Reform Leader Says There Were Reform Rabbis in Poland

A spokesman for Reform Judaism said today that a leading Orthodox rabbi was “in error” when he publicly asserted this week that there had never been a Reform rabbi of a synagogue in Poland. The statement by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of North America,” is incorrect,” said Rabbi Philip Hiat, assistant to Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Noting that the Bar Mitzvah of a Stamford, Conn. youth is scheduled to be held in the Temple Synagogue in Cracow, Hiat said:

“This synagogue was dedicated as a Reform synagogue in 1844. Its most prominent spiritual leader was Osias Thon, a Reform rabbi who was also a member of the Polish Sejn (Senate) and a key figure in the Zionist movement in Galicia, who died in 1936.” Other leading Polish Reform rabbis cited by Rabbi Hiat included Samuel Abraham Poznanski (1864-1921), who served as the Reform rabbi of Tlomacka Synagogue in Warsaw, and who was succeeded by another Reform rabbi, Moses Schorr, who died during the Nazi occupation.

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