Jewish Leaders to Seek Primacy of Synagogue in Communal Life

A national advisory committee of 81 Jewish leaders from all parts of the United States has been established in a major expansion of the program of the Synagogue Council of America, the organization representing all branches of American religious Jewry, Dr. Norman Salit, Council president, announced today.

Among those accepting appointments to the new committee are Adm. Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission; Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver, past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Dr, Louis Finkelstein, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Roger Straus, co-chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews; and Sen. Herbert H. Lehman.

The function of the new committee will be to assist in the development of a long-range program “aimed at strengthening the primacy of the synagogue in all aspects of Jewish life in the United States. ” Invitations have been extended in a manner assuring representation of both rabbinical and lay leaders of American Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism.

Committee members have been chosen from 23 states and 38 cities. Further appointments are scheduled until the total membership of the committee reaches 100. Among the other national leaders who have accepted appointment are Maxwell Abbell, president of the United Synagogue of America; Rabbi Oscar Fasman, president of the Hebrew Theological College of Chicago; Julian Freeman of Indianapolis, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds; Samuel Schneierson, chairman of the Jewish Education Committee; Dr, Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; Dr. Abraham A. Neuman, president of Dropsie College.

One of the first assignments for the new committee will be to aid in plans for a national assembly, tentatively scheduled for May, 1954, to assess the basic religious needs and problems of American Jewry. The assembly will seek to develop a comprehensive analysis of the spiritual assets of American Jewry,” Dr. Salit said, adding that Jewish religious leaders from Europe will be invited to participate.

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