Union Plans to Conduct Campaign in November
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Union Plans to Conduct Campaign in November

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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

The month of November will be devoted by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations to a campaign for the purpose of securing adequate support for the work of the organization. Two hundred and seventy-nine meetings are being planned in Reform synagogues affiliated with the union. One hundred Rabbis and laymen, headed by David A. Brown, chairman of the Finance Committee of the Union, will address the meetings.

Cooperating with Mr. Brown will be the Alumni Association of the Hebrew Union College which at its recent annual meeting passed a resolution pledging support of its members in a financial drive in behalf of the Union. A meeting was held last week at the office of Mr. Brown in Detroit, at which were present a special committee appointed by the Alumni Association, which included Rabbis Morris Feuerlicht, of Indianapolis, chairman; Joseph Rauch, of Louisville, Ky.; Jonah B. Wise, of New York City; Dr. Julian Morgenstern and George Zepin of Cincinnati. Plans for the intensive drive were adopted at this conference.

Announcement was also made at the meeting of the support of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods and the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods.

A spiritual reawakening on the part of the Jews was urged by Ludwig Vogelstein, chairman of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, in a New Year message to American Jewry. Mr. Vogelstein made a plea to the Jews of America to rally to the support of spiritual and educational institutions, striving to bring Judaism to the Jews.

“The Jews of America are entering the year 5688 under favorable auspices,” he said “living as they do in a land of freedom and enjoying full political and economic opportunities. It is both easy and pleasant to point to our material prosperity, to the manifestations of our wealth as expressed in our Jewish hospitals and other institutions of social welfare. We may also be justly proud of our beautiful synagogues, our rabbinical seminaries and of our great Jewish libraries. But we are distressed to note the religious indifference and the spiritual lethargy of many of our fellow Jews.

“According to Jewish tradition, New Year’s day is not a day of hilarious celebration, but one devoted to retrospection and introspection. Therefore, we must ask ourselves whether we have lived up to the high ideals of our religion or whether we have worshipped at the altar of the Golden Calf. At the sound of the Shofar, our souls are bared before our Supreme Judge and we must again send forth the stirring call of the Prophet of old: ‘Return, O Israel, to your God!’

“Thousands of our brethren are not affiliated with the Synagogue, several hundred thousands of children grow up without religious education; even our charitable institutions have an uphill fight to raise sufficient money for their maintenance. It requires the superhuman efforts of self-sacrificing men and women to extract from grudging givers what should be forthcoming voluntarily. Our synagogues and educational institutions are constantly appealing for support and recognition.

“We cannot believe that benign Providence has preserved our people through centuries of cruel persecutions to let us die spiritually in a country where we enjoy the fundamental human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“If our customs differ from those of our oppressed forefathers, our spirit and our faith in God remain the same. For this reason we should be ready to make sacrifices in money and service for the preservation and revitalization of the spiritual life of our brethren. This would be a valuable contribution to American civilization and would show our gratitude to our Father in Heaven who has brought our fathers to these hospitable shores.

“In extending to you my sincere wishes for a happy New Year, may I express the hope that you will start the year by helping to raise the religious and spiritual standard of the American Jew, by supporting freely our religious, educational and charitable institutions. Thus you will manifest your adherence to the Jewish faith and your belief in a spiritual life.

“May the New Year be for us, for Israel and for mankind: A year of peace and contentment, of joy and spiritual welfare,” the message concluded.

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