CHICAGO (May. 18)
Speakers at today’s session of the 48th annual contention of the Rabbinical Assembly of America agreed that one of the “major tasks of the American rabbinate is to help build a spiritual absorptive capacity in the Jewish community so that it may derive the maximum benefit from the religious and cultural influences which will flow from the Jewish state of Israel.”
The 250 Conservative rabbis from all parts of the U.S. and Canada attending he meeting heard Rabbi Morris Adler, of Detroit, assert that while “the role of the Jew state is secure and central in the economy of Jewish life, we must not fall into the error of placing unreasonable reliance upon it for our cultural and spiritual salvation as a Jewish community.”
About 90 rabbis are now enrolled in the Assembly’s retirement program, it was reported, while approximately a score of refugee rabbis have been placed in pulpits throughout the country through the cooperation of the Assembly and the United Service for New Americans.
A call for the organization of a “World Union for Conservative Judaism” was sounded here last night by Rabbi Israel M. Goldman, president of the Assembly. Reviewing the activities of two Assembly missions sent to Latin America and Italy last year, as well as the flow of correspondence with Jewish religious leaders in all parts of the world, Dr. Goldman declared:
“The global unity of Jewish life in recognized by all and the time is now rape for us to give organizational expression of a world-wide character to our movement. I am confident that when Conservative Judaism, the first Jewish religious movement indigenous to the United States, undertakes such a move, the seeds we have planted here in the past 60 years will flourish in other lands as well.”
Rabbi Bernard Segal, executive director of the Assembly, presented a report on the organization’s achievements of the past year. Pointing out that courts of Jewish law had previously functioned only in the Greater New York area, Rabbi Segal said that such courts have now been organized in Chicago and in Philadelphia. The courts, he explained, deal with the Interpretation of Jewish religious law and are under the supervision of the Assembly’s law commission.
Samuel Rothstein, president of the United Synagogue of America, was re-elected for an additional term at the organization’s closing convention session here last night