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Greater Participation of Jewish Lay Leaders in Religious Movements Urged

December 7, 1959
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An appeal for greater participation of lay leadership in religious movements was voiced here this week by former Senator Herbert H. Lehman, addressing the first program conference of the newly-formed National Advisory Council of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating agency for the rabbinic and congregational organizations of the Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Jewish religious communities.

Formation of the National Advisory Council was announced as a means of mobilizing “qualified lay leadership, both locally and nationally, in support of the work and program of the Synagogue Council in national and international affairs.” The Synagogue Council represents the common interests of its constituent agencies in relationships with the United States Government, the United Nations, the national Catholic and Protestant Church federations, and in Jewish community relations areas of religious concern.

Rabbi Max D. Davidson, president of the Synagogue Council, described the program of the organization, pointing out the need for creating an “inventory of experts to assist the Synagogue Council’s 21 standing commission in such vital areas of national concern as foreign affairs; family, marriage and youth welfare; mass media; church-state relations; among others.” Guest speakers from the State Department, the U.S. Committee for the United Nations, and from the national Catholic and Protestant Church federations addressed the assembly.

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