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The Masorti Movement is the name given to Conservative Judaism in Israel and other countries outside Canada and U.S. Masorti means "traditional" in Hebrew. It should not be confused with the large part of Israeli Jews (25% to 50% depending on definitions) who define themselves as "masorati" (or Shomer Masoret) - meaning religiously "traditional" but do not wish to be labelled as Orthodox.



Conservative Judaism had begun to make its presence known in Israel before the 1960s. Today, there are almost 60 congregations with over 15,000 affiliates. In 1962 The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) began creating Neve Schechter, the university's Jerusalem campus. This center houses the Schocken Center for Jewish Research, and the Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research. In 1975 JTS instituted a year of study in Israel as a requirement for every rabbinical student in JTS and the University of Judaism's (now the American Jewish University) rabbinical seminary.

In 1979 JTS Chancellor Gerson Cohen announced the creation of the Masorti ("Traditional") movement as Israel's own indigenous Conservative movement, with its own executive director, board and executive committee.

The Masorti movement created MERCAZ, a Zionist party within the structure of the World Zionist Organization. The Conservative movement is thus officially represented in the centers of decision making within the Zionist movement. The Masorti movement sponsors youth groups, an overnight camp, a system of day camps (Camp Ramah), Kibbutz Hannaton and the Hannaton Education Center, Moshav Shorashim, and special programs teaching new olim (immigrants) basic Judaism. It is involved in many issues promoting the legitimate rights of non-Orthodox Jews.

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