Masorti Judaism

Frequently asked questions
about Masorti Judaism

Q. What does Masorti mean?

Masorti is Hebrew for ‘traditional’. We believe in traditional Judaism for modern Jews.

 

Q. What does a Masorti service ‘look like’?

It will be familiar to anyone who’s grown up in a traditional synagogue. It’s in Hebrew, uses the traditional liturgy - with one or two innovations - and familiar melodies. Some of our synagogues offer occasional alternative or explanatory services.

Q. What facilities do you have for children and families?

Our communities offer children’s services, playgroups and nurseries, cheder (religion school), bar and bat-mitzvah classes, and GCSE courses in Jewish studies. Noam - Masorti Youth - provides a full range of activity for young people.

Q. What activities do you have for students?

Marom - Masorti Students and Young Adults - runs Shabbat meals, services, study sessions, volunteer projects and social events at campuses around the country. 

 

Q. Can I get married in a Masorti shul?

Masorti synagogues are fully licensed to carry out weddings. Our marriages are carried out in accordance with Jewish law. 

For further information about getting married please contact your local Masorti community or the Masorti Judaism office.

Q. Can I convert to Judaism through Masorti?

Yes, we welcome people seeking to become Jewish. Several of our synagogues operate conversion programmes which are overseen by the European Masorti Bet Din.

Q. Do you have a burial society and how can I join?

Yes. All our synagogues offer burial arrangements and accept new members into their burial societies. For more detailed information please contact your local community or the Masorti Judaism office.

Q. How much are your synagogue fees?

Our fees vary from community to community but are in line with fees charged by other denominations. Please contact your local synagogue or the Masorti Judaism office for details.

Q. How is Masorti different from Orthodox and Reform Judaism?

Masorti Judaism celebrates the diverse, pluralistic nature of our contemporary Jewish community. We identify with Orthodox Judaism’s adherence to tradition and Jewish law, in particular its commitment to Torah study. We also respect Reform Judaism’s integrity, commitment to modern values, and emphasis on personal spirituality. Masorti is unique in its steadfast commitment to integrating traditional Judaism with modern values, and in maintaining traditional observance together with rigorous intellectual honesty. 

Q. What role do women take in a Masorti service & synagogue?

We are proud of our communities’ diversity on this issue. Many Masorti synagogues are fully egalitarian, offering equal opportunities for women and men to lead and take part in the service. Others feature more traditional, male-led services, while still offering women the opportunity to give sermons and lead certain parts of the service. All Masorti communities allow women and men equal access to all lay-leadership positions.

If you'd like more information about the role of women in a particular synagogue please check out your local community's web page or contact the Masorti Judaism office.

Q. I’m not observant - will I fit in?

Yes. Masorti synagogues include people with a very wide range of religious observance. You’ll be welcome no matter how you choose to live your Jewish life.

Q. Can I drive to synagogue on Shabbat?

While driving on Shabbat is not permitted by Jewish law, we respect the personal choices of each individual and will welcome you however you choose to join us.

Q. I’m not married with 2- 4 kids - will I fit in?

In our communities you will find people from a wide range of backgrounds and circumstances: people who are married, single, in relationships, and gay; people with children of all ages, people without children, and people with disabilities. Our vision of Jewish community life is inclusive and we’ll do our best to make you feel at home.

Q. What is Masorti’s relationship with Israel?

Masorti has always been a Zionist movement. We recognise the centrality of Israel in Jewish life and strive to build a meaningful relationship with the people of Israel, while recognising the legitimacy of a wide range of views about contemporary Israeli politics. We have a strong connection with the Israeli Masorti movement.

Q. Are you part of a world movement?

Yes, we are part of Masorti Olami (World Masorti), which brings together over a million Masorti and Conservative Jews in North and South America, Israel, Europe and across the world. We are active members of our regional organisation, Masorti Europe, and participate in regular meetings with leaders of Masorti communities from across the continent.

Q. There’s no Masorti community in my area - what can I do?

If you and a group of friends would like to start a Masorti community, we would love to help and support you. Please contact us for more details. If there is no Masorti community in your area, you are welcome to attend our national conferences and educational events, which are open to members and non-members alike.

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