WASHINGTON (Nov. 29)
Two leaders of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations today warned that a new migration of young Jews in America from small and middle sized towns to large cities presents dangers in the future growth of Reform Judaism.
These concerns were voiced by Rabbi Jay Kaufman, UAHC vice-president and Myron E. Schoen, director of the UAHC Commission on Synagogue Administration, at the opening session of a four day leadership conference here.
Lay and rabbinic leaders representing the 640 member congregations of the UAHC in the western hemisphere, with more than 1,000,000 members, are here to dedicate the UAHC’s new Religious Action Center in Washington. The center is designed to implement programs of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, a joint body of the UAHC and the Central Conference of American Rabbis.
Rabbi Kaufman and Mr. Schoen observed that among the dangers confronting Reform Judaism are the disintegration of the old congregations in smaller communities; the loss of thousands of young families in urban centers due to lack of synagogue facilities; retirement of older members who move to other communities, and the constant shifting of industries and government projects from one part of the country to another.
Plans for a $2,000,000 subsidy to build synagogues in metropolitan centers to retain the younger generation were announced.