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Synagogue Council Calls for National Conference on Intermarriage

The Synagogue Council of America decided to take measures against the spreading of intermarriage that jeopardizes the survival of American Jewry, it was announced here today. The first step in this direction was a call for a national conference of all Jewish religious leaders on the question of intermarriage. The call was issued by Rabbi Uri Miller, president of the Synagogue Council.

Rabbi Miller said that such a conference, sponsored by the religious establishment of American Jewry, would spotlight the problem and project all its aspects “so we will be able to confront it intelligently.” He said that the conference would take place in New York “sometime later in the year,” no specific date was set yet. The Synagogue Council of America is the national coordinating body of the three major branches of the Jewish religious community, Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform. It represents the three rabbinic and the three lay religious organizations.

The announcement said that last week Rabbi Uri Miller met with the President, Zalman Shazar of Israel. In a lengthy conference Mr. Shazar urged the president of the Synagogue Council to call the conference on intermarriage as soon as possible. The President of Israel said that he would send a special emissary who would represent the Jewish State at the conclave should the conference on the subject be held under the auspices of the Synagogue Council of American.

“The question of intermarriage has been on the agenda of American Jewish religious leaders for a good many years.” Rabbi Miller said. “It’s high time to unite all forces so we will be able to overcome this threat to Jewish survival.” He stressed that “the problem of intermarriage is not a question which was suddenly raised by the recent studies and reports in numerous publications. Rather it is a problem of permanent concern of the Jewish religious community.”

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