Orthodox Rabbis Re-affirm Opposition to Agunah Reform

The Union of Orthodox Rabbis today re-affirmed its opposition to the reform introduced by the Conservative rabbinate permitting an agunah (deserted wife) to obtain a divorce, and issued a volume, “Unto the Last Generation,” offering the views of 1,500 rabbinical authorities throughout the world upholding the traditional view.

The action was taken at the union’s annual convention at the Hotel Ostend, being attended by more than 200 rabbis from various parts of the United States and Canada. Rabbi Joseph Konvitz, of Newark, was re-elected president of the union.

Other officers elected as the convention closed this morning are: Rabbis B.L. Levinthal, Philadelphia; Israel Rosenberg, Brooklyn; Haym Bloch, Jersey City; Eliezer Silver, Cincinnati, and Dr. Bernard Revel, New York, honorary presidents; Rabbis Louis Natelowitz, Louisville, treasurer; Louis Seltzer, New York, secretary, and Isaac Siegel, Jersey City, chairman of the administrative committee. Vice-presidents are to be chosen later.

The convention heard a report of the Ezras Torah Fund showing that under the union’s auspices about $23,000 was raised in the past year to aid needy rabbis and scholars overseas. Rabbi Israel Rosenberg, of Brooklyn, chairman of the fund, and Rabbi Joseph Henkin, of New York, secretary reported that in the 22 years of the fund’s existence more than $900,000 has been expended for aid to and relief of needy scholars.

After an address by Rabbi Aaron Purack, Brooklyn, deploring the condition of the Jews in Poland and Germany, sentiment was evidenced at the convention to appeal to President Roosevelt to use his good offices in behalf of the oppressed Jews. The rabbis acknowledged that the anti-Nazi boycott was still a powerful weapon.

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