Fear of Religious Discrimination in Israel Voiced by Reform Rabbi…
Menu JTA Search

Fear of Religious Discrimination in Israel Voiced by Reform Rabbi…

Download PDF for this date

The newly-elected president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis denounced here today “the threat of the Likud-religious party coalition to revise the Law of Return in Israel to exclude Jews and their families who have been converted by Conservative and Reform rabbis” from provisions of that law.

Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik of Short Hills, N.J., was elected head of the 1300-member association of Reform members at the CCAR’s 88th annual convention, succeeding Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of the Fairmount Temple of Cleveland.

Pilchik, a member of the board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the association of Reform synagogues, also declared that “the American Jewish community, the largest and most influential Jewish community in the world today, surely does not believe that the State of Israel was established and has been sustained these past 29 years for the purpose of disenfranchising Jews from the people hood of Israel.”

The CCAR would “inaugurate immediate consultations with the Conservative movement to launch a program of action to prevent this semantical discrimination,” Pilchik declared.

He reaffirmed the leadership role of the CCAR in interfaith and interreligious activities and said the Reform organization would enthusiastically cooperate with Protestant and Catholic clergymen, particularly in all areas bearing on the well-being of Americans generally.

He said the CCAR had recently done much “re-thinking of the philosophy of Reform Judaism and its practices” and “has developed a great volume of new and meaningful liturgical material.” He said also the CCAR had as one of its “prime goals” a re-thinking “and an intensive implementation of Jewish religious education.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund