Today I attended my first meeting as a member of the Kesher/Israel Committee at Temple Beth El here in Madison, Wisconsin.  The mission of this committee is to enhance the commonality of Jewish life between Israel and the Diaspora.  The goal of this committee is to establish and strengthen relationships between members of Temple Beth El and members of Progressive congregations and institutions in Israel.

As someone who is on the road to conversion and will also be visiting Israel for the first time this February, I feel that being invited to join this committee is great thing and I am excited about the opportunity to gain relationships with people in Israel.  My congregation has two “sister synagogues” in Israel, Tzur Hadasah, which is about 12 miles outside of Jerusalem, and Emet veShalom, which is located in Nahariya.

Tzur Hadassah is a Progressive (combination Reform and Conservative) synagogue, which, until two years ago, operated out of shipping crates. Thanks to funding from the Israeli government they now have a true, totally green synagogue.  Emet veShalom is Israel’s northernmost outpost of Progressive Judaism and Nahariya’s only non-orthodox synagogue.

I am looking forward to building connections along with my fellow committee members as I continue my path toward conversion!

 

By the way, it was a beautiful first day of autumn today at the synagogue:

Temple Beth El