New Conception of Jewish Future Needed, Rabbinical Parley Told

The convening of an international Jewish assemblage in Jerusalem to draw up “a formal declaration or covenant” embodying a new conception of the Jewish future, was urged here today at the 54th annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of America, the national association of conservative rabbis. The proposal was made by Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, leader of the Reconstructionist movement, who told the 300 rabbis at the conference that Jews must formulate a “new Zionism” to “revive the moribund Jewish people.”

Such a covenant, Dr. Kaplan said, would include these three points: 1. “It will have to reconstitute the spiritual unity of the Jewish people throughout the world; 2. It will have to stress anew the indispensability of the land of Israel to the revival of Judaism throughout the world; and 3. It will have to encourage the replenishment of the traditional Jewish civilization, including its literature, art, philosophy and religion.”

Pre-state Zionism has been so preoccupied with salvaging the Jews of the Old World, Dr. Kaplan continued, that it has not been able “to give thought to the problem of saving the Jewish people as a whole from the accelerating disintegration.” Because it was so preoccupied with the problem of migration to Israel, pre-State Zionism “went so far as to urge such migration on the ground that there could be no future for Judaism outside Israel.”

The New Zionism, Dr. Kaplan said, “would have to accept the Diaspora as a permanent condition of the Jewish people henceforth.” He suggested the formal covenant be issued by “a representative body like the World Zionist Organization, or some commission authorized by it.”

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