Transformation of Synagogues into Cultural Centers is Urged

The Conservative synagogue must transform itself into a cultural center of the highest quality “to meet the challenge of attracting and retaining the interests and loyalty of the new generation of college educated young Jews, ” 500 leaders of Conservatism in this area were told here last night, at the conclusion of the regional New England convention of the United Synagogue of America. Representatives of 56 congregations in five New England states attended the all-day conclave.

The proposal for the transformation of the Conservative synagogue into the Jewish community’s cultural center was made by Rabbi J. Kart, spiritual leader of Temple Beth El, Rochester, N.Y., who was a guest speaker. Pointing out that almost 70 percent of the Jewish boys and girls of college age now attend college, Rabbi Kart said: “The Conservative synagogue must, therefore, speak as did the prophets of old on every vital issue of the day. The Conservative congregations must permit, encourage and challenge their rabbis to become intellectual leaders and creative scholars. Our lay leadership must demonstrate through example that Judaism is not merely a ‘grand cause’ but a way of life. “

The convention adopted resolutions re-enforcing its stand on the principle of separation of Church and State, called for amendments to Sunday blue laws, advocated militant enforcement of civil rights laws, and passed a resolution objecting to the death penalty. Harry Lakin, of Temple Emeth, Brookline, Mass., was elected president. The all-day session was held under the chairmanship of Arthur I. Darman, honorary president of the host congregation, B’nai Israel Synagogue and Community Center here.

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