ideology

Noam is proud to have a vibrant and dynamic ideology. Debated and decided at our annual conference, Veida, our ideology has 5 branches which can be found below.

The branches were devised at the first ever Noam Veida (annual conference) in the early 1990s and have been added to and revised ever since. The most sweeping changes came at Veidot 2003, 2005 and 2016, at which all five branches were completely rewritten to reflect the members’ views, with the Zionism branch being the focus of the 2016 changes.

There were more ideological shifts at 2011’s Veida, in which Democracy and Hadracha were amended and rewritten to become Democratic Community and Hagshama respectively. In 2017 the Democratic Community and Hagshama branches were renamed Kehillah and Hagshama Atzmit respectively.

Statement of Purpose

Masorti Judaism

i. Noam is the youth movement of Masorti Judaism. We operate in the Halachic framework as laid down by Masorti Rabbis.

ii. Torah and Halacha comprise the backbone of Judaism and we recognise our obligation to follow them.

iii. We also believe Judaism must engage with the challenge of modernity, contemporary scholarship and Moral Imperatives. We all inherit the tradition and believe that it is a living and dynamic system.

iv. We seek to imbibe our members with the knowledge and skills to develop a love for Jewish practice and learning. We aim to provide educational opportunities for all our members such as the opportunities that are offered at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

v. Noam believes in personal autonomy and opposes religious fundamentalism and coercion.

vi. Noam is an egalitarian Masorti Kehila (community) and believes that men and women are both equally obligated in all areas of Jewish practice.

vii. Noam seeks to be an engaged, literate, questioning, observant, vibrant and caring Kehila, that is the driving force behind the Masorti Community and its future.

viii. Through Noam each member is able to embark upon their own Jewish journey and engage with our own unique tradition.

ix: Noam stands for equal rights of LGBTQ* people and will put pressure on the wider Masorti movement to make equal marriage ceremonies available in Masorti spaces.

Zionism

i. Noam believes firmly in the existence of Israel as a Jewish, equal and democratic state. We believe that we have an obligation to build a Jewish state that reflects our beliefs.

ii. Hebrew is the national language of the Jewish People, and we will use it and teach it as much as possible.

iii. Through Aliya, alongside Diaspora activism, Noam can shape a State of Israel based on our values.

iv. Noam is committed to providing its members with a detailed, historical understanding of the emergence of Modern Zionism and a contemporary understanding of the State of Israel.

v. Noam supports the most viable solution for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which we currently believe to be the Two State Solution.

vi. Noam commits to educating about both sides of the conflict, with a view to empowering participants to hold informed debates outside of Noam.

vii. Noam acknowledges the IDF’s right and responsibility to defend Israel, but does not necessarily always support its actions.

viii. We believe the Israeli government should uphold the ideals set out by the Declaration of Independence, promoting freedom of religion for all.

ix. Noam believes in a Zionism where there is a clearer separation between Synagogue and State.

x. Noam will educate its members about issues of Orthodox hegemony in Israel, and will campaign to end these wherever possible.

xi. Noam encourages its members to visit the Conservative Yeshiva to learn about Masorti Judaism and pluralism.

xii. Noam believes that Israel should respect and accept different religious communities in Israel, and respect other communities outside of Israel.

xiii. Noam believes that civil, same-sex and non-Orthodox Jewish marriages and partnerships, both performed inside and outside of Israel, should be recognised by the Israeli government.

xiv. Judaism holds all life to be sacred. Noam will fight for the human rights and living conditions of all people within Israel and the Palestinian Territories, regardless of faith or ethnicity.

xv. Noam aims to reduce poverty and inequality in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. This must reflect that a disproportionate number of the most vulnerable people in these societies are not Jewish.”

xvi. Noam will provide the opportunity for its members to spend time in Israel in order to develop a love for the land, people and culture and religion; we will further foster this relationship in the UK through our machanot and other activities.

Kehillah (Community)

i. Noam is a Masorti community and welcomes and supports the rights of all, regardless of gender, race, socio-economic background, political persuasion, sexual orientation, or ability. 

ii. Noam is am intersectional feminisit youth movement.

iii. Noam believes in democracy as an effective process for communal decision making. Assefot (on Veida and at other times) are the formalised enactments of this belief

iv. Noam invites its members to engage regularly with the movement through the events and structures provided throughout the year. The Mazkirut will empower members of Noam to bring about change within the community.

v. Noam seeks to develop bonds with other Masorti communities across the world. Noam Olami and other individual initiatives will facilitate this.

vi. Noam upholds its right as a community to make autonomous decisions and act upon them

vii. Noam strives to foster an inclusive and secure environment for all its members

Hagshama Atzmit

i. Noam will foster Hagshama Atzmit (self fulfilment) for all of its participants at all Noam events. The process of education is a crucial step towards self-development, thus Noam seeks to include this in all of its endeavours.

ii. Noam aims to be innovative in its education, pushing the boundaries of both formal and informal education, in order to stimulate creative thought.

iii. Noam aims to create a safe and open environment for debate on all issues within a supportive and informal framework.

iv. We aim to promote and foster high standards of Hadracha through training programmes and experience.

v. Noam believes feedback to be a central part of personal growth, and as such will create opportunities for and encourage feedback.

vi. By striving to live out our ideology we aim to become a Dugma Ishit (role model) and an Or L’Tnua (light onto our movement). Positive Dugma is the best way to pass Noam’s ideology onto its members.

vii. Through Hadracha we aim to promote, educate and live out Noam’s other four branches.

viii. Noam is committed to tracking the progress and achievements of all its Madrachim, in order to provide its members with individually focused skills and training throughout their time in the movement.

ix. Noam aims to improve the wellbeing of all its participants through structures such as Atid at all Noam events.

Gemilut Chasadim

i. Noam believes that every individual and the movement as a whole has the obligation of Gemillut Chasadim (Acts Of Loving Kindness), advancing equality, peace, justice & kindness.

ii. Noam believes that the world is imperfect and that it is the duty of every individual to improve the world around them.

iii. Noam believes that we should end every day having left the world a better place that the one in which we woke up.

iv. Noam has a duty to take a stand against any form of genocide or severe abuse of Human Rights where injustice occurs. Apathy is no option.

v. Noam values and encourages all Social Action endeavours that its members engage in and support in their daily lives.

vi. Noam should unite its members to fight for causes in order to have a positive impact on our society and the wider world.

vii. Noam believes that practical engagement in Tikkun Olam & Chesed should run alongside Chinuch and Hadracha development. Fostering a safe, inclusive and caring environment for young people are Gemillut Chasidim in themselves.

viii. Noam views all elements of Tikkun as an inherent part of Chesed and will support its members in all tikkun activities.