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Israel’s Minister of Religion Attacks American Reform Judaism

The efforts of American Reform Judaism to establish itself in Israel “smack of missionary activity,” Dr. Zorah Warhaftig, Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs, asserted today.

He told a Jerusalem Post editorial staff meeting that if there was a mass immigration of Reform Jews from the United States “we would deal with the matter of Reform Judaism in Israel naturally.” but the present efforts amounted to “them sitting in America and sending a few rabbi missionaries to Israel.”

He contended that if efforts by Reform representatives for radical modification of Orthodox Jewish religious authority in Israel–such as the introduction of civil marriage and divorce–succeeded, the end result would be to turn “Israeli Jewry into a nation of half-breeds.” Israel must preserve its present religious framework for Jews to remain the age-old Jewish people, he added.