Why and how is Masorti attracting more members when the general trend as revealed by the research is a decline in membership in mainstream Orthodoxy?
I want to be held, cared for and understood. I desire that you know who I am as a human being and truly embrace where I sit and from where I approach you. I will not compromise in who I am and I do not expect your betrayal of who you are either. I will meet you where you are, in what you know and understand of our world.
I wish to be contained, to be governed over, that I may know that my life has parameters and limits within a space that is mine. I cannot live a life truly unfettered existence; I know discipline and rules do serve me. If I am to thrive I also need to know my roots and the confines of my existence. I like to forget that my life has limits and that those limits do serve me.
I demand above all else that my life be free that my rights, my spirit and my reign over my own life be protected. I need this equality of opportunity and access not only for myself but also for those around me in my home, in my place of work, in my community and in my country. My demand is without compromise: women, people whose sexual orientation differs from mine, Jews-by-choice, minority groups: others and mine, we are all worthy of the same protection, we are all invited-in and included-in.
Oh, and I have questions, oodles and oodles of questions. I need you to be patient with my questions and willing to answer them with an open heart.
Being me is complex, I am a Masorti Jew and my Masorti community has the capacity to contain the complexity of the whole of me. I do not have a place elsewhere.
Masorti Judaism has grown in the last ten years because our communities are able embrace young people and families who are all of the above and more. We are uncompromising in our vision and desire to create community for Jews who are inclusive and welcoming, critical and unapologetic, free and expressive and who hold a vision for the future of our communities and our world. We are all of these things and more and we would love to welcome many more people to our communities over the years to come.
Rabbi Oliver Joseph serves as a rabbi for Elstree and Borehamwood Masorti Community, The Havurah, Masorti Judaism, Marom and Noam.