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Reform Leader Urges U.s.a. to Help Improve Plight of Russian Jewry

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The United States Government was urged here tonight by Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, “to do all within its power to improve the plight of Russian Jewry.” He pledged that the Reform movement in this country would cooperate with all other Jewish agencies in the United States “to accomplish this goal.”

Dr. Eisendrath made his plea at a joint session of the UAHC, celebrating its 90th anniversary, and the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, observing its 50th anniversary. Four thousand lay and rabbinical representatives from 650 Reform temples in North and Central America attended the session. In his address, Dr. Eisendrath also warned that failure of American Jews to act “concretely” in support of the Negro drive for equal rights would endanger the position of American Jewry.

Dr. Eisendrath proposed that the UAHC adopt a course of action to assure freedom of religion for all groups in the State of Israel, especially progressive Judaism; get large Reform congregations to subsidize the needs of existing Liberal congregational groups in Israel; intensify efforts to aid the Negro in his drive to attain equality of opportunity; adopt standards of knowledge and commitment for Reform Jewish congregational leadership; establish a commission on the Jewish arts, to explore the many ways in which Reform Judaism may express itself more beautifully and completely through all art forms and media; and form a study group to re-evaluate Reform Judaism’s present stance with regard to worship, ritual and ceremony.

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