Rabbi Julius Gordon of Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, addressing the fourth annual conference of the North East Religious Union of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations at Temple Emanu-El yesterday, advocated a three-point policy as the answer to the topical question, “How Shall the Jew Face Humanity?”
“We should be ourselves, be true to ourselves and express ourselves,” he said.
“Intolerance toward the Jew is a nullification of the promise that civilization brought to the world,” he declared.
As to “being ourselves,” he pointed out that “the entire theory of assimilation, self-abasement and self-denial have proved futile and fatal.”
“Germany has been a laboratory experiment proving that,” he said. “Our task is to be true to the prophetic heritage that surges through our veins.”
JEWS OUTWEIGH DEEDS
He told his listeners that the living Jew is more important than the entire Jewish contribution to the world.
“It wasn’t the Bible that made the Jew, but the Jew that made the Bible,” he pointed out. “It wasn’t the Talmud that made the Jew, but the Jew that made the Talmud.”
He professed disapproval of Jewry’s tendency to express itself negatively rather than positively.
“It is unfortunate,” he said, “that Jewry must live by anti-Semitism. It is not our common enemy that should unite us. It should be our common ideal.”
Referring to anti-Semitism in this country, he declared:
“Anti-Semitism may flare up in America but it will never flourish. Hitler may come to America but America will never come to Hitlerism. No man of the hour can destroy a people of eternity. No edict of the hour can destroy Jewish ideals.”
A resolution on world peace was presented to the conference by Mrs. Samuel Kubie, chairman of the National and New York State Federation of Temple Sisterhoods.
Another resolution expressed sorrow at the death of Alexander Cahn, member of the Union’s board of managers and president of Congregation Mishkin Israel of New Haven, Conn.
Memorial services were held in the afternoon in memory of Rabbi Jacob B. Pollak, for a number of years regional rabbi of the North East Conference. The services, under the auspices of the Metropolitan Conference of Religious School Teachers, of which he was one of the founders, replaced the teachers’ annual Winter conference on religious school problems.
Among those who delivered memorial addresses were Rabbi William F. Rosenblum of Temple Israel, New York; Rabbi William B. Schwartz of Temple Israel, Lawrence, L. I. , and Hugo Levy, president of the Metropolitan League of Temple Brotherhoods.
PERILMAN CONDUCTS RITES
Kadish was read by Cantor M. R. Rudinow of Temple Emanu-El and Rabbi Sidney S. Tedesche of Union Temple, Brooklyn. The service was conducted by Rabbi Nathan A. Perilman of Temple Emanu-El; and the musical program was by Cantor Rudinow of Emanu-El.
Tribute was paid to the memory of Ludwig Vogelstein and Mrs. Maurice Steinfeld, Reform leaders, who had taken an interest in the work of the conference and who died this Fall.
At the luncheon, greetings were brought to the conference from various affiliates in the national and State Reform movement.
SIX GROUP CONFERENCES
In the morning, six group conferences were held, three for youth groups and three for adult groups. The adult groups were led by Judge Joseph G. Shapiro of Bridgeport, Conn.; Rabbi Rosenblum of Temple Israel, New York, and Dr. Jacques E. Zipser of Congregation Emanu-El, New York.
Groups of congregation presidents and trustees discussed the “Administration and Executive Problems of Our Congregations.” Dr. Rosenblum led a group interested in religious school work in a discussion of “The Functions and Administration of Religious Schools.” Dr. Zipser, assisted by Mrs. Leroy Blatner of Temple Beth Emeth, Albany; Hugo Levy, Progressive Temple, Brooklyn, and Alvin Rosenson, Union Temple, Brooklyn, led a group consisting of persons not in the other two groups in a discussion entitled “How Shall We Create Greater Interest in Congregational Life?”
The three youth groups discussed “The Three Problems That Confront Jewish Youth Today,” led by Dr. Solomon Lowenstein and Frank Glick, both of New York; “The Religious Challenge to Youth Today,” led by Rabbi Perilman of Congregation Emanu-El, and “Anti-Semitism Challenges Young People Today,” led by Rabbi Jacob B. Weinstein of the American Jewish Committee.