Union of Orthodox Congregations Formed in India; Will Get U.S. Rabbi

A Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of India, representing two-thirds of the 27,000 Jews in that country, has been established there, it was reported here today by Rabbi Charles Weinberg, president of the Rabbinical Council of America. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in the United States will send a rabbi to India to serve as spiritual leader to the Jewish populace, he said.

Rabbi Weinberg announced the formation of the Indian Orthodox Union following his return from that country, where he addressed the convention of the new organization. He said that the Indian Jewish group known as Bene Israel, numbering 21,000 persons, had “maintained itself as a distinctive community in India for more than 2,000 years and had remained unshakably devoted to traditional Judaism.” The new Union also represents a group of Indian Jews known as “Iraqis,” who came to India from Iraq 250 years ago.

A committee of five leading members of both Indian communities was chosen by the founding convention to serve as a council to which all religious questions and communal problems will be brought, Rabbi Weinberg reported. He said the council will refer all matters requiring authoritative religious decisions to recognized religious authorities in Israel, the United States and Britain.

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