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Reform Congregations Queried on Jewish Observances and Affiliations

December 10, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date
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Status of Reform Judaism at Home Sought by Questionnaire (Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Twenty-five thousand questionnaires were sent out this week by the Commission on Research of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations to the homes of all members of Reform congregations affiliated with the Union in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Newark and Detroit, the ten cities in the United States which have a Jewish population of over 50,000.

The purpose of the inquiry is to ascertain what is the actual status of Judaism in the homes of members of Reform congregations in the ten largest centers of Jewish population in this country and to make the facts available for the use of rabbis, educators, social workers, and lay leaders.

The questionnaire, by means of which the research is being conducted, consists of a six-page booklet which solicits information on some of the most importants aspects of Jewish life. It includes questions about the religious education of the member and his family, his Jewish communal affiliations, the books and ceremonial objects found in his home, the ceremonials observed in his home, his attitude toward various aspects of the synagogue and Jewish schools and his evaluation of the essence of his Jewishness. It also requests the member to make suggestions for the welfare of Judaism in this country and to offer criticisms which may prove helpful to Jewish leadership. In order to facilitate frankness and to safeguard their confidence, recipients of the questionnaire are asked to fill them out and return them without signature.

The Commission on Research which is conducting this study, was founded in April 1928 by the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations as a result of the Biennial Conference of that organization held in Cleveland in January 1927. The subject of this conference dealt with the “Perpetuation of Judaism.”

The results will be studied from every angle with a view to discovering the relationship of such matters as age, secular and religious education, occupation and family upon ceremonial observances, affiliations with Jewish institutions and attitudes toward important Jewish problems. Any suggestions or criticisms received will be placed before the Union of American Hebrew Congregations for its consideration.

Dr. Lee K. Frankel is chairman of the commission.

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