HOUSTON (Nov. 14)
Thirty-five new Reform temples became affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC) in the past two years, bringing the number of member synagogues to 770, the highest in UAHC’s 110-year history, it was announced here by Donald Day, chairman of the UAHC.
In his report to some 3,500 delegates attending the 57th biennial assembly of the UAHC and the 34th biennial convention of the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Day said that over the past decade nearly 100 new synagogues had become affiliated with the UAHC. The total membership of the organization’s 770 congregations now exceeds 1.25 million people, he said.
The UAHC leader, who is retiring as chairman after serving for four years, said the new synagogues joining the UAHC were situated in all sections of the country and were not limited to the fast-growing “sun belt” states.
“We are a vital, burgeoning religious movement,” Day said in his report to delegates. “The ‘war-babies’ generation is now marrying and having children, swelling the ranks of our congregations and adding new ones. Reform Judaism is a religion for third-gener ation Americans. We are confident that our membership will continue to increase as Jews of more traditional backgrounds choose to associate themselves with the Reform movement.”
As one result, Day said “more and more Reform congregations are tending toward a greater degree of traditionalism in their services.” More than 40 percent of all children in the U.S. and Canada who receive Jewish religious education do so by attending religious schools in Reform synagogues, Day said.