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Reform Convention Adopts Resolution of Solidarity with Israel

February 16, 1955
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A resolution expressing “moral and spiritual solidarity with and tangible support of our brethren in the historic land of Israel” was adopted here last night at the 43rd general assembly of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, central organization of the Reform movement. At the same time, it was announced that a second rabbinic and lay Reform delegation would visit Israel this Summer.

Rabbi Herbert Weiner of South Orange, New Jersey, who recently spent a month surveying religious conditions in Israel, told the convention that while Orthodoxy is flourishing in the Jewish State, “many thousands are dissatisfied with strict traditionalism and are hungry for a faith attuned to the cadence of modernity. A Liberal Judaism would fill the void for many intellectuals and young people who are essentially pious but abstain from synagogal affiliation.”

A vigorous debate took place at the session yesterday over the question of whether the movement should issue a manual of religious practices. During this discussion, Harold W. Dubinsky of St. Louis, president of the National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods, declared that recent surveys had established that Reform Jews are introducing many ceremonies in their homes and synagogues.

Opposing the issuance of a code of guide of rituals, Rabbi James G. Heller of New York contended that Reform Judaism’s “historic attitude of liberalism makes a fixed code unthinkable.” A similar view was expressed by Rabbi Nathan Perilman of Temple Emanu-El of New York.

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