Conservative Congregations to Clarify Stand on Ritual Practices

A proposal that a special committee be formed to help the Conservative movement clarify its philosophy and to present a series of appropriate statements in the field of ritual practices, “taking into consideration the conditions and environments of our time,” was made here today to the United Synagogue of America.

The proposal, which is certain to be adopted, was made by George Maislen, newly re-elected president of the United Synagogue, holding its 50th anniversary convention here, with 1,600 delegates in attendance. He presented a resolution to this effect.

Mr. Maislen proposed that the joint committee of Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly “undertake the preparation and publication of a series of response on various questions of Jewish law.” Such response, he said, would “help our generation in a better understanding of the essential validity of Jewish law and tradition, and of the Torah, in its historical expositions.”

Dr. Louis Finkelstein, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, discussing the question of ritual practices, said that “forced observance is not the solution; observance from within by persuasion is the kind of observance we must have.”

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