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Reconstructionists Warned of Rightist Intellectual Climate

June 17, 1981
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Warning against an intellectual atmosphere in America which increasingly favors views reflected in the positions of such conservative Christian groups as the Moral Majority, a Reconstructionist leader said here Sunday that “the liberal voice of Judaism must not be silenced” and that that viewpoint “is just as moral as the view-point of those who oppose all progress.”

The warning, which included a caution against “conservative Jewish publications,” was made by Rabbi Ludwig Nadelmann, president of the Jewish Reconstructionist Foundation, at a plenary session ending the four-day 21st annual convention of the Reconstructionist movement at Grossinger’s Hotel.

Rabbi Nadelmann also outlined a five-year plan for expansion of the movement, including revisions of its prayer book by a new prayer book commission, new publications, increased educational programming for children and adults, and greater personal contacts between movement leaders and its constituencies in distant communities, camps and the informal fellowship groups known as “havurot,” which have official status in the Reconstructionist Federation.

He reported that the several hundred convention delegates adopted a budget for the fiscal year starting July I of nearly $1 million to intensify and expand Reconstructionist programs.

The delegates approved a resolution calling on the Israel government and on international refugee organizations to “do much more” than they have to alleviate the plight of Falasha Jews in Ethiopia. In other resolutions, the delegates expressed “dismay” over projected social welfare cuts by the Reagan Administration and declared their opposition to the Helms-Hyde bill in Congress that would void the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is a constitutionally protected right. At the same time, the convention urged Jewish communal agencies to “establish quality child care programs to encourage childbearing and child rearing.”

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