NEW YORK (Jan. 16)
Dr. Pinkhos Churgin, president of the Mizrachi Organization of America, today issued a statement severely criticizing Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, for declining an invitation to be among the local sponsors of a visit to Cincinnati of Rabbi Judah L. Maimon, Israel Minister of Religion. Rabbi Maimon is scheduled to arrive in the United States on January 23 for a four-week tour arranged by the Mizrachi organization.
Dr. Glueck and a number of other leaders of the Reform movement in Cincinnati declined the invitation, declaring that they questioned the status of religious freedom in Israel today, especially for non-Orthodox Jews. Those who joined Dr. Glueck in turning down the invitation include Lester A. Jaffe, chairman of the board of the Hebrew Union College, and Philip Meyers, vice-president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
In his statement, Dr. Churgin charged Dr. Glueck and his group with “acting in extraordinary bad faith which ill becomes any leaders in the American Jewish community.” Dr. Churgin said that Rabbi Maimon, as a member of the Israel Cabinet, “at the very least deserves the same de jure recognition which these Reform religious leaders accord to non-religious or even anti-religious ministers from Israel.” He pointed out that Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, also a Reform rabbi, accepted the honorary chairmanship of the reception committee formed in Cleveland for Minister Maimon.