NEW YORK (Jan. 9)
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the lay representative body of Reform Judaism in America, will attempt to answer the questions of Jewish youth about what relevance their Judaism has to the contemporary world. Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, vice president of the Union, announced that it is publishing a series of books prepared by leading Jewish scholars that will elucidate what Judaism has to say on such subjects as war, sex and narcotics. Rabbi Schindler said that young Jews frequently ask, “What do I have to believe and to do to be a Jew?” He said that the questions are particularly difficult to answer because in the “free and open society we live in, the line of cultural demarcation…has become blurred.” Rabbi Schindler said that values that once were readily identifiable as Jewish are “today part and parcel of general society’s constellation of ideas–at least so it seems to our young, and this is why they want to know why they should continue to be practicing and believing Jews today.”
Rabbi Schindler said the books will reflect university-linked research and will “bring to bear the resources and will “bring to bear the resources of all academic disciplines which relate to the critical problems of the Jewish community.” He said the cost will be defrayed by the Maurice Eisendrath Publication Fund which was established recently by the UAHC’s board of trustees to mark Rabbi Elsendrath’s 25th anniversary as Union president.