Jewish Leader Rejects View That Judaism is Vanishing in the U.S.

The warnings that Judaism is vanishing in the United States were rejected last night by Mrs. Ruth Perry, national president of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism.

“I am reinforced in my conviction that those who see us as a dying culture are blind to the realities of our incredible existence,” Mrs. Perry said in her keynote address to 2000 delegates attending the League’s international biennial convention at the Concord Hotel.

She said Jews have remained the “am olam, the eternal people…because in every generation, we have been bearers…of the tradition….When I meet a fellow Jew, we salute one another because we share the knowledge that we still need each other, 500 years from now. We also share the awareness that the world needs us because we carry with us the past, the present and the future, the conscience and culture of the world.”

Mrs. Perry said Jews in the United States “are the largest, the most affluent, the freest, the most influential secularly and the most schooled Jewish community in history and we, who are its leaders, must capitalize on our remarkable good fortune. We have not survived the pillaging of the Crusaders, the fires of the Inquisition, the terror of the pogroms, or the ovens of Auschwitz, to perish under the warm sun of democracy and liberty.”

CITES INFLUENCE OF JEWS

Mrs. Perry observed that “there have been few times in the memory of our people when we have been in a better position to play a role in rebuilding, for never has our influence been so widespread nor our opinion so keenly sought.” As evidence for this, she cited the recent Presidential election where “extravagant promises were made” in public and in private meetings by both major party candidates regarding anti-boycott proposals. Helsinki agreement commitments regarding Soviet Jewry and the aid and defense of Israel.

“This is where we must begin the rebuilding process, for it is now incumbent upon us to insure that the promises made in the scramble for support will not be forgotten in the security of election,” Mrs. Perry declared. She urged each of the delegates “to rededicate herself to the formidable task of communicating Jewish values to all with whom we have contact.” The convention began last night and ends Thursday.

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