NEW YORK (Jun. 14)
The administrative committee of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international association of Conservative rabbis, issued a statement here today, rejecting criticisms of Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel made by leaders of other Jewish organizations, and declared that the Assembly was “dismayed” by those attacks.
Dr. Heschel, who is professor of Jewish ethics and mysticism at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, had been charged with “demagoguery” for voicing an opinion decrying the inadequacy of the protests by American Jewish organizations on behalf of Jews in the Soviet Union. In his critique, Dr. Heschel had named specifically the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, of which Dr. Joachim Prinz is chairman. A retort had been issued by Rabbi Israel Miller, chairman of the American Conference on Soviet Jewry.
Noting that the Rabbinical Assembly is a member of the groups headed by Dr. Prinz and Rabbi Miller, the Rabbinical Assembly declared today that it was perturbed over “the harsh language” used against Dr. Heschel and “deplores the attacks on the personal integrity of Dr. Keschel, who has been a prime mover in awakening the conscience of American Jewry about the condition of our brothers in the Soviet Union.”
“We restate our profound concern over the plight of Soviet Jewry which we assume is shared by all Jews, and we fervently hope that the entire American Jewish community will join in intensifying efforts which will lead to continuing improvement in the state of our fellow Jews in the Soviet Union,” the statement said.