Quotas amounting to more than the $500,000 sought by the United Synagogue of America were undertaken by representatives of conservative synogues, sisterhoods and young people’s groups at a dinner following the all day conference of the United Synagogue held Sunday at the Hotel Astor, New York.
Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and of Dropsie College in Philadelphia, was the guest of honor at the dinner. He defined the task of the United Synagogue as being that of “bringing the Synagogue to the people, and the people to the Synagogue.”
New York City assumed a quota of $150,000, Leo J. Goldberger, chairman of the Greater City Campaign, announced.
Mr. Louis Goldberg, president of the New England Branch of the United Synagogue undertook a quota of $50,000 for his district and was followed by Rabbi Charles L. Hoffman of Newark and Rabbi Mortiner J. Cohen of Philadelphia for a like sum, in their territories.
Mrs. Samuel Spiegel, President of the Women’s League, of the United Synagogue, comprising 275 sisterhoods and women’s organizations in the United States, announced that her League would raise $50,000 as their share towards the Campaign funds. Part of this was accepted by Mrs. Joseph Horowitz, chairman of the New York City Campaign, who announced that the New York Branch of the Women’s League was planning a luncheon in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Cyrus Adler at the Hotel Astor on December 11th.
Campaigns are already in progress in Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Sioux City, Kansas City and Omaha. Other cities to accept quotas were: Hartford, $7500; New Haven, $5000; Providence, $7500; Pittsburgh, $75,000; Detroit, $15,000; Cleveland, $25,000; Buffalo, $1000; Rochester, $75000; Syracuse, $5000; Jersey City, $7500; Passaic, $5000; Paterson, $5000; Montreal, $15,000.
Delegates representing seven hundred congregations and religious organizations affiliated with the United Synagogue participated in the Conference called to plan a program of activities for the coming year which would insure the growth of the United Synagogue of America.
While there are one million Jews affiliated with the seven hundred organizations comprising the United Synagogue, it was said at the conference yesterday that the United Synagogue represented a potential strength of three million Jews. According to Dr. Elias Margolis, chairman of the United Synagogue Campaign for $500,000, it is the leading organized Jewish religious and cultural group in America and represents the vast majority of American Jews.
“I do not share the feelings of the pessimists,” Dr. Adler declared in his address. “I am not worried over the future of the Jew in America, or the world, for that matter, I am much more concerned with our duty as Jews Our duty is quite clear. We must go out and enlist the interest of the majority in the synagogue. These people must be made to realize that their place is the synagogue, and that they are not fulfilling their functions as Jews unless they are an integral part of the synagogue, actively participating in all that synagogue represents. That there are so many unaffiliated Jews in this country I regret,–I regret it, but I have no reason to despair. Those who are now within the synagogue must give meaning to their affiliation. The synagogue must wield a greater influence on their lives. They must become more deeply attached to it,” Dr. Adler said.
“The United Synagogue of America is working in this direction. Upholding the traditions of our people it is facing a new world. It is endeavoring to combine decorum with the life of the synagogue as the rallying place for the Jew. The United Synagogue of America stands for a living solemn service, in keeping with the traditions and the inspiration of our faith,” Dr. Adler concluded.
Dr. Jacob Kohn, Rabbi of Temple Ansche Chesed, speaking at the conference on “Judaism and Scientific Progress,” stated that there was no conflict possible between pure science and religion, if one believes that the energy and matter with which science deals be taken as showing a divine purpose. Applied science, however, must always be subservient to religion, if it is going to further the happiness of the world,” Dr. Kohn said.
“If the Great War showed anything,” Dr. Kohn declared, “it demonstrated that every chemist, every inventor, every practioner of an applied science, can be an enemy of mankind, and that every art and science can be used against, as well as for the good of mankind.” “The United Synagogue of America must join with every other religious force, not only within Jewry, but within the civilized world, to see that science does not wreck the human happiness, and to insure that it raises humanity to a higher level.”
Dr. Louis Finkelstein, President of the Rabbinical Assembly of the Jewish Theological Seminary, praised the purposes of the United Synagogue of America, as being an organization that would “bring spiritual power and spiritual influences to bear upon the younger people in the homes, and the older people in their various communities.”
“We look to you to help us establish that organization that will be able to bring us the spiritual encouragement that we need in order to keep going in our local activities, by knowing that there is an institutional power behind us and that we are not working alone. The United Synagogue has a very important function to fill not only in the Judaism of America, but for the Judaism of the future.”
Mrs. Louis M. Epstein, of the Executive Council of the New England Branch of the Women’s League of the United Synagogue, urged a closer attention to the teachings of the Jewish religion in the home.
Among the other speakers were Leo J. Goldberger, chairman of the morning session, Dr. Elias Margolis, Mrs. S. Spiegel, S. Herbert Golden, Henry N. Rapaport, Mrs. Eva Levy, Albert Rosenblatt, Dr. Elias L. Solomon, Rabbi Benjamin H. Birnbaum of Boston, Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen, of Philadelphia, Rabbi Morris Silverman of Hartford, Conn., Dr. A. A. Neuman of Philadelphia, Rabbi Max D. Klein of Philadelphia, and Dr. Israel H. Levinthal.