Ten Rabbis received degrees and thirty-five students of the Teachers Training Department and the Israel Friedlaender Extension Department, including 24 girls, received diplomas, at the annual Commencement exercises of the Jewish Theological Seminary at Town Hall, Sunday afternoon.
The degree of Doctor of Hebrew Literature was conferred upon Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, and the degrees of Doctors of Divinity upon Rabbi Charles I. Hoffman of Newark, N. J., and Rabbi Elias L. Solomon of New York, all honoris causa.
The principal speakers of the occasion were Dr. Cyrus Adler, President of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Rabbi Abraham A. Neuman, of Congregation Mikveh Israel of Philadelphia. Rabbi Charles I. Hoffman of Newark delivered the invocation and Rabbi Israel Goldfarb the closing prayer.
Those who received Rabbinical degrees were: Isadore Barnett, Philadelphia, Pa.; Abraham H. Fedder, Baltimore, Md.; Albert I. Gordon, Cleveland, Ohio; Harry Halpern, New York, N. Y.; Harry W. Katchen, Newark, N. J.; Nathan Kollin, Cleveland, Ohio; Isidore S. Meyer, New London, Conn.; Jacob Radin, N. Y.; Henry M. Rosenthal, Louisville, Ky.: Edward Schoenfeld, New York, N. Y. Charles M. Rubel of New York received the degree of Master of Hebrew Literature.
Announcement was made by Dr. Adler that arrangements have been concluded with the Teachers College of Columbia University whereby it will be possible for students of the Teachers Institute to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Jewish Pedagogy degree from the Teachers Institute in five years by pursuing a combined course of study at both institutions.
Rabbi Neuman in his address pointed out that Semicha, ordination, requires, under Jewish law, that it be administered on Palestine soil. He expressed the hope, that with the upbuilding of Palestine and development of religious life there the authorized mode of Semicha would be restored, leading to the establishment of a Sanhedrin for an orderly and constitutional revision of some laws which require adjustment to present day conditions.
Dr. Adler, who has just returned from a trip to Palestine, devoted his address to a description of the educational and religious aspects of the country. His impressions of Palestine were prefaced by a call to American Jewry to merge their differences and lead the way to a reawakening of the collective conscience and the recreation of spiritual unity so that both may have a strengthening influence on the work of rebuilding Palestine.
“We are but a small folk,” declared Dr. Adler. “It behooves us as a mere matter of self protection not to allow differences of recent origin, or even of philosophies to divide us into hostile camps. We cannot afford it and the circumstances do not warrant it.”
The great need in Palestine education and religious life is co-ordination, he declared. “Within the Jewish population of Palestine there exists every shade of thought from a-religion, the negation of Judaism and of all religion, to a most rigid observance and medieval dogmatism and mysticism. Each one of these attitudes is reflected in a school curriculum. One would suppose that already enough differences had been provided for, but there is yet another which is not reflected in the school system. The Yishub in Palestine represents every part of the globe and the synagogue reflects these geographical differences when there is no essential difference in belief or practice.”
The result is, he said, that in a net- (Continued on Page 4)
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