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Statements of Rabbi Preaching Reform Judaism in Melbourne Arouse Jewish Community

Feeling runs high in the Melbourne Jewish community as the result of two interviews, one in the Jewish Herald and another in the general press, given by Rabbi Jerome Mark, an American Reform rabbi, who is here to organize Liberal Judaism for the World Union of Progressive Judaism. In his interview in the general press he is reported to have said that the Liberal Jews object to “mediaeval ghetto-like Judaism” while in the Jewish Herald he is quoted as saying that “we have talked long enough of the faith of our fathers. Now we must consider a faith for our children”.

Rabbi Mark also declared that “I enjoy my plate of oysters but I do not eat ham because I do not like it and not because I have any objections to it”.

The local rabbis made bitter attacks on Rabbi Mark in their holiday sermons but the holiday services conducted by Rabbi Mark were crowded and broadcast over the radio. Rabbi Israel Brodie protested against what he termed “American stunts in Judaism”. Rabbi Jacob Danglow declared against the attempt to transplant to “these shores ‘tell the world’ methods, a palatable mutation of Judaism specially compounded and flavored to tickle the palates of religiously languid Jews, a nondescript Judaism which demands no self sacrifice and identifies religious laxity with liberal-mindedness and seeks to dignify and justify religious indifference by calling it religious evolution”.

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