MAROM Europe Conference in Paris 2011

The MAROM Europe network started 2011 with an inspiring meeting in Paris on February 4th to 6th.  Participants came from Stockholm, Budapest, Valencia and London to meet with local MAROM Paris members and leaders, as well as to plan the year ahead. Our main discussions were focused on the MAROM Europe website, the next MAROM Europe seminar in Spain (May 26th to 29th, 2011), the MAROM Europe conference in the summer in Hungary during the Bánkitó festivalwww.bankisnotdead.org  (August 1st to 7th – save the date!). We also talked extensively about the challenges and plans for the individual MAROM groups around the region. The discussions were lively, and everyone participated actively in all the sessions. We know that the results of these discussions will be seen in the next months! Stay tuned!

Beyond the planning and common thinking we also had time for entertainment, spiritual inspiration and rest. We spent Shabat together with the Adath Shalom kehillah (community), and some of the most prominent members of the Masorti Europe board, along with representatives of Masorti communities from all around Europe. During Shabbat we participated in the Bat Mitzvah ceremony of an Adath Shalom synagogue member and one of us had her first aliyah to the Torah in her life!

Sivan Navon-Shoval, the new MAROM Olami coordinator, an alumnus of the Hartman Institute, facilitated a great session about “Michtav Harabbanim” (which condemdn the sale of houses to Arabs in Israel), with special reference to the responsibility of the Masorti / Conservative movement in standing up against such cases in the Jewish world.
After Shabbat we had a joint event with MAROM Paris at Rabbi Yeshaya Dalsace’s house which was a very interesting MAROM experience. We watched a documentary about Yeshayahu Leibowitz, a Jewish philosopher. The film showed the controversial and striking personality of Leibowitz through his criticism of Israeli politics. This harsh criticism of the state of Israel was articulated by a man who himself lived in Israel, spoke Hebrew and clearly believed in the existence of the Jewish state, nevertheless was passionate about how his ideal State should look. It was a memorable evening for several reasons; it was a great opportunityt to meet local MAROM Paris members and share with them this educational opportunity, and also it was really inspiring to visit Rabbi Dalsace’s apartment, where he lives with his wife and five children, and from where he runs regular events for the Dor Vador Masorti kehillah in Paris. Rabbi Dalsace’s home is like an “adult Moishe house”, or rather it evoked the atmosphere and the concept of the ‘Rabbi’s home of old times’ – those who lived in shtetls, and whose door was always open to their disciples, visitors or members of the community.

We left Paris with a lot of ideas, inspirations and a long to-do-list. Thank you MAROM Paris and Adath Shalom – you were wonderful hosts ! Au revoir!

Eszter Susán,
MAROM Europe Director