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June 26, 1964 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-06-26

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Israel's Theocracy, Assimilation Topics at (CAR Convention

Rabbi Richard C. Hertz of Temple Beth El joined other
leaders in the Central Conference of American Rabbis to
criticize Reform Judaism for failing to protest the lack of
separation of church and state in Israel.
He spoke before the 75ths''>
annual convention of the basis of a reference made by
Rabbi Feuer in his presidential
CCAR. in Atlantic City, at- report,
that an "obsequious
tended by 850 Reform Rabbis appeal saying
for a statement by the
from throughout the world. Ecumenical Council can only be
Rabbi Hertz also was elected revolting to the Jewish spirit and
to the CCAR executive board. I an insult to the memory of Jewish

The realities in Israel are so martyrdom."
complex, Dr. Hertz said, that "any
"Such an act of atonement on
easy solution seems quite impos- the part of the church is long
sible for the moment." He charged overdue and should need no spec-
that orthodoxy has failed to take
pleading on our part," Dr.
hold in Israel because either Feuer said. Later, in an interview,
Israelis are forced to accept "corn- he was critical of Jewish secular
plete orthodox authoritarianism groups for "undignified pressure
with church and state united un- on the Vatican to issue such a
der the chief rabbi, or else they statement and would exonertae
got nothing." He also warned the Jews from the death of Jesus
American Jews against the "cor- the problem belongs to the
roding influence of assimilation" church and not the Jewish people."
Others who urged an intensified
In a report approved by the
program to assure full religious delegates, the Central Confer-
liberty for all religious groups in ence charged that 80 per cent
Israel were Rabbi David Polish of of public schools in the United
Evanston, Ill., and Rabbi Albert S. states were "in wholesale dis-
Goldstein of Brookline, Mass,
respect" of the Supreme Court
Rabbi Polish said : "Reform ban on prayers and Bible read-
Judaim is failing in its prophetic ings in the schools. _
calling. We can no longer escape
Warning that proposals to cir-
the contradiction of an American cumvent the Supreme Court deci-
Jewry fighting for the separation sion were "fraught with danger,"
of church and state in this land the rabbis as sailed a proposed
while acquiescing to a quasi- constitutional amendment intro-
theocracy in the State of Israel." duced in the House by Rep. Frank
"The time has come to remon- i E. Becker, New York Republican,
strate not once but persistently, which is now before the House
lest we desert and alienate be- Judiciary Committee, along with
leaguered free spirts in Israel," some 140 similar proposals.
The rabbis expressed the hope
Rabbi Polish continued. "Con-
science is being throttled in Is- that the proposals would not be
rael, and because of the fiction of favorably reported out of that
non-involvement, we in the Dia- committee "and that no compro-
spora have been until recently mise be proposed which could
silent and overly cautious. A con- only negate the positive effects of
spiracy of silence enshrouded the the Supreme Court decisions."
spreading scandal of religious re- The proposals would void those
pression in Israel, and out of a decisions.
The rabbis rejected "the con-
specious respect for the principle
of non-intrusion, we did not pro- tention that our schools are ir-
religious because of the elimina-
At present there are five Re- tion of religious practices and
form or Liberal congregational observances." They asserted that
groups in Israel. They are affili- "perfunctory religious rites for
ated with the World Union for school children contribute nothing
Progressive Judaism. to their spiritual enrichment or
HIT PRESSURE ON VATICAN religious • commitment. The elim-
In a special article to The New ination of such rites does not make
York Times, it was reported that the school godless."
The rabbinical delegates also
sampling of opinion among the rab-
bis indicated sentiment against strongly opposed the shared time
pressure for a Vatican Council plan, under which pupils of sec-
statement concerning the Jews and tarian schools are sent to public
the crucifixion. schools to share instruction in
With the exception of a few secular subjects with public school
dissenting voices, Irving Spiegel pupils. They said the plan, which
wrote most rabbis seemed to agree has been tested in a few cities,
the "Vatican statement concerning had "serious dangers." It is likely
the crucifixion of Jesus was a to accentuate religious differences,
Christian problem, and Jews need they asserted. "It may involve re-
not pressure for its adoption." ligious functionaries in various
The comments were made on the aspects of public school adminis-


''''''' • '



"And the next question for discussion is Tan the
Toupee Be Considered a Yarmalke Substitute'?"

Copt. 1964, Dayenu Productions

tration, curriculum planning and
scheduling," they argued.
While objecting to the shared
time plan the Reform rabbis saw
"no objection" for parochial and
public schools to mutually use
certain physical 'facilities such as
auditoriums, gymnasiums, swim-
ming pools or athletic fields after
school hours on a similar basis
being currently offered to private
The rabbis called on the West
German government to "prove
its allegiance to the cause of
world peace" by recalling the
West German scientists working
on Egyptian arms development
or to "cancel their citizenship."
The delegates also urged the
adoption of a "ban under UN
control of the supply, manufac-
turing, research and develop-
ment of nuclear weapons and
guided missiles for the Middle
East nations."

right of rabbis to take a public
position in political campaigns.
Reform rabbis have been out-
spoken on political and moral
issues from their pulpits, but the
resolution gives official endorse-
ment to speak out.
The rabbi, the resolution said,
"has the right and obligation to
exercise political responsibility as
a citizen and as a moral teacher."
Action was linked to the recent
campaign by Gov. George C. Wal-
lace of Alabama, who was opposed
vigorously by many rabbis in the
areas where he was running in
local primaries. Some of these
rabbis were criticized by their
congregations for taking a political

The delegates hailed the recent
declaration of President Johnson
that the "United States supports
social and economic and political
progress in the Middle East" and
the pledge of support for "the
security of both Israel and her
A call for more definition in
Reform Jewish ritual and theology
was issued by Baltimore Rabbi
Morris Lieberman. He contrasted
contemporary needs for definition,
as espoused by the younger gen-
eration of reform rabbis, with the
necessity of the early Reform
movement to "clear away the
encrustations of centuries, the
archaisms and obsolescences of
thought and custom . . . which be-
come obstacles to faith and bar-
riers to progress in the gradually
opening post-emancipation world."
In other action, the rabbis
adopted a resolution endorsing the


Reform rabbis throughout the
United States and Canada have
been sent questionnaires in a new
research study of mixed mar-
riages and conversions in a search
for means to cope with the prob-
lems, it was reported at the con-
t. •
Rabbi Hillel A. Fine of Harris-
burg, chairman of the CCAR Com-
mittee on Mixed Marriage, told
his Reform rabbinical colleagues
that the questionnaire asks each
rabbi to provide data on the his-
tory of mixed marriages performed
during a period of up to ten years.
Data sought includes informa-
tion on the number of conversions
to Judaism by the non-Jewish part-
ner before and after the wedding
ceremony, on couples in which
there was no conversions but who
were members of the rabbi's con-
gregation, the rabbi's personal at-
titude toward performing mixed
marriages and on what happens
to couples when a rabbi refuses to
perform a wedding because the
non-Jewish partner refuses to con-
The rabbis also are asked to

give their views on the CCAR
position on the issue. The CCAR
opposes performance of wed-
dings in which there is no con-
version to Judaism but does not
forbid members to perform such
weddings. Most Reform rabbis
will not officiate at such a wed-
ding ceremony.
Rabbi Fine also reported that a
special study was currently being
conducted of all marriages during
the month of June in St. Louis.
Rabbis, ministers, priests and
others have been asked to give in-
formation on whether the offici-
ant was the first choice of the
couple being married, if not, what
the first preference was, and what
the reason was for the preferred
officiant's refusal to perform the
Rabbis of the five Reform con-
gregations in St. Louis have also
been asked to list the number of
marriages at which they were un-
able or unwilling to officiate, with
a summary of their reasons. A
full summary and analysis of the
study was adopted to be ready in
September 1967.
Rabbi Leon Feuer of Toledo,
reelected CCR president, called on
the organization to provide "great-
er financial resources" for an ex-
panded program on research into
the problems of mixed marriages
as a step in meeting the "increas-
ing threat" of Jewish assimilation
in the American community. He
suggested that the CCAR Com-
mittee be authorized to consult
with similar agencies of Orthodox
and Conservative Judaism on the
problem "which is surely of mu-
tual concern."
Rabbi Sidney L. Regner, who
for the past 10 years has been Ex-
ecutive vice president of the
CCAR, was honored with life-time
tenure in that position.



Like BitANDY ?

2,000 Attend Rites for Louis Segal
in New York; Eshkol Message Sent

2,000 persons filled the Bnai
Jeshurun Synagogue here at fu-
neral services for Louis Segal, vet-
eran Zionist and labor leader, who
died June 16 at age 69.
Hundreds of other mourners,
who were unable to gain admit-
tance for lack of room, remained
outside the synagogue during the
Ambassador Katriel Katz de-
livered a message of condolence
from Prime Minister Levi Eshkol
declaring that "the State of Israel,
the Zionist movement, the labor
movement and Louis Segal's my-
riad friends will for many years
feel the absence of his sagacious
advice, his innate sensitivity to
Jewish need and the warmth of his
great human heart."
Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chair-
man of the American section
of the Jewish Agency, said in
her eulogy at the funeral serv-
ices that "the Jewish people has
lost a devoted and militant
worker, and the Zionist move-
ment has lost a consecrated
Messages of condolence received
included one from Dr. Nahum
Goldmann, president of the World
Zionist Organization, and another
from Moshe Sharett, chairman of
the executive of the Jewish
Agency for Israel.
R a b b i Mordecai Kirshblum,
president of the Religious Zion-
ists of America, delivered a brief
eulogy at the interment at the
Farband cemetery in Paramus,
N. J.
David Sislin and Harry Mondry
represented Detroit Farband at
the services.
In Tel Aviv, Eshkol and other
government and Mapai party lead-
ers took part Sunday in a mem-
orial meeting.

Friday, June 26, 1964


Sharett, who delivered the eul-
ogy, said Segal "had a special
place in our movement for a whole
generation. He had a wonderful
mixture of the old and the new
and brought a new generation to
Zionism in the United States. All
who knew him loved him because
he was a true friend."
Shrage Netzer, acting secretary
of Mapai, said that the party
would "erect a living monument"
in Segal's name.

Turover to Co Picnicking

Turover Aid Society president
Nathan Korby has named Harry
Sonkin chairman of the annual
picnic July 12, at Palmer Park.
Lunch will be served from noon
and supper will be served in the
evening. The public is invited.

,coca illy Cocktail's got it!

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Try without cost! Special fund rais-
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name for samples on approval. Regal
Greetings, Dept. 21C Ferndale, Mich.


BOYS AND GIRLS, 13 to 16
AUGUST 16 to 22, 1964

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