Israel Rabbinate Bans Reform Services; Efforts of U.S. Rabbi Hindered

The efforts of Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, to set up a Reform synagogue within the projected Jerusalem Archaeological School, which will be a branch of HUC-JIR, came to naught today when Israel’s two Chief Rabbis refused to permit it. Dr. Glueck is a well known archaeologist who rediscovered King Solomon’s Mines, as well as a Reform leader.

Dr. Glueck previously agreed that services would be held only in the library of the school, exclusively for students. He had also agreed, in deference to Orthodox traditions, that the students would pray with covered heads.

The two Chief Rabbis insisted that it made no difference whether services were held in a library or any other room and that “wherever a congregation meets for prayer, it is a synagogue. The time is not right for the introduction of Reform services which have the power of dividing people, who are already too greatly divided.”

It is expected that Dr. Glueck will appeal to higher governmental authority if the Jerusalem municipality, moved by the opposition of the two Chief Rabbis, fails to grant the Archaeological School the right to hold services in the library.

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