Nixon Sends First Greetings to a Jewish Organization As President-elect

President-elect Richard M. Nixon sent greetings yesterday to the National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America (Conservative) which opened its five-day biennial convention here. It was Mr. Nixon’s first message to a Jewish organization since his election and was addressed to Mrs. Sol Henkind, League president. He declared, “Programs such as yours to advance religious, educational and social service projects exemplify the kind of citizen involvement which I have strongly advocated and hope to strengthen during the course of the next Administration.”

Dr. Louis Finkelstein, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, rejected in an address the contention that the youth of today are bereft of religion. He told the 2,000 delegates, “Their impatience and revolt against the injustice and smugness of society is compatible with religion, since our Hebrew prophets too were vociferous in expressing their sense of indignation at the smugness of their times.” Dr. Finkelstein added, “What is remiss is that our youth today follow only one aspect of true religion, namely that of protest and quest for change, while ignoring the second aspect of the integral whole of religion – the observances of rituals and the adherence to the heritage of our forefathers and the tenets of our faith.”

Mrs. Joseph Wagenheim, the League’s affiliations chairman, told the convention that 37 new Sisterhoods have been added in the past two years, bringing the total to 800. Total membership is 210.000 – some 10,300 more than in the census during the last convention in 1966. Mrs. Baruch I. Treiger, the League’s executive director, said the latest affiliates have been organized mainly in newly-developed Jewish communities.

The organization contributed almost $1 million in 1966 and 1967 to the Jewish Theological Seminary and expects the annual grant to be made again this year. Another $1 million has been turned over to the seminary for construction of the Mathilde Schechter Residence Hall for Women Students. Construction of the hall will begin in 1969 and be completed in December, 1970 as part of the new $14 million seminary complex in New York City.

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