NEW YORK (Jul. 21)
Rabbi Baruch Korff, the retired Providence rabbi who has organized a nationwide effort in support of President Nixon in the Watergate scandal, has been denounced by a Reform rabbinical leader as an “apologist for rampant immorality.” Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, also asserted that Rabbi Korff. president of the National Citizens Committee for Fairness to the Presidency, “aspires to out-Watergate Watergate in the name of fair play and. with one foul swoop, to pervert democracy and degrade religion.”
Asserting that Rabbi Korff represents neither the views of Judaism “nor of the Jewish community.” Rabbi Schindler declared that it was “unthinkable that any clergyman, much less a rabbi, would put his seal of approval, on the moral disasters of this Administration.
Rabbi Schindler issued his statement after Rabbi Korff made a widely-publicized visit last week to the Western White House in San Clemente, Calif, to present President Nixon with a copy of his book: “The Personal Nixon: Staying on the Summit.” which contains a long interview Nixon gave Rabbi Korff in which the President rejected allegations he was anti-Semitic.
Rabbi Schindler also commented that “apparently Rabbi Korff aspires to be the Jewish counterpart of President Nixon’s paid cleric apologist,” the Rev. John McLaughlin, a Jesuit on Nixon’s staff. The Reform leader said that “neither, alas, reveals himself to be a descendant of the prophetic traditions to which they are both heir.” He added that. “fortunately neither speak for the predominant majority of their co-religionists, who can only be embarrassed by their words and deeds.”
He asserted that “the overwhelming majority of Jews, and of all other groups of Americans, are appalled both by Watergate and by those who persist in telling us that this national disgrace is a figment of our imagination or the invention of the media.”