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November 17, 1967 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-11-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

crimination in employment; and
intensification of programs like
"operation suburbia" in which sub-
urban families take Negroschildren
into their homes for weekend
visits.

Dr. Hertz Urges:-'New Formula' Among Rabbis on Intermarriasge Issue

MONTREAL—Rabbi Richard C.
Hertz of Temple Beth El, Detroit,
urged "a new formula" for the
Reform rabbinate on the issue of
intermarriage.
Dr. Hertz, addressing the bien-
nial convention of the Union of
American Hebrew Congregations
here this week, suggested that the
Central Conference of American
Rabbis (CCAR) "take another look
at its traditional policy and work
out a new formula. I am one of
those rabbis who believe it is time
for a change, and I am working
within the CCAR to bring it about."
Taking as his topic, "The Jew-
ish Mission in an Ecumenical Age,"
Dr. Hertz said:
"Since 1909, the Central Con-
ference of American Rabbis has
taken the official position of
saying, first, that intermarriages
are contrary to the Jewish tradi-
tion; and second, that these mar-
riages should be discouraged by
the American rabbinate. Yet
clearly this policy has not stem-
med the rising tide of intermar-
riage. I believe the CCAR has
not dealt realistically nor even
compassionately with those cou-
ples who turn to the rabbi in
their confusion. I don't know of
a single intermarriage that was , '
ever called off because a rabbi
wouldn't officiate."
He added: "Unless we want to
go back (and we don't) to the
ghetto days and create a special,
air-tight compartment for Jews,

for Catholics and for Protestants,
we are obliged in this ecumenical
age (of which we are happy to
be a part) to take our chances
with intermarriage."
Dr. Hertz stressed in his talk,
however, that "We Jews have much
to teach about a noble heritage
and much to offer a cruel and cal-
loused world. But to perform this
mission, we must always be mind-
ful that survival itself as Jews is
a necessity for the Jewish people."
The delegates adopted
a
resolution calling for the liberal-
ization of existing abortion laws
in the United States and Canada.
It urged "humane legislation"
to permit abortion "in such cir-
cumstances as rape and incest,
threatened disease or deformity
of the embryo or fetus, the physi-
cal and mental health of the
mother, and social, economic and
psychological factors that might
warrant therapeutic termination
of pregnancy."
Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath,
president of the UAHC, made pub-
lic letters he had received from
the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. and Floyd B. McKissick, Ne-
gro civil rights leaders, who sharp-
ly repudiated the anti-Zionist and
anti-Semitic position taken at a so-
called Black Power caucus in Chi-
cago recently.
In this connection, Rabbi Eisen-
drath criticized those Jews who
use "the anti-Semitic slime of
Negro extremists" to escape from

"their obligation to help the Negro
in his struggle for full equality.
Rabbi Eisendrath called fur-
ther for adoption by Reform
congregations of a pulpit place-
ment program to end the chaotic
system "wherein rabbis are se-
lected for the most trivial rea-
sons."
A five-point program presented
by the social action committee on
behalf of racial equality and jus-
tice called for: Pooling funds
raised by Jewish, Protestant and
Catholic groups for investment in
integrated apartment houses in
hitherto all-white neighborhood;
exertion of moral pressure by rab-
bis and congregants against Jew-
ish "slumlords and ghetto prof-
iteers" and the establishment of
a code of business ethics; expan-
sion of Reform synagogue support
of the upper Park Avenue Commu-
nity Action project, which seeks

to rehabilitate the worst areas of
the Negro ghetto in Harlem; in-
creased support of national inter-
faith projects in which religious
institutions refuse to do business
with companies that practice dis-

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Friday, November 17, 1967-9

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