Organizations and Institutions of the Conservative Movement

  For more than 30 years American Jewish University has been a proud partner in training and educating future Conservative rabbis along with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international arm of Conservative Rabbis which links together the five seminaries located throughout the world.

Upon ordination, graduates of the Ziegler School automatically become members of the Rabbinical Assembly along with graduates of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (New York),the Seminario Rabbinico (Buenos Aires), Machon Schechter (Jerusalem), and the Budapest Seminary. During the third year of the program, students from all of the seminaries study together in Israel.

The Conservative Movement is comprised of several institutions, each of which plays an important role. In addition to the  Ziegler School, these institutions include:  

  • Rabbinical Assembly (RA) - Founded in 1901, it is the international association of Conservative Rabbis. With over 1500 members, the RA promotes the ongoing training, and professional welfare of its members; determines the Conservative interpretation of Jewish law through its Committee on Law and Standards; publishes books, articles, and journals including Conservative Judaism; and acts as an umbrella to link the various rabbinical seminaries together.

  • Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) – Founded in 1886, JTS is a center for the academic study of Judaism offering programs in rabbinic ordinations, cantorial training, masters and doctoral programs, and an undergraduate college. Its auxiliary programs include a supplementary high school program (Prozdor), Ramah Camps and The Jewish Museum.

  • United Synagogue of America (USCJ) – Founded in 1913 by Dr. Solomon Schechter, it is the umbrella organization for almost 800 Conservative congregations. It serves as a resource to its affiliated congregations and works to formulate a Conservative Jewish response to pressing social and religious issues.

  • Federation of Men’s Clubs – Created in 1929 by Rabbi Samuel M. Cohen, it serves to link the Brotherhoods and Men’s clubs affiliated with Conservative synagogues. It promotes appreciation of Jewish heritage together with involvement in Jewish communal and synagogue life among the male members of its groups and the community at large.

  • Women’s League – Founded in 1918 by Matilde Schechter, it serves as the umbrella for the hundreds of congregational Women’s and Sisterhood organizations. Dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life, it is dedicated to the perpetuation of traditional Judaism in the home, synagogue, and community, and seeks to educate its members and provide guidance and support to both lay and professional.

  • Cantor’s Assembly — From its founding in 1947 by ten dedicated Hazzanim, it has grown into the world's largest organization of Cantors with almost 500 members world-wide. As the official placement agency for Cantors in the Conservative Movement, the primary purpose of the Cantor’s Assembly is to answer the many needs confronting the practitioners of this sacred calling.

  • Camp Ramah — Established in 1946, it is the network of seven overnight camps and five day camps throughout North America as well as others in South America and Israel. In bringing together hundreds of campers and staff each summer, Camp Ramah creates educating communities in which people learn to live committed Jewish lives, embodying the ideals of Conservative Judaism.

  • Masorti Movement — Since its founding in 1979, it has been an umbrella for Conservative Judaism in Israel, now including nearly 50 congregations, a kibbutz, a moshav, NOAM national youth movement and summer camp, and other programs. The name Masorti, which in Hebrew means traditional, was chosen because the Movement fosters the practice of traditional Judaism among Israeli men and women while embracing modernity.

  • Masorti Olami — Established in 1957, the World Council of Conservative/Masorti Synagogues (Masorti Olami) focuses on developing and supporting Masorti congregations outside North America and Israel. Current activities are based in Europe (including France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland), Eastern Europe (including Budapest, Prague and Poland), the former Soviet Union (Russia, and the Ukraine), Latin America and Australia.

  • The Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies — Established in Jerusalem in 1984, with its Graduate School of Advanced Jewish Studies, Rabbinical School, and Center for Jewish Education, it is one of Israel’s leading academic centers for modern Jewish learning. Its students come from secular, traditional and observant backgrounds to learn Jewish studies side-by-side within a pluralistic environment.

  • Seminario Rabbinico — Opening its doors in 1963 and located in Buenos Aires, the Seminario is Conservative Judaism’s center for Rabbinic training in Latin America.

  • Mercaz USA  — As the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, Mercaz USA works to increase the impact and influence of Conservative/Masorti Judaism on Israeli society. It also acts as force for supporting religious pluralism and funding for Masorti movement programs in Israel and throughout the world.