Devotion of U.S. Jews to Charitable Work Undermines the Synagogue, Reform Rabbis Claim

The synagogue as an institution is becoming neglected because of inertia and indifference on the one hand, and because of the devotion of Jews in the United States to charitable organizations and other secular causes, on the other.

The opinion was expressed here at the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis by Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin of Los Angeles. The Reform rabbis were at the same time urged by other speakers to place greater emphasis on contemporary need and problems in their sermons and other religious duties. The Conference went on record as strongly supporting President Truman’s policy of resisting aggression, and recommended that efforts be made “consistent with our national welfare and defense, to reach a peaceful settlement of the Korean war and a general settlement between East and West.”

A merger of the Reform and Conservative wings of American Judaism is out of the question at this time although it is regarded as a possibility for sometime in the future, rabbinical spokesmen for these two religious groups declared here. Their views were expressed at a session devoted to consideration of this question. Closer cooperation between the two groups in specific areas of common interest was recommended as a practical step toward greater understanding and eventual unity.

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