NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
The “gradually emerging mood” of unity in the American Jewish community has enabled it to accept the differences in its religious life and join in cooperative efforts for the good of all, Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, president of the world Union for Progressive Judaism declared here tonight. He was the principle speaker of the Annual Synagogue Statesman Awards Dinner of the Synagogue Council of America.
Addressing more than 300 civic, communal and religious leaders at the Americana Hotel, Rabbi Freehof asserted that “We are becoming aware that Judaism needs each of us; that Orthodoxy, Conservatism and Reform each is uniquely fitted to carry out one or another of the supreme values of Judaism in modern times which no single one of them can perform alone.”
Recipients of the 1962 Synagogue Statesman Awards were Admiral Lewis L. Strauss of Washington, D.C.; Herbert Tenzer of Lawrence, L.I.; and Joseph S. Wohl of Cedarhurst, L.I. The awards–bronze plaques–are presented each year to outstanding Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders who have distinguished themselves in advancing the ideals of Judaism and strengthening its institutions.
Rabbi Julius Mark, SCA president, made a strong plea for understanding not only among men, but among nations as well, “In an age of perplexity, peril and fear, what shall men and nations do that they might live and not die?” he asked, “We are all aware of the need for peace in a time in which mankind is threatened by thermonuclear annihilation. But there can be no peace among individuals and nations without mutual understanding.”
Rabbi Philip Hiat, executive vice-president of the SCA, stressed the primacy of the synagogue in Jewish life. “The American Jewish community, as a group, owes its position chiefly to its credentials as a religion. Hence its religious representative should be its spokesman in all religious matters without challenge, intrusion, competition or overlapping.” Judge Samuel I. Rosenman of New York made the presentation. Benjamin Lazrus of New York was chairman.