NEW YORK (Jun. 18)
The United Zionists-Revisionists of America has accused the American Reform rabbinate of “abetting the liquidation of Jewish life in America” by failing to ban its members from officiating at mixed marriages where the non-Jewish spouse is not converted. A statement issued here by Prof. Marnin Feinstein, director of public affairs of the UZRA, took issue with a decision by the Central Conference of American Rabbis at its 83rd annual convention last week to postpone action on the matter pending further study.
Prof. Feinstein told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that this was the first time the Revisionists have taken a public position on a non-political issue because they “feel it is a matter of utmost urgency.” His statement found “most shocking” the results of a survey made for the CCAR which showed that 41 percent of its members officiated at mixed marriages and that half of them did not require an undertaking from the couples to raise their children as Jews.
The position of the CCAR has been to discourage mixed marriages but an outright ban which many of its members have advocated over the years has not been forthcoming. Rabbi Herman Schaalman, chairman of the CCAR’s Mixed Marriage Committee, recommended at the convention that the present position of the organization be maintained for the time being to enable additional research and analysis into the effects of mixed marriages.
Prof. Feinstein accused Rabbi Schaalman of being “more concerned with unity within the Reform movement than with the future of American Jewry.” He claimed that by “Allowing this condition to proceed uncondemned and unchallenged,” the CCAR was “a silent accessory to those rabbis who in the interests of ‘humanitarianism’ are abetting the liquidation of Jewish life in America.”