Lay Leaders Seen Basic Need of American Jewry; Thousands of Layman Mark Chanukah
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Lay Leaders Seen Basic Need of American Jewry; Thousands of Layman Mark Chanukah

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Lay leaders, as well as a revitalized faith in religion, were declared to be basic needs for American Jewry today, at the annual Chanukah dinner of the Metropolitan Conference of Temple Brotherhoods held Sunday night in the Isaac Mayer Wise auditorium of Temple Emanu-El.

Murray Seasongood, former Mayor of Cincinnati, O., one of the principal speakers, further urged that the Jews show more activity in the political life of the community, “but on a moral basis, not creedal.”


The plea for lay leadership was made by Ludwig Vogelstein, chairman of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, who in the course of his address, declared: “over 2,000 years have passed since the glorious and victorious war of the Maccabees against Antiochus Epiphanes. The last 150 years have gradually brought emancipation and equality to most Jews of the world—at least on the statute books.”

The dinner was addressed also by Rabbi Samuel S. Cohen, professor of theology at Hebrew Union College, and Charles P. Kramer, chairman of the Metropolitan Conference, who acted as toastmaster. The latter asserted that “we actually need a rededication and reconsecration to our religion, rather than to evidence a lack of faith because we have permitted materialism to rule and guide us, rather than spirituality.”

The affair was attended by more than 1,000 persons from Greater New York, New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island.

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