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Says Orthodox Rabbis Failed to Meet Challenge of Past Decade

The executive vice-president of the Rabbinical Council of America, Rabbi Israel Klavan, told the 25th annual convention of the orthodox rabbinical group today that “the challenge of the past decade in terms of the religious revival has not been adequately met by the rabbinic and educational leaders” of American Orthodox Judaism.

Warning that “we must not look back upon these golden years with any degree of complacency, self-satisfaction and narrow pride, ” Rabbi Klavan declared that “we could have revitalized and rejuvenated the entire structure of the Jewish collectivity if we had been prepared to assume the burdens, disciplines and challenges of this action-packed era.” He spoke at a testimonial convention banquet honoring him on the occasion of his 20th year in the rabbinate and tenth year as executive head of the Rabbinical. Council.

Despite what he termed Orthodoxy’s inadequate response to the religious revival, Rabbi Klavan said that “the community served by the Rabbinical Council of America has made phenomenal and incredible strides in giving Orthodox Judaism a much greater stature, deference and regard on the American Jewish scene.”

He warned that the years ahead “are going to demand the ability to face the issues and tackle the problems which increasing opportunities will present to us. ” He said Orthodox Judaism must “quadruple the number of institutions of Jewish learning, study and higher education. We must vastly increase the quantity of publications and journals which can serve the intellectual needs and wants of Jewish youth and the general population.”

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