MIAMI BEACH (Nov. 19)
More than 325 lay and rabbinic leaders of the Reform branch of Judaism today contributed a total of $3,860,000 in capital gifts to launch a special three-year drive for $15,000,000 to make possible a radical nationwide physical development of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the central national institutions of the Reform Jewish movement.
The action came on the final day at a luncheon session of the 45th biennial general assembly of the UAHC, meeting here since Sunday evening with more than 3,000 delegates representing Reform congregations throughout the western Hemisphere.
The gifts announced at the session were made to the Development Fund for American Judaism, a special agency created two months ago by the UAHC and HUC-JIR and incorporated in the State of New York. Max L. Koeppel, of New York, a member of the UAHC’s board of trustees, is chairman, with former Senator Herbert H. Lehman, serving as honorary chairman.
Three contributions of $250,000 each, with many others ranging from a low of $25,000 to over $150,000 were announced at the luncheon. All the gifts came from members of the governing boards of the two institutions, and from two mass affiliates of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods pledged $1,000,000 and $250,000 was pledged by the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods.
The Rev. Dr. Nathan A. Perilman, rabbi of Temple Emanu-El of New York, announced that his ministerial colleagues, numbering over 675 Reform Jewish spiritual leaders, each have pledged a full month’s pay to the new Fund for a total of $500,000.
The $15,000,000 Development Fund drive will be conducted alongside the Reform movement’s annual effort for maintenance of the two institutions. The maintenance effort, known as the Combined Campaign for American Reform Judaism, was launched here on Tuesday with a 1959-60 goal of $3,558,000.
The 3,000 delegates established a record attendance for a Jewish convention. The next biennial assemblies will be held in Washington, D. C. in 1961 and in Chicago in 1963. The board of trustees of the UAHC unanimously adopted a new slate of officers. Named as chairman of the board was former Supreme Court Justice of the State of New York, Emil N. Baar, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Judge Baar succeeds Judge Solomon B. Elsner of Hartford, Connecticut.