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Balanced U.S. Defense Program Backed As Rabbinical Parley Opens

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Approval of the Liberal rabbinate for a “cooly conceived and balanced” national defense policy was expressed tonight by Rabbi Emil W. Leipziger, of New Orleans, delivering the presidential message to 200 rabbis attending the opening session of the 51st annual meeting of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, described as the world’s largest rabbinical body.

C.C.A.R. members “contemplate with satisfaction and approval the expressed purpose of the President of the United States to prevent America from being drawn into the maelstrom of war,” Rabbi Leipziger said in his message as prepared for delivery in advance.

He pointed out that the Jew was “caught within a vicious circle of his own driving ideals,” having peace as his mission yet realizing that “if America does not add its might to the forces which democracies have engaged, freedom and justice may vanish from the earth–ideals as sacred as that of peace shall be flouted.”

“Shall we eschew peace and fight for freedom or shall we let despotism triumph as the price of peace?” Rabbi Leipziger asked. “Was ever a people beset by a more grueling inner conflict?” His answer, in essence, was that the United States should stay out of war but strengthen its defenses.

In his address, Rabbi Leipziger also:

(1) Recommended that the conference express appreciation to the various parties involved for the “inspiring” agreement regarding refugee settlement in the Dominican Republic;

(2) Urged the conference to call on Jewish institutions of learning to create graduate schools and research departments in order to make room for rabbis and scholars from East European centers of learning;

(3) Expressed concern over criticism in the liberal Christian press of President Roosevelt’s appointment of Myron C. Taylor as personal representative to the Vatican;

(4) Warned against the New York State law releasing children from school during the day to attend religious schools as giving impetus to the demand for a change in the status of religious education.

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