New York (Jun. 23)
Two major American Jewish organizations urged Jewish scholars today not to accept invitations from the Unification Church of the Rev. Sung Myung Moon to a conference under
its auspices to be held in Israel in August. A letter signed by Bertram Gold, executive vice president of the American Jewish Committee, and Henry Siegman, executive director of the American Jewish Congress, noted that “The writings of Rev. Moon are distinctly anti-Semitic,” a fact they said was “documented in a study done by Rabbi James Rudin of the American Jewish Committee.”
The letter, sent to a large group of prominent Jewish scholars, said the purpose of the Unification Church in holding conferences in Israel and elsewhere to which distinguished persons in the arts, sciences and professions were invited, all expenses paid, was “to gain respectability through the association by the Church with names of well-known and respected scholars.”
Gold and Siegman said the Unification Church was objectionable because “Numerous Jewish homes have been thrown into turmoil and parents subjected to severe suffering as a result of the activities of the Unification Church.” They were referring to its intensive proselytizing among Jewish and other youth. Additionally, the letter noted that the monies expended by the Church for its conferences are largely derived from the labor of its followers “under conditions of exploitation and the suppression of free choice.” They pointed out that although the scholars who attend the conferences do not endorse the Church, the association of their names serves the Church’s purposes.