NEW YORK (Jan. 10)
Reform and Conservative groups here have voiced strong opposition to Premier Golda Meir forming a new coalition government which, Would accede to the demands of Israel’s National Religious Party by changing the Law of Return thus denying the validity of conversions by non-Orthodox rabbis any where in the world. The lay and rabbinic arms of the two branches of Judaism termed the pressure by the NRP “an Irresponsible exercise of political power which would be an injustice to the views of the majority of Israel’s citizens and an affront to the majority of Jews living outside the State of Israel.”
They felt that in recognizing only the conversions of Orthodox Judaism almost two-thirds of religious Jews throughout the world will be “categorized as second-class citizens.” The Jewish leaders believed that such a change would “endanger Jewish unity at a time when that unity is needed more than ever.”
The statement was issued by: Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform) Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative); Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform); United Synagogue of America (Conservative); World Council of Synagogues (Conservative); and the World Union for Progressive Judaism (Reform).
In addition to the cablegram to Mrs. Meir, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders are holding meetings with Israeli consular officials in this country and carrying on an extensive campaign of education among Jews here and in Israel.