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Reform Jews Discuss Need for Creating Unified Jewish Community in U.S.

Lay and rabbinic leaders of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations were today called upon to use their “influence and initiative” in bringing about a unified Jewish community in America as exist in other countries. This plea for action was issued by Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, UAHC president, at the organization’s meeting of the board of truestes.

“Jewish life in this country cannot survive the jungle of organizational competition for credit and publicity, the jockeying for power, the babel of voices drowning each other out, and the inexcusable waste of needed resources in arrant duplication of programs. Yet that is, roughly, the situation of American Jewry in 1963,” Rabbi Eisendrath said.

“The American Jewish community is a flourishing and, I believe, highly creative community. It is freer, more comfortable, enjoying the most hospitable climate, suffering less hostility and discrimination than any other Jewish community in the history of the Diaspora. It has achieved much and promises more. But, in its inability to achieve cooperation and unity, the American Jewish community betrays a scandalous immaturity and a shameful failure of nerve,” he said, continuing:

“I would like to see the forthcoming decade devoted to the objective of bringing about a unified American Jewish community and once again I would like Reform Judaism to take the initiative in this venture. ” Rabbi Eisendrath specifically urged the lay and rabbinic leaders of the UAHC who are members also of other Jewish organizations to use their influence toward the full unification of American Jewry.

The religious leader hoped that such a unification could be brought about at least in the areas of intergroup relations and civic defense, but “Jewish unity must not be limited to this restricted field. It should, as is the case in Canada, in Great Britain, in France, in South America, in virtually every other land, become all-inclusive,” he declared.

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