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Klutznick Urges a Three-point Program for the Jewish People

November 22, 1978
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“The prospect of peace in the Middle East inaugurates a new era for the Jewish people as a people,” said Philip M. Klutznick, president of the World Jewish Congress, in his address at the Mordecai M. Kaplan Awards dinner of the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation at the Hotel Pierre.

Advocating a three-point program of Jewish religious pluralism, economic justice and social equality, Klutznick stated that in the area of Jewish religion, the Jewish people, and in particular Israeli society, has to accept the principle of unity in diversity to “maintain one another’s integrity while promoting together a Jewish commonwealth with a distinct aura of religiosity.”

Klutznick’s second point called for a commitment to justice–Tzedakah, which he considers to be “sound economic doctrine no less than moral principle.” Peace for a Jewish State must include “the achievement of economic fairness and opportunity; it is a political and moral challenge of enormous proportion.”

Lastly, Klutznick urged Israeli society to demonstrate “that social equality is not a vain hope which lies on the doorstep of a peaceful Israel. The shocking disparities in the distribution of power and opportunity between the principle segments of Israel’s population cry out for adjustment.” The new realities brought about by the prospect of peace, “demand rebuilding a modern society that implements the precepts which flow from this conception of Judaism as a civilization,” Klutznick concluded.

Daniel G. Ross and A. Walter Socolow, both of New York City, were the recipients of the Mordechai M. Kaplan Medal, conferred upon them by Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, president of the Reconstructionist Foundation, for their distinguished service to the advancement of Judaism.

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