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Rabbinical Council to Act on Mixed Marriages

The Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of Orthodox rabbis, today unanimously went on record to “pressure” and utilize its veto privileges in Jewish secular and religious organizations to exclude from leadership roles those who marry out of the faith, and those rabbis who officiate at mixed marriages.

The action, taken by the Council at its 37th annual meeting, emphasized that mixed marriages have reached “epidemic proportion and threaten the very survival of Jewish religious life.”

Rabbi Louis Bernstein, president of the 1000-member Rabbinical Council and Fabian Schonfeld its first vice-president, explained that the Council will exercise its veto privilege in such bodies as the Synagogue Council of America and the Commission of Jewish Chaplaincy of the Jewish Welfare Board.

They added that their organization would use its influence in other groups in which the Council holds membership. These groups include the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the National Conference on Soviet Jewry.

There was no indication that any of the groups listed by the Council had as leaders people who were the product of mixed marriage.

Criticizing those rabbis who perform mixed marriages, the resolution declared: “We must refuse to sit down together with such ‘rabbis’ no matter what their background and we cannot join those who honor them.” The resolution stressed: “We must isolate them from any public role in the Jewish community.”

Rabbi Rafael Grossman of Long Branch, New. Jersey, who headed the Council resolution committee, announced that a special commission to implement the action taken by the rabbinic body will be headed by Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, editor of “Tradition” the official magazine of the Council. Rabbi Bernstein said that the purpose of the Council resolution is “to remove ecclesiastical endorsement of spiritual genocide.”

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