Jewish Religious Bodies Will Oppose Calendar Reform

New York Meeting Hears of Effect on Sabbath of Commercial Calendar

The substitution of the present calendar by the so-called “commercial calendar” advocated by leading business firms in a committee headed by George Eastman of Rochester, will be opposed by Jewish religious organizations.

At a meeting held at the Commodore Hotel Friday morning and attended by representatives of the Synagogue Council of America, the United Synagogue of America, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Jewish Theological Seminary, a plan was formulated. According to the plan outlined by Congressman Sol Bloom, who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, the resolution introduced by Congressman Porter urging the President of the United States to take the initiative in calling an international conference on the subject would not be opposed, while the proposal concerning the change in the calendar would be vigorously combatted.

Congressman Bloom in a chart submitted to the meeting showed the effect the proposed thirteen month year would have on the observance of the Sabbath and Jewish religious life. For instance, the Sabbaths in 1933 would fall on Saturday, while in 1934 they would be shifted to Friday, in 1935 to Thursday, etc. Observant Jews would certainly refuse to accept the new naming of the days and would therefore shift their day of rest one day each year. This would create utter chaos in Jewish religious life and would split up the Jewish people into groups of Jews who worship on different days, Congressman Bloom argued.

Christian and Moslem holidays would likewise be affected. Congressman Bloom asked that if the purpose of the calendar change is to facilitate business accountings, as it is being asserted that over 100 large firms have been using the thirteen 28-day month calendars for a number of years, why should it not be limited to the internal management of business and why should not the business world adopt this calendar without disturbing the present sequence of days and create a wandering Sabbath for each religion? he asked.

Among those who attended the conference were:

Rabbi Samuel Schulman, representing the Synagogue Council of America, Rabbi Jacob Cohen of the United Synagogue of America, Rabbi H. G. Enelow of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Prof. Hochender of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabbi Samuel Cohen of the United Synagogue of America, Prof. Alexander Kohut of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary; Dr. David de Sola Pool of the Union of Orthodox Congregations, Dr. Jonah Simon of the American League for Creative Judaism, Mr. Harry Schneiderman of the American Jewish Committee, Dr. H. Linfield of the American Jewish Committee, Prof. David Sain of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Dr. Louis Schwedel, Rabbis Israel Herbert Levinthal of Brooklyn Jewish Center, L. Finkelstein, Elias Margolis and Nathan Krass.

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