Temple Emanu-el, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Reconcile Differences
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Temple Emanu-el, Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Reconcile Differences

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A split between Temple Emanu-E1 of New York and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) which has existed since May, 1967 was healed today. The temple, regarded as the largest Reform Jewish congregation in the world, and the UAHC, congregational body of Reform Judaism in the West, announced reconciliation of their differences.

When Emanu-E1 broke away last year, its then president Alfred R. Bachrach said its action was prompted by a succession of public statements on political and social issues by Rabbi Maurice Eisenrath, UAHC president, including criticism of United States policies in Vietnam. He charged at the time that the rabbi had assumed the role of spokesman for the entire Reform movement of 652 congregations saying such a “position is unauthorized and impossible.” Emanu-E1 is one of the largest single supporters of the Union’s work. It had also quit the UAHC from July 21, 1964 to July 1, 1965 in a dispute over the method of electing the UAHC’s board members.

In a statement today, Earl Morse, chairman of the Union’s board of trustees, and Alvin E. Coleman, the congregation’s president, said “neither organization regarded the separation as a permanent one and hoped it would not be of a long duration.” Mr. Coleman was one of 22 members newly elected to the Union’s board of trustees.

Asked by JTA what the position of Emanu-E1 would be today if Rabbi Eisendrath continued to speak out in the way which it had found objectionable in the past, Mr. Coleman declined to comment except to say the joint announcement “is all we can say.” He indicated that the temple had asked the Union to increase the size of the board to 180 and that step had been taken. Emanu-E1, he said, has about four members on the board.

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