N.Y. Board of Rabbis Urge President to Redouble Peace Efforts in Viet Nam

The New York Board of Rabbis went on record today as recognizing President Johnson’s “arduous task” in seeking an honorable peace in Viet Nam and commended the Government “for continuing to call North Viet Nam to the conference table.”

The 87th annual meeting of the Board, which includes 900 Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, urged the President “to explore every possibility–no matter how faint” and to redouble his efforts to seek peace and pursue it.” At the same time, the Board, recognizing the right of dissent, appealed to those “who have taken issue only with our government’s Viet Nam policy, to direct their pleas to Hanoi and its allies to respond to the U.S. request for a peace conference.”

Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman of Lawrence, L.I., was elected 37th president of the Board, succeeding Rabbi Edward T. Sandrow of Cedarhurst, L.I., who was elected chairman of the newly-created board of governors.

In a series of resolutions on world, national and domestic affairs, the Board called on the United States “to stand determinedly in support of freedom-loving and democratic Israel and to support Israel’s plea for direct negotiations with her Arab neighbors.” It called on the United States to supply Israel “with every means for defending herself.” The Board also called on young American Jews to plan on spending a year or two in Israel.

Another resolution denounced the continued activities of the Soviet regime “to destroy Judaism and Jewish culture.” It asked the United States Government to intervene for Soviet Jewry.

On the national scene, the Board deplored Negro anti-Semitism and called for a united effort by Negro and white leaders to prevent deterioration of relations between the Negroes and the white community and particularly with the Jewish group.

The Board also called for an emergency conference of religious leaders to deal with “the eroding morals and attitudes” of youth, after Rabbi Klaperman, in his presidential address, charged that “our youth is bartering morality for marijuana, loyalty for LSD, duty for dissent, responsibility for rebelliousness and sanity for sex.”

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