CINCINNATI (Oct. 12)
The executive board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations today issued a statement refuting the claims of a group which is opposing the Board’s proposal to remove the national headquarters of the U.A.H.C. from Cincinnati to New York. The arguments in favor of moving the headquarters are summarized in the statement as follows:
“1. New York is the organizational center of American and world Jewry–therefore, the Union must have its headquarters in New York in order to take its place in the councils of Jewish organizational life. For this reason, too, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the United Synagogue of America (Conservative Judaism), the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Welfare Board, the National Council of Jewish Women and many other leading Jewish organizations have their central offices in New York.
“2. New York is the center of religious life–many Christian denominations, the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, to mention only some, have their headquarters in New York City. There, too, is the Synagogue Council of America, the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and countless other organizations devoted to the strengthening of the voice of religion.
“3. New York includes the largest Jewish community both in America and the world–therefore, national headquarters of the Union in New York will enable Reform or Liberal Judaism to fulfill its mission in winning the masses of the unaffiliated, a task too monumental for a regional office however effective.
“4. New York is the supreme focal point of contact with the constituent members of the Union–most congregants visit New York as some time during the year, thus providing the Union with direct contact with its constituency. Because of its excellent transportation, New York offers immediate plane and rail access to at least half of the Union congregants. National meetings in New York, too, are far better attended than elsewhere.”
The executive board’s statement calls attention to the fact that the advantages of transferring headquarters to New York have been recommended repeatedly since 1905, when the late Jacob H. Schiff urged such a move. Without wishing to minimize the sentimental considerations of Cincinnati as “the birthplace of Liberal Judaism,” the executive board emphasizes the fact that removal of U.A.H.C. headquarters from Cincinnati will not deprive that city entirely of a continuing Liberal influence. It is pointed out that the Hebrew Union College and a regional office of the Union in Cincinnati “will assure that community” an uninterrupted source of Reform inspiration.
The statement concludes by stating that “as a result of the recent merger with the Jewish Institute of Religion, the enlarged Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, has quarters in New York. Thus, the Union will continue to remain in proximity to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion both in New York and Cincinnati.”