Welcome to Masorti Canada - MERCAZ-Canada

The Canadian home of Masorti/Conservative Judaism in Israel.

Connecting the Canadian Jewish Community with Israel
Lier la communauté juive canadienne à l’Israël
מחברים את הקהילה היהודית בקנדה לישראל


JTS Statement on the Outpouring of Concern for Israeli Democracy

There are circumstances in which societal confrontations touch on the very foundations on which those societies are built. Such is the case with respect to the debate raging in Israel today, which has fueled a wave of protests that yesterday brought the country to a halt, and which have at least put on hold the precipitous passage of major judicial reforms.

This is no ordinary political disagreement. What is unfolding in Israeli society today is a struggle about the basic principles of Zionism. Zionism aspired to achieve the secure conditions under which all members of the Jewish people could express their Jewishness freely and without fear, and through that freedom bring about renewal and a flourishing of Jewish life and culture. It aspired, as well, to create a country rooted in democracy and protective of the rights and free expression of all its inhabitants.

Democracy was not incidental to the Zionist program; it was among the prime guarantors that all citizens could be engaged players in the envisioned Jewish society. The 1948 Declaration of Independence said that the State of Israel would “ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race, or sex, [and] guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education, and culture.” And what democracy demands were laid out as clearly as possible by none other than the revisionist Zionist leader Zev Jabotinsky: “It is an incorrect view which states that government supported by the majority is democracy… . Even a government of majority rule can negate freedom; and where there are no guarantees for freedom of the individual, there can be no democracy.” Jabotinsky continues, saying “the aim of democracy is to guarantee that the minority too has an influence on matters of state policy.”

The majoritarianism that Jabotinsky flagged as inimical to democracy is exactly what is being proposed today and what is motivating Israelis to pour into the streets.

As for the appointment of judges, it should be noted that an independent judiciary is foundational to Jewish views of a stable democratic polity. When the Torah spoke of the appointment of judges, it did not imagine people beholden to an appointing power. Instead, it stressed wisdom, knowledge of the common person, and imperviousness to corruption. And the great Jacob ben Asher, composer of the comprehensive 14thcentury code of law known as the Tur, wrote very simply that the need for a judiciary is critical because without it, whoever has the power will rule simply by virtue of that power.

If a duly elected majority, which controls both the executive and legislature, also appoints the judiciary and can override any of its decisions, that majority is in a position to run roughshod over minority rights, and thus foil the aspirations of Zionism and the democracy it envisioned building. This is a powerful motivation fueling the demonstrations throughout Israel.

When the prayer for the State of Israel is recited in synagogues, it asks that “the hands of those who defend our Land be strengthened.” This is rightly understood to include all those who don uniforms to protect the state from attacks from without and terrorism within. But there are today even more people whose peaceful but forceful protests are defending the State of Israel and Zionism itself. We should recognize that they, too, are included in this prayer. May their safety be secured, and may their patriotic efforts on behalf of the citizens of Israel and the character of the Jewish State prevail.

Worldwide Conservative/Masorti Leadership Statement

NEW from the David Matlow Collection


To celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday, our member, David Matlow of Toronto, Canada has selected 75 artifacts from his personal collection of Zionist and Herzl memorabilia and shared them in a new book, 75 Treasures: Celebrating Israel at Seventy-Five. The pages of the book are filled with photos and stories of these inspiring items, and the book challenges each of us to add our own page to Israel’s continuing story.

This 48-page publication contains many pieces from the world-renowned Matlow Collection that will help add context to the story of Israel's miraculous journey from concept to country.

The download is free.




  Introducing the Terumah Fund of the Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism

The “Terumah,” endowment's mission is to create a long-term resource to meet the challenges and needs of our Jewish community both at home and in Israel. Visit the page for details by clicking here!

Connecting the Canadian Jewish Community with Israel
Lier la communauté juive canadienne à l’Israël
מחברים את הקהילה היהודית בקנדה לישראל

Masorti Videos

The Masorti Movement is a pluralistic, religious movement in Israel, affiliated with Conservative Judaism. Its philosophy combines commitment to Jewish tradition and halachah (law) with an open and positive approach to the modern world, to democratic culture and to Zionism.

Visit the Masorti Video page on YouTube!


We have commissioned a limited edition commemorative "challenge coin" to mark this important event!


Reports on the 125th Zionist Congress may be found here.



2022 MERCAZ-Canada / FJMC Anshai Zafon Weekend Conference

We were joined by Dr. Yizhar Hess, Vice-Chair, WZO, and Shiran Yahav, Jewish Peoplehood & Israel-Diaspora relations at the World Zionist Organization.

MERCAZ-Canada and Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism work in cooperation to foster and strengthen Masorti/Conservative Judaism in Israel and create engagement opportunities Jews living in Israel and the Diaspora, based on the ideals of tradition and tolerance, study and spirituality, and social action and love of Israel.

MERCAZ represents Masorti Judaism within the World Zionist Organization and Congress, the Jewish Agency for Israel, and Jewish National Fund. We advocate for funding of pluralistic streams of Judaism in Israel crucial to our movement’s growth in Israel and around the world.


YOUR Voice in Israel

MERCAZ: the Movement to Reaffirm Conservative Zionism, is the Zionist voice of Conservative Judaism in Canada. A grassroots membership organization, we promote and support Israel education and programs, and represent the interests of Masorti/Conservative Judaism in the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel.



MERCAZ-Canada and Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism work in cooperation to foster and strengthen Masorti/Conservative Judaism in Israel, based on the ideals of tradition and tolerance, study and spirituality, and social action and love of Israel. Encourage your youth to experience Israel through MERCAZ-Canada, USY and Ramah scholarships for Israel travel.


Masorti supports our movement

Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism supports our movement directly. CFMJ is committed to halakhah and history, combining Jewish law and tradition with an open approach to Jewish life. CFMJ supports the work of the Masorti Movement, raising funds to enable the Movement to further its educational and outreach activities in Israel.

Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism  - Make a donation

The Masorti Movement in Israel is a pluralistic, religious movement in Israel affiliated with Masorti/ Conservative Judaism around the world. The Canadian Foundation for Masorti Judaism supports the work of the Masorti Movement in Israel which promotes scholarship, Zionism and religious tolerance and pluralism within the context of modern Israeli society. The Foundation raises funds to support Masorti programmes in Israel through the Movement and in its synagogue centres. Your donation helps to ensure that our work may continue.

If you would like to make a donation, please use this button:

Join MERCAZ-Canada today!

Annual membership is available to all Canadians. Your membership includes acceptance of the WZO Jerusalem Program, details may be found here. Your membership information is subject to our privacy policy which may be found on the Privacy Policy page.

Masorti Canada - MERCAZ CANADA
55 Yeomans Road, Suite 201; Toronto, On ♦ M3H 3J7 ♦ 416-667-1717 ♦ 1-866-357-3384 ♦ E-Mail: info@masorti-mercaz.ca