Reform Leader Plans ‘spiritual Summit’ Meeting to Aid World Peace

A broad, world-wide plan to mobilize the world’s religious leaders of all faiths at a “spiritual summit” meeting, in aid of world peace, was announced here last night at the 12th international conference of the World Union for Progressive Judaism. The announcement was made by Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, who said that Dr. Albert Schweitzer, famous philosopher and Christian missionary surgeon, has agreed to serve as honorary chairman of the “spiritual summit.”

“Khrushchev, Kennedy and other world leaders,” said Dr. Eisendrath, “seem to be further apart than ever before in their negotiations. It is the task of religion to catalyze the heads of state through the moral imperative so that they may subordinate self-interest and hasten their negotiations, so that an accidental push of a button may not destroy the world.”

“We live at a time,” Dr. Eisendrath continued, “when the Jewish vision of peace faces a deadly challenge. As people and as religious movements in our respective lands, we have spoken tepidly, acted tardily without fervor or fire. We must break out of the straight-jacket of the past and now proclaim our readiness for almost any sacrifice that the holocaust which threatens imminently may be averted.”

Dr. Eisendrath said he is communicating with religious leaders of various faiths to serve on the organizing committee for the “spiritual summit.” He said he hopes to convene a meeting of North American religious leaders in New York early next year, and believes that the world meeting may be held late in 1962 or early in 1963. He recommended Bombay as the site for the world meeting.

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