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Negotiations Continue on Louisville Plan to Bar Services to Unaffiliated

Negotiations are continuing regarding the proposal to deny religious services to financially-able Jews who decline to join a congregation, following the action of the board of trustees of Congregation Adath Israel in refusing to ratify the plan, already approved by Louisville’s five other Jewish congregations. Execution of the plan is contingent on approval by all six congregations.

In a letter to the Intergenerational Committee of Louisville, which drew up the proposal, Melvin S. Mayors, president of Adath Israel, declared that while the temple appreciated the goal of the committee, it would not join in any action leading to a denial of services for any reason. Rabbi Joseph Rauch of Adath Israel stated: “I will not deny my services to anyone, even though they are not members of a congregation.”

The Intergenerational Committee, in a statement supporting its proposal, declared: “The time has come when each and every, Jew should recognize his responsibility as a member of the world Jewish community. We feel that the best way of demonstrating and putting into effect one’s willingness to be a part and parcel of his community is by affiliating himself with some congregation.”

Clarifying its position, the committee stated that (1) its aims “are much more concerned with the civic morale of this Jewish community than about any profit motive,”(2) non-membership in congregations by adults sets a bad example for their children, (3) visitors to Louisville would not be barred from religious services under the plan.

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