Menu JTA Search

Union of American Hebrew Congregations May Move to Washington

The headquarters of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations may be moved from Cincinnati to Washington, it was reported today in the American Israelite. The transfer is urged by Dr. Edward L. Israel, the new executive secretary of the organization who will assume his duties on October 7th.

The Union has had its headquarters in Cincinnati since its establishment in July 1873, through the efforts of the late Rabbi Isaac M. Wise. If the Union is moved, its affiliate, the Hebrew Union College is expected to remain in Cincinnati, according to the Cincinnati publication.

One of the reasons, says the American Israelite, advanced in favor of the move to Washington is that the transfer “would facilitate cooperation with inter-faith groups and other organizations actively dedicated to the causes of democracy and religion. The transfer would enable the Union to come into its own as a dynamic, effective organization in the national religious scene”. The view is also held that Washington now partakes something of the aspect of the world’s capital and that “those who are on the ground there” are the best informed and readiest for action. Yet another reason given is that Baltimore’s Reform Congregation, Har Sinai of which Dr. Israel is the Rabbi since 1923 would prefer to have him continue to reside in the east.

In an editorial commenting on the news report, the American Israelite, which is celebrating this week the 88th year of its establishment, expresses the hope “that the proposal will die aborning”. It argues that none of the arguments adduced in favor of removal “impress us as sufficiently compelling to uproot an organization from its birth-place and 68 year old home.” It presents its own reasons for opposing the plan, pointing out that Washington is the political, not the religious capital of the nation. “We do not believe that the Union can accomplish anything by moving to Washington that it cannot accomplish by remaining in Cincinnati,” the editorial argues.

NEXT STORY