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Orthodox Rabbi Calls for White House Parley to Help Stem Increased Polarization

Rabbi Joseph Karasick, President of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, urged yesterday that President Nixon convene a “White House Conference on National Purpose and Unity” to help stem “the dangerously increased polarization of the American people.” He spoke at the organization’s national awards dinner. Rabbi Karasick recommended that the conference include religious and intellectual leaders, educators, sociologists, labor leaders, industrialists and “most important, spokesman of youth and of every legitimate consenting or dissenting stream which makes up the panorama of America’s youth society.” The conference, he said, would have “a calming, restoring influence on the American public,” and would “re-establish the confidence (in American leadership) many have lost.” Regarding the Middle East, Rabbi Karasick declared that Soviet intervention is “a threat to America and to all Western democracies,” and commented: “If prior to the critical Soviet step some people believed that the demand of Jewish citizens for more weapons for Israel was a partisan demand, now every thoughtful and patriotic American must recognize that the vital interests of the United States and of Israel are coalescing in the Middle East.” Rabbi Karasick received the Union’s Kether Shem Tov (Crown of the Good Name) Award.

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