NEW YORK (May. 19)
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (UOJCA) will undertake un intensive campaign to mobilize the many top Orthodox intellectuals scattered throughout the United States who occupy positions of leadership in the academic, professional and business communities, it was announced here by Julius Berman, president of the UOJCA.
Berman told the more than 1000 lay and rabbinic leaders attending the UOJCA’s national dinner at the New York Hilton last night that “we will organize these individuals into a powerful force to build Orthodoxy and to capture the imaginations of over one-half million Jewish youth today on the college campuses or now entering the professional world. With their talents, experience, and numbers, we can assure the future of American Jewry and change its destiny and those individuals will undoubtedly help raise the stature of Torah Judaism in this country.
Contrasting today’s American Orthodox community with the Jewish community of Europe of the previous generation, Berman said: “Whereas the past generation was confronted with the necessity of abandoning its religious convictions for success in the secular world, today’s Orthodox community has succeeded in achieving material success without having to compromise its religious standards. On the contrary, today’s Orthodox lay leaders have succeeded not only in achieving unparalleled prominence and influence in the academic, professional, and business worlds, but they have at the same time, actually strengthened the level of their religious commitment and observance.”
It is, Berman noted, “the realization of an age-old dream most brilliantly expressed by the Jewish philosopher, Rabbi Nosson Birnboum, to end the self-imposed isolation of the Orthodox community, and for its members to become full partners and leaders within the fabric of our Jewish and secular society as a whole.”
The national dinner honored Marcus Katz of Mexico City with the Kether Shem Tov Award, the highest the Orthodox community can bestow. Rabbi Solomon Sharfman, spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Flatbush, received the UOJCA’s National Rabbinic Leadership Award for four decodes of outstanding service to the community of Flatbush in Brooklyn and American Orthodoxy.