqueline Nicholls, artist and Jewish educator.

3:10pm-3:30pm BREAK

Optional mincha led by Avigail Smoczyńska, Masorti Poland

Room: Beit Midrash, NNLS

3:30pm-4:10pm CLOSING PLENARY

Room: Beit Knesset, NNLS

Closing and summary - Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism and New North London Synagogue

Reflections and strength of our European and global movement – Margo Gold, President of Masorti Olami

Where we go from here, and the importance of our voice – Rabbi Mauricio Balter, Executive Director of Masorti and MERCAZ Olami

Prayer for Hostages

Hatikva led by Miléna Kartowski-Aïach, Marom Dorvador, Paris

4:10pm-5:10pm FESTIVE CLOSING

Presentation of Heschel’s Passover Eve Play

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