Rabbis Split over Representation on Praesidium of Rabbinical Conference
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Rabbis Split over Representation on Praesidium of Rabbinical Conference

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The three-day rabbinical conference, which was open(##) so auspiciously by Gen. Lucius D. Clay on Monday, closed last night with a large (##)oc of delegates leaving the meeting in protest against the make-up of the seven-man praesidium elected.

From the beginning there were sharp differences of opinion over the question (##) what constituted a legitimate rabbi. It was finally agreed to name a seven-man praesidium under the chairmanship of Rabbi Samuel Snieg, president of the Rabbinical (##)sociation, which will rule on the bona fides of all persons claiming to be rabbis. (##)e six other members of the praesidium will head various departments, such as education and culture, marital and divorce problems, kashruth, Sabbath observance and purity of the home.

The split developed when mostly elderly, and Hungarian, rabbis were elected (##) the prassidium. The dissident group demanded some representation for younger (##)ements and also for political parties, such as the Agudas Israel and the Mizrach. (##)e older group refused, stating the praesidium must be free from politics and must consist of older rabbis in order to “command respect.” Dissidents, most of whom represent political parties, then walked out. However, Rabbi Solomon Shapiro, JDC director of religious affairs, said that he was confident he could reconcile both groups.

Before the walk-out occurred, the conference adopted a resolution “blessing” (##)e JDC for its assistance and asking for increased aid. The delegates elected Rabbi Schneersohn, of Brooklyn, the Lubavitche Rebbe, as honorary president.

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