San Francisco (Feb. 12)
The Tuesday morning session of the convention of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations was opened this morning at Temple Emanu-El with an invocation by Rabbi Samuel Wahl of Cincinnati. The remainder of the session was devoted to Committee meetings.
At the afternoon session the symposium on “Judaism and the Modern World” was continued. At the Monday evening session, Dr. Julian Morgenstern, opening the symposium on “Judaism and the Modern World” traced the history of Reform Judaism, paying glowing tribute to Moses Mendelsohn as its founder. He sounded a hopeful note, declaring: “With Reform Judaism in the van of religious progress today and with the emphasis of the new reformation laid upon the things of this world and this life, Judaism’s golden opportunity has come. The privilege, nay, the God-appointed destiny which rightfully, by all the laws of history, should have been its four hundred or more years ago, of leading the world onward toward religious revelation and religious reformation, to religious realization, is its once more by these same divinely guided laws of history. Now no fanatic persecution nor ghetto barriers block the way. To us today the eternal challenging call of Judaism comes again.
“If Judaism is to survive in this modern world and is to serve, as we dare to believe it can and should, and is even to lead in the new revelations and the new religious awakening and progress, as we still firmly believe in the God-appointed destiny, then first of all it must achieve, and that speedily, a true world unity, in which differences and divisions will soon be forgotten and all qualifying adjectives may be discarded as outgrown and obsolete-when Reform and Conservative and Orthodox will be terms no longer heard or understood, but all Jews the world over will be known to each other and to the world at large as Jews and Judaism only as Judaism. But if Reform Judaism is to stand in the van in this forward movement not only for other religions but for Judaism itself, then it becomes doubly our task and our obligation to lead in this first endeavor to bring about the realization of a unified world. Judaism must constitute our first problem and duty,” Dr. Morgenstern Declared.
Prof. Max Radin of the University of California spoke on Judaism and the physical universe as conceived by mod (Continued on Page 8) (Continued from Page 1)
In his address before the session Ludwig Vogelstein, chairman of the Union’s Executive Board, declared that the convention’s symposium on “Judaism and the Modern World” would attempt to ascertain whether the conflict between Judaism and modernism is real or imaginary. It would try to answer the following three challenges: What is Judaims’s position toward the claims of modern scientists based on the new discoveries in the field of physical science? What answer can Judaism give the implications of the new psychological conception of man? Is there a conflict between the teachings of Judaism and the claims of the social order?
“Bear in mind,” Mr. Vogelstein said, “that we liberals are an insignificant minority, probably not over 400,000 of more than 4,000,000 Jews in America. But ours is the obligation to carry the banner of Judaism in this country. The next generation will witness the absorption into our synagogues of millions who, owing to their later arrival, still are bravely fighting a hopeless battle to maintain a medieval culture in the midst of Western civilization. We have no quarrel with them, but the transition must be made slowly.”
The annual report of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations covering the period November 1, 1927 to October 31, 1928, showed a total of $260,468.45 received for the year from affiliated congregations, an increase of nearly one hundred thousand dollars over last year. The Hebrew Union College spent $288,178.02 and the appropriation for 1929 is $300,000.
New congregations which joined the Union were Beth Israel, Chicago; Congregation Israel, Hollywood. A motion picture was shown the delegates depicting the activities of the Union.
A report was submitted by the Committee on the Revision of the Constitution, recommending a change in the by-laws. According to this proposal, members of the Union Board are to be elected from among the congregation members affiliated with the Union.
The Committee on the Synagogue Council of America reported that it has for consideration a plan of concerted action for the release from work on the High Holidays of Jewish men and women employes. It also recommended a census to ascertain how many Jewish children attend religious schools.
A dinner in honor of Henry Morgenthau and Adolph S. Ochs will be tendered on Sunday night at the Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles. The host will be Louis B. Mayer. One hundred guests have been invited.
Mr. Morgenthau and Mr. Ochs have been touring the country in the interest of the Hebrew Union College $5,000,000 Endowment Fund.