United Synagogue of America Discusses Standards of Jewish Living

The 39th annual national convention of the United Synagogue of America concluded here last night re-electing Maxwell Abbell of Chicago as president. The convention attended by 800 delegates, was devoted to discussing standards for Jewish living.

Addressing the convention, Rabbi Ralph Simon of Chicago said that a quiet revolution is going on among Conservative rabbis in an effort to adapt the religious aspirations of Judaism to modern times. He also appealed to the delegates to export some of the principles of the Conservative movement to Israel in addition to giving financial aid to the new Jewish State.

Israel Ambassador Abba Eban, who was one of the principal speakers, said if Israel fails as a democracy all the Middle East will be lost to the Western Powers. He added that the relations between Israel and the United States had become increasingly cordial and intimate. “The inclusion of Israel in the Mutual Security Pact is a striking illustration of this fraternity between two democracies,” he stated. “We believe that American policy regards the strengthening of Israel as an important objective.”

Judge Simon H. Rifkind, onetime advisor on Jewish Affairs to the American forces in Europe, summed up his idea of the Jewish community as a society “whose primary function and central responsibility are to transmit learning from generation to generation; to propagate the quest for truth as the highest good; to inculcate the capacity to discriminate between the sacred and the profane, between light and darkness, between the Sabbath and the work day; and to distinguish between good and evil; to maintain the sanctities of life and promote the concept of sanctified living; to lead a private and institutional life which such a system of standards and values comprehends.”

The family of Mr. and Mrs. Saul Margolis, of Brookline, Mass., was selected as the “Jewish Family of the Year” by the convention. Criteria for selection, as established by the United Synagogue award committee, include religious observance by the entire family, knowledge of Judaism, synagogue attendance, and interest and participation in Jewish communal life.

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