Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Calling of World Jewish Assembly Proposed at Rabbinical Convention

May 25, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Rabbinical Assembly, the organization of the American Conservative rabbinate, was urged here today to summon a World Jewish Assembly for the purpose of forming a new, worldwide, Jewish organization based on the proposition that the World Zionist Organization “is no longer adequate.”

The proposal was made at the Rabbinical Assembly’s annual convention which is taking place here, with 500 rabbis in attendance. It was contained in a report entitled “Israel, Judaism, the Jewish people and Zionism,” which stated that the purpose of the World Jewish Assembly would be:

“To provide a structure which the majority of Jews would recognize as their spokesman in international bodies such as the United Nations; to mobilize world opinion to protect the physical and economic security of Jewish communities whose rights are threatened; to foster those institutions which teach and preserve Jewish values, while recognizing that diversity precludes coercion on behalf or exclusion of any legitimate Jewish group; and to inculcate a sense of ahavat Israel (love for Israel) in all who recognized the authority of the Assembly.”

Rabbi Joseph P. Sternstein, of New York, who presented the report, made clear to the convention the Conservative rabbinate’s “unfaltering support, politically and economically,” for the State of Israel, and said that it is only the World Zionist Organization “that is found wanting.” The proposed World Jewish Assembly, as envisaged in the report, would be composed of:

“1. Representatives of all national rabbinic and synagogue groups accepting the legitimacy of Jewish religious groups which differ from them in ideology and practice but have reverence for the integrity and sanctity of each other’s religious leadership and institutions.

“2. Representatives of other national and international Jewish organizations with substantial constituencies which accept the first principle and recognize the worldwide fellowship of the Jewish people, our responsibility for the physical security, political freedom and spiritual survival of the Jewish tradition and people wherever they dwell.”

Recommended from JTA