Cooperation Between Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews in U.S. is Proposed

Greater cooperation between Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Jews in America, without compromise of individual principles, was urged at the biennial convention of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods here. The proposal was placed before the 400 delegates of Reform Temple brotherhoods from all parts of the U.S. and Canada by Barnet Lieborman, of Philadelphia, president of the Conservative laymen’s group–the National Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs.

To carry out the proposal, Mr. Lieberman suggested the formation of a Men’s Club Council of America as a consultive body, comprised of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods, the National Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs and the Federation of Orthodox Man’s Clubs. He also recommended joint support of the work of the Jewish Chautauqua Society, the national educational project of the Reform Temple Brotherhoods.

“I can see no reason why we cannot join together in the work of the Jewish Chautauqua Society,” he said. “In recent years we learned that a great deal of anti-Semitism was due to lack of knowledge and understanding of Jews and Judaism on the part of the non-Jew. I believe that the more information concerning Jews and Judaism which we make available to the college students, the better will be the attitude of the American non-Jew toward us.”

Amplifying his plea for more cooperation between Jew and Jew, Mr. Lieberman stated: “Time and the experiences of the Jewish people during the past quarter century have drawn the various sects of American Jews closer together. The differences between us are now primarily personal ones and can be respected by everyone without compromising one’s own principles.” He suggested “three large areas in which the Reform and Conservative Brotherhoods can cooperate for the benefit of American Jewry:”

“1. In the field of higher Jewish learning: We must support all efforts to maintain and onlarge the work of the recognized schools and seminaries of higher Jewish learning and encourage our American Jewish youth to enter into these fields. We, the laymen of the Men’s Clubs, should educate the Jewish community to the importance of financially supporting the great American institutions of Jewish learning, in addition to contributing to overseas relief. Every Jew in this country will benefit if we can develop better-informed and better-trained Jewish leaders.

“2. In the field of Jewish adult education: We no longer should allow the rabbis to be the sole repositories of Jewish learning. Every Jewish layman must have a sound Jewish education if he is to be an intelligent American citizen. Leading educators have come to realize that American democracy has deep roots in our Hebrai? culture. We of the Brotherhoods, by use of the most modern techniques and by personal example, can make adult learning more fashionable and popular.

“3. In the field of Jewish communal life: Working together, we must see to it that synagogue attendance and religious practices are encouraged. Today, in the atmosphere of free and democratic America, the Jews can develop a Golden Age for themselves which will be their contribution to a greater America and world peace.”

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