NEW YORK (Nov. 15)
The Rabbinical Alliance of America, an Orthodox group, denounced today the participation of Dr. Samuel Belkin, president of Yeshiva University, in a dinner of the Synagogue Council of America, at which he was honored. The SCA is the only national religious group representing all three branches of American Judaism. Participation of Orthodox rabbinical and congregational agencies in the SCA has been the subject of intermittent debate within the Orthodox community.
The Rabbinical Alliance statement, signed by its president, Rabbi Abraham B. Hecht and published as a paid advertisement in The New York Times, declared that it was “shocked beyond belief” by the fact that “the rabbinic head of Yeshiva University” would accept an honor “together with the heads of the Conservative and Reform Seminaries.” The dinner also honored Dr. Louis Finkelstein, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute, the Reform seminary.
The statement said that despite “all the statements and rationalizations” made by Dr. Belkin, his appearance at the dinner “provided a tacit endorsement of the other ‘rabbinic seminaries’ as equals of Orthodox Seminaries in the category of Yeshiva University, a “distressing disservice to Torah Judaism.”