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Conference of Reform Rabbis Urges Dissolution of Council for Judaism

June 27, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Declaring that it sees no “essential incompatability” between Reform Judaism and Zionism, the 54th annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis today urged dissolution of the American Council for Judaism, an organization formed last year by some members of the Conference for the purpose of combating political Zionism.

In one resolution passed at this morning’s session, the rabbis reiterated the Conference’s determination not to take an official stand on Zionism, but emphasized that there is “no reason why those of its members who give allegiance to Zionism should not have the right to regard themselves as fully within the spirit and purpose of Reform Judaism.”

In another resolution, aimed specifically at the American Council for Judaism, the delegates, although maintaining that members of the Conference “were fully within their rights in espousing whatever philosophy of Jewish life they accept,” declared that the Council for Judaism has endangered the unity of the Conference. Zionists and other groups interested in having Palestine opened to large scale immigration required by the situation of European Jewry “could not avoid judging” the Council as an example of “what they had come to consider the constant opposition of Reform Judaism to Zionist aspirations,” the resolution further pointed out. It, therefore, urged the Council to dissolve.

At yesterday’s session the Conference approved the pension plan reported out by its committee on rabbinical pensions and it was announced that all members of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations had agreed to subscribe to the scheme. It is expected that it will be put into operation within a year.

Three Jewish chaplains addressed the convention on the symposium topic. “The Faith of the Jew in the Amed Forces.” Chaplain Julius Mark of the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Chaplain Selwyn Ruslander, U.S.N.R., of Williamsburg, Va., and Chaplain Albert Goldstein of Sheppard Field, Texas, were the speakers at the symposium, held in connection with a memorial for Chaplain Alexander D. Goode, who lost his life in the sinking of a transport. Reports and papers on Jewish religious education were read at this morning’s meeting.

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