Rabbinical Assembly of America Opens 42nd Convention Devoted to War Problems

Several hundred rabbis from all parts of the country gathered here today at the opening session of the 42nd annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, meeting at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Discussions centered around wartime problems of the synagogue and of individual Jews. Messages greeting the delegates were received from President Roosevelt and Mayor LaGuardia. Dr. Louis Finkelstein, president of the Seminary, welcomed the delegates.

American Jews can make a significant contribution to the war effort of the democracies by formulating a code of ethics that follows the Jewish pattern, but which applies more specifically to the complexities of economic and social situations we confront today, Rabbi Leon S. Lang, president of the Assembly, told the delegates.

One of the high points of the convention is expected to be the address by Prof. Louis Ginzberg of the Seminary on Wednesday afternoon, when he will discuss the problem confronting Jewish women whose soldier husbands have been reported missing in action, but who have no proof of their death. Orthodox Jewish law prohibits a woman to remarry unless there is proof that her missing husband is dead. The delegates plan to work out a solution of this problem, by attempting to determine the minimum length of time that must elapse before the missing man can be presumed to be dead.

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