NEW YORK (Dec. 17)
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations today launched a “consciousness raising” drive and action campaign to make American Jews aware of the imperative need to assist in the alleviation of hunger in the world. A meeting of the movement’s
Commission on Social Action, a joint body of the UAHC and Central Conference of American Rabbis, recommended educational and personal involvement projects for the movement’s 715 synagogues in the United States and Canada.
This effort will be climaxed during the festival of Passover by urging the UAHC’s 1.1 million members and other Jews. to sign pledge cards committing themselves to specific personal, synagogue and community activities to feed the poor, both in the U.S. and throughout the world. (Passover begins sundown March 26, and includes the prayer: “Let all who are hungry come and eat.”)
Albert Arent, Commission chairman from Washington, citing the urgency for involvement and action, said: “Waste is a sin, but failure to find means to deliver food to those in need is an even greater sin.” He called upon the U.S. government to take “generous initiatives in helping to feed the hungry of the world, not forgetting the hungry in our own midst. We need vigorous plans to conserve and share our resources. This requires cooperation of the government and the public.”
Alex Ross, NYC chairman of the Commission’s sub-committee on this question, stated that the congregations would be sent educational materials, special religious services and program suggestions for their members. Ross announced that the Passover festival would be used as a focal point for the Reform Jewish effort, and membership pledge cards will be forwarded for distribution.
They will ask members to: observe austerity in their eating habits at congregational meals. in the home and personally; support legislative action, providing more food and fertilizer to needy nations; and participate in indirect community relief activities. Ross stated that the Reform movement would establish a center for the collection of funds from congregations and members to distribute to relief agencies and countries in need.