Closer Ties. with Israel Urged at Convention of Reform Rabbis
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Closer Ties. with Israel Urged at Convention of Reform Rabbis

A call upon Americas Reform rabbis to establish closer ties between Liberal Judaism and the people of Israel, was voiced today by Dr. Joseph L. Fink, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, at the organization’s 64th annual convention which opened here. More than 300 Reform rabbis are attending the convention, which will continue through June 28.

Dr. Fink also urged the rabbis to aid the fight for revision of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, to endorse the National Community Relations Advisory Council, to work for the securing of increased financial support for the national institution of Reform Judaism and to give maximum support to the United Nations.

The president of the organization of Reform rabbis also called upon the delegates to support their Christian colleagues who have taken a stand against Congressional investigators. In an obvious allusion to statements made by Rep. Harold Velde and other members of the House Un-American Activities Committee about the need of investigating the clergy, Rabbi Fink declared In his presidential message:

“For any Congressman, in furious self-rectitude, to Intimidate clergymen with the threat of a besmirching public Investigation of their sincerely held beliefs is, I believe, an unprecedented violation of a Congressman’s trust M Rabbi Fink asked members of the conference to register “disapproval of those legislators who would seal the lips of those prophetic clergymen who chastise America when she breaks faith with herself. “


In urging closer ties between Reform Judaism and Israel, Dr. Fink stated: “No achievement in 2, 000 years can surpass or even equal the establishment of the State of Israel. With the exception of those inconsequential Jews who, in effect, have seceded from the household of Israel, and whose value is limited to nuisance, If not to downright injury, all the Jews of our country, indeed all the Jews of the world, look to Israel with thankful and prayerful hearts. I recommend that we formulate and follow a program of active communication between the institutions and the life of American liberal Jewry and the people of Israel.”

Dr. Harry M’.’ Orllnsky, professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, addressing the convention, stressed the need for a new Jewish translation of Scriptures. Dr. Orllnsky, the only Jewish member of the committee responsible for the recent revised version of the Bible issued by Protestant bodies, said that new discoveries in archaeology and scholarship made all current translations of the Bible inadequate.

In his address, Rabbi Fink disclosed that conferences have already taken place with Conservative and Orthodox leaders and the Jewish Publication Society looking towards the preparation of a new translation.

Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, led a discussion on “The State of the Reform Movement. ” In an address on a psychological revaluation of the Judeo Christian Heritage, Rabbi Henry Kagan, of Mt. Vernon, New York, called for new techniques in the realm of interfaith education based upon a franker acceptance of the differences between the two great. Western religions.

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