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Reform, Conservative, Orthodox Leaders Issue Joint Chanukah Message

Presidents of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox central bodies today issued for the first time in the history of American Judaism joint Chanukah message emphasizing the significance of the eight-day holiday in the struggle for freedom. Chanukah begins this year at sundown on December 25.

The message was signed by the following religious leaders; Dr. Bernard J. Bamberger, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Dr. Isaac Klein, president of the Rabbinical Assembly of America; Dr, Emanuel Rackman, president of the Rabbinical Council of America; Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations; Moses I. Feuerstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and Bernath L. Jacobs, president of the United Synagogue of America.

The message said, in part: “One of the fundamental traditions of persistent relevance to our contemporary situation is that of safeguarding religious freedom for all men everywhere. The festival of Chanukah, which commemorates the valiant struggle of the Maccabees to preserve the freedom of religious conscience, is a milestone in mankind’s groping ascent to mutual acceptance and brotherly understanding under the Universal Creator.

“American Jews, by their adherence to this festival, in concert with Jews the world over, help advance a larger understanding of human and democratic values and ideals for which so many people throughout the world are in search, We look forward to the time when all the nations and the peoples of the world will join in triumphant commemoration of the universal victory of liberty over tyranny, of humanity over barbarity and of the Divine Spirit over the forces of evil.”

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