U.S. Orthodox Rabbis Oppose Introduction of Reform Judaism in Israel

The 16th annual convention of the Rabbinical Council of America, an Orthodox group, opened here last night with an attack against “the attempt to establish Reform Judaism in Israel” The attack was made by Rabbi Samuel Berliant, president of the organization, in his opening address.

Predicting that “the attempt will fail.” Rabbi Berliant said: “The apologetics associated with the founding of the Reform movement will find no sympathy with clear-thinking people of Israel. They will seek and find spiritual roots only in the pristine and unadulterated teachings of our Torah and they will readily recognize the futility of a compromise on basic religious principles that characterize Conservative and Reform positions. Our Rabbinical Council must take energetic measures to counteract and nullify this new spiritual danger and this attempt by the Reform rabbinate to establish a machinery center of their creed among traditional-minded Jews in Israel.”

Rabbi Berliant reported that through the initiative of the Rabbinical Council, there are now 24 Orthodox Jewish chaplains in the U.S. armed services, three more awaiting orders and seven others are in active stages of processing. He lauded the American Government for extending grants-in-aid and other economic assistance to Israel and urged continued support for the United Jewish Appeal and the Israel Bond drive.

Rabbi Israel Klavan, executive secretary of the Council, reported that a “new form of traditional Judaism is evolving upon the American scene. Given the necessary guidance and strong leadership, it can prove to be the group which will revitalize Jewish life in this country.” He reported the Council now has 462 members in the United States and Canada.

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