KIAMESSA LAKE, N.Y. (Jun. 19)
A call for a united religious Jewry in American was issued here today by Rabbi Max D. Davidson, president of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, in his presidential address at the 51st annual convention of the Assembly.
The leader of the Conservative rabbis said that, “the rabbis and congregations of America dissipate and fragmentize their strength and their power.” He argued that more Jews are associated with organized synagogue life than with any other functioning Jewish institution in America.
Rabbi Davidson recommended that the Assembly appoint a special committee to consider the question of organizing a campaign for a strong synagogue Council and failing that, for “a new American Jewish Conference, which will be composed exclusively of congregational and religious groups.” He also urged the formation of a new Zionist party in the United States composed of “like-minded persons” of every religious complexion in America.
“There are parties dedicated to protect the rights of labor and parties to protect the privileges of private enterprise, and parties to support a State religion. I propose a party dedicated to restore and revive religion for the modern Jew in the Jewish state,” he declared. He pointed out that the Conservative movement “has helped to build Zion principally from without, but now the time has come to help build Zion principally from within.” He advocated the establishment of a Conservative center in Israel subsidized for religious and social studies.
Addressing the 250 rabbis attending the Assembly session, Dr. Louis Finkelstein, president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, said last night that the Nordic racial theory is still influencing the American immigration laws. “America and the free will cannot arrive unless the prophetic principle of brotherhood of man is universally recognized and practiced,” he declared. He spoke at a dinner in honor of Dr. Mordecai Kaplan, past president of the Rabbinical Assembly, in connection with Dr. Kaplan’s 70th birthday.