CHICAGO (Nov. 19)
A survey to determine the attitudes of Reform Jews toward worship practices in the synagogue, has been initiated by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, it was reported here today at the 47th biennial General Assembly of the association of Reform congregations.
The study will probe the benefits and values of group prayer at Temple services. This will be the first time that any Jewish group has conducted such a scientific research program in depth to try to fathom the role of worship in modern life.
A general impression of answers thus far received to the questionnaire was that the Temple and its worship in Reform Judaism must assume cultural overtones and that this cultural influence can serve as a major factor in attracting adults who have strayed from the synagogue.
Another finding was that attendance at worship services seems to increase with age, especially where the person has roots in the community and has had some position or office in the congregation. Participation in a synagogue activity, plus being part of the Temple family, is a key in the frequency of worship attendance.
Ranking high as a reason for going to synagogue worship is the need to hold the family close together and to be with friends. What is apparently not so crucial is the sacred aspect of the worship liturgy.
The general significance of the questionnaire responses thus far seems to be that the congregants are family-centered and socially-centered and much less theologically-centered.