NEW YORK (May. 18)
The Synagogue Council of America has called for an end to the nuclear arms race, declaring that “as Jews we are survivers of Hitler’s Holocaust and experience a special sense of responsibility to raise our voices lest we drift into a nuclear catastrophe which would spell the doom of all mankind.”
The Council is the national coordinating agency for the Conservative, Orthodox and Reform rabbinic and Congregational organizations. Its statement is one of an increasing number of appeals by American Jewish organizations for a freeze on nuclear proliferation in the United States and the Soviet Union.
The Synagogue Council’s statement pointed to a “religious duty” of Jewish leaders, “not to stand by idly when the very survival not only of Americans but that of the entire human species is at stake because misguided experts cling to the myth that nuclear war is winnable.” Dismissing unilateral disarmament as a prelude to “nuclear blackmail or outright aggression,” the Council called for an immediate haft to the arms race, with the aim of achieving “a mutual reduction of nuclear arms and stockpiles.”
The Council’s message included a quotation from the Book of Isaiah, which states that “the earth was created to be settled,” not, observed the Council, “for mass extinction of creatures bearing the image of God.”