NEW YORK (Dec. 2)
A noted Reform rabbi charged here yesterday that other Reform spiritual leaders, who perform mixed marriages between Jews and non-Jews, contribute “to the ultimate destruction of Jewish life.” The accusation was voiced by Rabbi Joseph Klein, of Worcester, Mass., at a conference on intermarriage, sponsored by the American Jewish Congress. He was supported by Dr. Leo Jung, an Orthodox rabbi, spiritual leader of the Jewish Center of New York City, who said that mixed marriages were “unfair to the millions of Jews who have fought for survival.”
Conservative and Orthodox rabbis do not perform mixed marriages, but some Reform rabbis do. Dr. Klein’s and Dr. Jung’s views were opposed by Rabbi Max Eichhorn, of the Jewish Welfare Board, who said that, while he does not encourage mixed marriages, he has performed such rites. Stating that the present trend toward more intermarriage would probably continue, Rabbi Eichhorn declared that stiff opposition to such marriages would only create animosity. Instead, he held, efforts would be made to concentrate on strengthening Jewish values.
The conference was centered on a study on intermarriage recently published in the American Jewish Year book by Dr. Eric Rosenthal, associate professor of anthropology at Queens College. That study had shown that the rate of intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews increases with each of the American Jewish generations further removed from the generations of Jewish immigrants.