Baton Rouge Congregation Adopts Anti-zionist By-law; Asks UAHC Quit Jewish Conference

In a statement assailing what it alleged was “misrepresentation occasioned by Zionist leaders who presume to speak for all of American Jewry,” congregation B’nai Israel of this city today revealed that by a vote of 110 to 36 it has written into its articles of incorporation the entire “Pittsburgh platform” of Reform Jewry, with particular reference to the section of the platform which rejects Zionism.

The congregation also announced that in the future all of its rabbis, officers and trustees will be required to take a pledge to support the “Pittsburgh Platform,” which was adopted at a conference of Reform rabbis in 1885 under the leadership of the late Rabbi Isaac M. Wise. The statement said that the congregation had taken this step now since silence on the part of “anti-nationalist” Jews has been construed as indicating agreement with the Zionist viewpoint, and, as a result, “they may be faced with the fait accompli of an established Jewish State and a “Jewish Nationality in these nations in which the majority of Jews will always want to live.”

At the same time, the congregation released the text of a letter sent to Rabbi Maurice Eisendrath, director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, containing resolutions protesting against the membership of the Union in the American Jewish Conference, which is described as “becoming more and more a mere cover up implement of the Zionist Organization of America.” The concluding resolution suggests the formation of new league of Reform Jewish congregations “that shall be loyal to the ideals of Isaac M. Wise and the Pittsburgh Platform.”

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