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Agudath Israel Calls on Jews to Increase Positive Torah Commitments

A call to religious Jewry to “channel the new religious stirrings among Jews in the aftermath of Israel’s Six-Day War into positive Torah commitments” was made by Rabbi Itzchok Meier Lewin, international president of the Agudath Israel World Organization, at the 45th national convention of Agudath Israel of America, in which over 1,000 delegates participated, Rabbi Lewin called for emigration of religious Jews to Israel.

The convention adopted resolutions calling for increased government aid to non-public schools, intensification of Agudath Israel’s efforts to project an independent Orthodox Jewish position on public affairs, expanding the Agudist youth movement which now embraces over 20,000 children, and increasing the organization’s activities for religious projects in Israel.

Another resolution deplored the convening of a world conference of Orthodox synagogues in Jerusalem this winter without the advance sanction of leading Torah authorities. The convention also resolved to “continue the organization’s maximum efforts to help save Israel from its physical dangers, without forsaking its historic struggle to prevent the corrosion of Israel’s soul by national assimilation, which threatens Israel’s spiritual survival.”

President Johnson, in a message, commended Agudath Israel’s local chapters for “their diligent work to perpetuate the enriching traditions of a great religious heritage.”

The convention closed with the election of a five-man presidium, consisting of Rabbis Moshe Feinstein, Mordecai S. Friedman, Moshe Horowitz, Benjamin Hendles and Chaskel Besser. Rabbi Morris Sherer, executive vice-president for the past 25 years, was elected executive president. Upon assuming his new post, Rabbi Sherer called upon Orthodox Jews “to take a more militant stand in coming to grips with Jewish issues, so that a distinctive Torah-oriented Jewish voice be clearly heard in every area of communal relations and internal Jewish affairs.”

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