NEW YORK (Jan. 8)
The Rabbinical Council of America, an association of Orthodox rabbis, has converted its annual midwinter conference into a loyalty-solidarity pilgrimage to Israel, according to Rabbi Zev Segal of South Orange, N.J., chairman of the pilgrimage. He said that the assembly of Rabbinical Council members, wives and officials of some congregations served by Rabbinical Council rabbis will be held in Jerusalem, starting Jan. 14.
Rabbi Segal said the event will be held for 10 days and that some 300 participants were currently planning to participate and that it was hoped a total of 500 would take part. He said that, in addition to the regular proceedings connected with the organization’s midwinter conference, the delegates will meet with the Israeli chief rabbis and Israeli political leaders for briefings.
Rabbi Louis Bernstein, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, said “The purpose of the convocation is not only to underscore the unity between the people in Israel and the American Jews but also to combat insidious assimilation, intermarriage and other trends which serve to inhibit the spiritual growth of Jewish communities,” He noted that another purpose for the meeting in Jerusalem at this time is to proclaim to the world during the Geneva Conference. that the city of Jerusalem is indivisible, that it is the spiritual center of world Jewry.
Rabbi Walter Wurzburger of Far Rockaway, N.Y., asserted that “American Jews have helped Israel financially during this period. We must now demonstrate that we identify with them wholly in their time of trial.” Rabbi Bernard Twersky, the Council’s public relations director, stated that “according to recent reports, over 5000 American young men and women volunteered during the Yom Kippur War to serve as replacements in kibbutzim, in factories and in settlements throughout the country.”