A new resolution was passed by the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, at its National Convention in Atlanta earlier this month that calls upon Israeli hotels to treat all denominations of Judaism equally.
Over the past year, there has been an increasing number of cases when Conservative Jewish groups have wished to pray in Israeli hotels and have been denied the use of hotel-owned Torah scrolls if the service was not in accordance with Orthodox practice.
In some cases the hotels have offered to locate a Torah scroll from outside the hotel at an additional fee to the guests. In other cases, it became necessary for guests to make arrangements on their own.
As part of the resolution, the Rabbinical Assembly calls upon the Israeli Hotel Association and all Israeli hotels to treat Jews of all denominations equally and to afford Jews and all groups of non-Orthodox streams any of the rights and privileges afforded Orthodox guests.
In addition to that, the RA calls upon Conservative Jewish groups to patronize hotels that follow this policy and urge other arms of the movement and other denominations to adopt a similar policy to effect change.
The Assembly will also notify the Israel Ministry of Tourism, the Israeli Hotel Association and Israel tour group operators of the newly-adopted policy.
The resolution states: "The Rabbinical Assembly call upon the Israeli Hotel Association and all Israeli hotels to treat Jews of all denominations equally and to afford Jews and all groups of non-Orthodox streams any of the rights and privileges afforded Orthodox guests including the use of a synagogue and a Sefer Torah."
It goes on to note: "The Rabbinical Assembly call upon all Masorti/Conservative groups to patronize hotels that follow this policy."
Since its founding in 1901, the Assembly has been the creative force shaping the ideology, programs, and practices of the Conservative movement, and is committed to building and strengthening the totality of Jewish life.
There are more than 1,250,000 members of the Conservative movement, consisting of 1600 rabbis and 850 congregations worldwide, most of which reside in the United States.
“Conservative rabbis bring Jews to Israel from around the world to celebrate Judaism and support the State of Israel,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly.
“Israeli hotels should be seeking ways to support the Jews who do so much for the Jewish country we love rather than preventing our worship and study.”