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Centralization of Jewish Community Life in U.S. Urged at Reconstructionist Parley

Establishment of local Jewish community councils in cities throughout the country to coordinate and give expression to the viewpoints of the diverse groups within the community was suggested here by Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, founder of the Reconstruction movement, speaking at a week-end annual conference of the group. The local councils should in turn be coordinated by a National Jewish Community Council, Dr. Kaplan added.

Dr. David Petegorsky, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, said that the future communal status of American Jews will depend on “the emergence and development of the Jewish state in Palestine, the extension of progressive democracy in the United States and maintenance of peace in the world, the political and economic status of Jews in other lands, intelligent Jewish community organization in American, further development of cultural pluralism, the status of civil rights in America, and the degree of assimilation and escape from Jewish identification.”

Dr. Emanuel Gemoran, educational director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, told the conference that “American Jewish life will become more normalized as a result of the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, Much of the controversy over Zionism which sapped American Jewish strength is over,” he added, “There no longer is any adequate reason why the whole of American Jewry should not mite to work for Judaism conceived as functioning in the areas of religion and culture.”

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