Religious Education U.S. Jewry’s Greatest Need, Women’s Parley Hears

Declaring that a well defined program of religious education is the outstanding need of American Jewry today, Mrs. Samuel Spiegel, president of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue, said today that the problem of religious education is peculiarly that of women.

In the opening address to 200 delegates to the league’s three-day nineteenth annual convention at the Hotel Schenley, she said that if the “reverence for the spirit of Judaism dies, even our successful money-raising drives will die. Carelessness or indifference to what has united us as Jews will lead to assimilation,” Mrs. Spiegel declared. “We must not be perfunctory about religious education. And we must not let it end at the age of thirteen.”

She also urged relieving rabbis of the burden of congregational finances and the adoption of a social security plan for rabbis along the lines of the federal social security and old-age pension laws. A message was read from President Roosevelt trusting “that the deliberations to be undertaken will promote and encourage the exemplifications of the highest teachings of traditional Judaism.”

Two symposiums were held this afternoon and this evening. Mrs. Edward Kolsky, Philadelphia, presided at a discussion of “The Sisterhood as an Educational Agency,” and Dr. Simon Greenberg, Philadelphia, was chairman during a panel discussion on “Trends in Present Day Religious Observance.”

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