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Conservative Judaism Women’s Leader Urges That Values and Priorities Be Re-channeled

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As she accepted the presidency for a second two-year term, Mrs. Goldie Kweller charged the 200 delegates at the national convention of the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism last night with the task of “re-channeling our values and priorities and changing them from self-satisfied ‘me-ism’ to community ‘we-ism’.”

Mrs. Kweller of Kew Garden Hills, N.Y. heads the largest women’s synagogue organization in the world, with 210,000 members in 810 Conservative sisterhoods in North America and women’s groups in Latin America and Israel.

“We are also charged with the task of turning the tide of family fragmentation, creating in its place a family restoration,” she said. “In the words of the late Dr. Solomon Schechter, Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, ‘leaders become influential among their contemporaries only by teaching and living an exemplary life.’ We must become a Judaically knowledgeable laity, rather than Jews whose ties are only cultural and social.”

Speaking of problems within Jewish families, Mrs. Kweller, at an earlier session suggested a return to “strong family life, the high standards of family and personal morality which have been our strength and support, and have helped us survive.” She also remarked that “particularly in an era of feminism, we must make ourselves role models, by our actions demonstrating our conviction that the Jewish tradition, which has always had a strong family life, has to be our top priority.”

Referring to the role of Conservative Judaism in Israel, Mrs. Kweller said that “the steady growth in the number of our congregations in Israel, despite the roadblocks set up by the chief rabbinate, is heartening.” In the past two years, ties between Women’s League and women in Israel congregations have led to formal organization of a Conservative women’s group, Neshoma, in Israel.

RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY CONCLAVE

Resolutions were adopted alerting members to anti-Semitism and speak out against manifestations of all injustice and bigotry. The delegates approved another resolution which urged on-going communications with leaders of Black and Hispanic minority groups.

The delegates urged the United States government “to give high priority to seeking out and prosecuting Nazi war criminals residing in the United States.” The delegates also urged the United States government to recognize united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They also urged the Israel government to recognize the validity of Conservative Judaism.

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