Plans or a nation-wide conference of Orthodox Jewish congregations which will be held in New York on May 2 in connection with the laying of the cornerstone of the Yeshiva College of America were endorsed at a preliminary conference of Orthodox Jewish congregations of Greater New York held last Sunday at the Central Jewish Institute.
Gedaliah Bublick, editor of the “Jewish Daily News” and chairman of the Congregations Committee of the Yeshiva College Building Fund, presided at the meeting. About 200 congregations were represented.
In pointing to the necessity for Orthodox congregations to organize into one central body of Orthodox Jews, Mr. Bublick asserted that the Reform congregations have a greater influence on Jewish life than is proportionate with their numbers. While the Union of American Hebrew Congregations has a membership of little more than 200 congregations, in all matters of national importance pertaining to Jewish religious questions, the voice of Reform Jews is heard, while Orthodox Jewry is not given proper representation. In defining the term Orthodox Jew, Mr. Bublick took the view that all those American Jews who are not affiliated with Reform congregations stand on the basis of traditional Judaism which is opposed to any change in the ritual of either home or synagogue. The number of such Jews in the United States approximates two millions, he stated.
Harris L. Selig, Executive Director of the Yeshiva College Building Fund, submitted plans for the forthcoming conference on May 2. He stated that over 1,000 Orthodox congregations function in Greater New York and more than 2,000 throughout the country.
The committee calling the national conference is headed by Judge Otto A Rosalsky and Orthodox leaders of New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and other cities.