The Masorti (Conservative) Movement's convention, marking the organization's 30th anniversary in Israel, opened Thursday.
According to the organizers, over 1,000 people took part in what they said was the largest ever convention of a non-Orthodox movement in Israel.
Chair of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement, Moshe Cohen, said that "the large number of participants proves the importance of the movement to Israeli society. There is no doubt the movement can advance religious pluralism in the country.
"This convention carries a message about freedom of religion in Israel and the abolition of the Orthodox monopoly."
President Shimon Peres sent a letter to the movement's members reading: "The Masorti Movement wisely nurtures the ideals of renewal and creativity alongside traditional Jewish value. The Masorti Movement is the Israeli arm of Conservative communities worldwide. It is characterized by its devotion to Zionism, modernism and progress and the preservation of Jewish heritage.
The Masorti Movement serves as a bridge between the mosaic of communities and beliefs the Jewish world consists of," he wrote.
A recent survey conducted by the Dahaf Institute for the Masorti Movement will be presented at the convention. The survey, first published on Ynet, reveals that 87% of the public believes that nominal gender equality is entirely justified, and 54% claim that Jewish tradition discriminates against women.
There are 40,000 members and 50 Masorti congregations in Israel.