SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 18)
Open proselytizing among non-Jews was rejected last night by delegates to the 48th biennial assembly of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations as a program for American Reform Judaism.
After several hours of debate, the 3,000 lay and rabbinic delegates adopted a resolution on conversions to Judaism which was milder than the request made by Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath in his presidential message to the convention last Sunday. He had called on the delegates to adopt an active conversion program for Reform Judaism, aimed at both “the un-synagogued and the un-churched.”
The resolution approved by the delegates addressed itself only to the “unaffiliated” and it “affirmed” the openness of Reform Judaism to “those who seek us.” The UAHC Committee on the Unaffiliated was instructed to guide and assist the organization’s 664 congregations to achieve this goal without open proselytizing.
The delegates also adopted a resolution urging President Johnson to ask for an armistice in the Viet Nam conflict, so that peace negotiations could be started immediately. The approved resolution was a substitute for an original one asking the United States to halt bombing of North Viet Name “even if this were to entail a short military disadvantage.”
Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein of Chicago, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, speaking at a session, called for increased religious commitment to peace. “A Jew worthy of his tradition will give the pressures of conformity a run for his money,” he declared. He said also that “a rabbi worthy of his calling will court, if necessary, dishonor. Organized religion, I can hardly believe, will survive a third bending of the knee to war in our century.”