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June 29, 1973 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1973-06-29

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
12—Friday, June 29, 1973

Strong Disapproval of Rabbis' Officiating
at Mixed Marriages Is Adopted by CCAR

ATLANTA (JTA) — The
Central Conference of Ameri-
can Rabbis, at its 84th an-
nual convention here, adopt-
ed by a vote of 321-196 a
resolution expressing strong
disapproval of its members'
officiating at mixed marriage
ceremonies.
Nonetheless, the conference
upheld its traditional position
of acknowledging each Re-
form rabbi's right to act ac-
cording to his own interpre-
tation of Jewish tradition.
Rabbi Robert I. Kahn of
Cong. Emanu El, Houston,
was named the new presi-
dent, succeeding Rabbi David
Polish.
The mixed marriage reso-
lution was passed after a
spirited five-hour debate at
the convention's headquar-
ters in the Sheraton-Biltmore
Hotel.
The debate was based on
a resolution presented to the
Reform rabbinic body by its
mixed marriage committee,
a 10-member body headed by
Rabbi Herman Schaalman o
Chicago.
The committee had made
an intensive two-year study
covering the various theolo
gical, sociological and psy
chological factors regarding
the entire problem of mixed
marriage.
The mixed-marriage corn
mittee had recommended
that the CCAR suggest mini-
mum standards that rabbis
choosing to officiate at mix-
ed marriage ceremonies
should abide by. The sug-
gested guidelines were de-
feated by a vote of 221-198.
A strong plea for the dis-
approval of Reform rabbis
performing mixed marriages
was made by Rabbi Roland
Gittelsohn of Boston on behalf
of eight CCAR past presi-
dents.
Rabbi Gittelsohn said there
is a greater danger of dis-
unity within the World Union
for Progressive Judaism, the
international body of the Re-
form movement, if the rab-
bis fail to take a stronger
position than if they take
"bold and vigorous action."
Nevertheless, the past pres-
ident further expressed op-
position to "any curb on the
freedom of each colleague to
act according to the dictates
of his own conscience."
About 60 Reform rabbis
dissented from the majority
vote after meeting is a closed
session.
At the end of their three-
hour meeting, the dissenters
said they had organized a
special pressure group within
the conference and intended
to let the Reform Jewish
community know they would
still perform mixed mar-
riages.
The dissenters were led by
Rabbi David Eichhorn, long
a foe on any attempts to reg-
ulate the "autonomous role
of the rabbi."
Rabbi Eichhorn said he be-
lieved that, of • the 1,100
members in the conference,
350 to 550 had performed
mixed marriages and, during
his long career, he had offi-
ciated at 2,000 such wed-
dings.
Rabbi Irwin Fishbein of
Westfield, N.J., said he
would notify those couples
awaiting mixed marriage
ceremonies that he would still
perform the weddings.
By its adoption of the reso-
lution the CCAR 3trengthen-

ed a 1909 position stating nam War either by accepting
"mixed marriages are con- prison sentences, deserting
trary to the Jewish tradition or going underground.
and should be discouraged. -
The Reform rabbis, who
The vote in favor of the have a long record of opposi-
firmer stand was viewed by tion to the Vietnam War,
conference officials as aid- called upon Congress "to
ing the majority of its mem- grant unconditional amnesty
bers who do not wish to of- as an act of reconciliation
ficiate at mixed marriages. and compassion that can help.
To deal with couples who to speedily reunite the Amer-
already have been married ican people for the key tasks
without one partner having of justice and peace which
been converted, the assem- lie ahead."
bly agreed by overwhelming
Some opposition to the res-
voice .vote to assist fully in olution was voiced by a hand-
educating children of such ful of rabbis who wanted con-
mixed marriages as Jews; to ditional amnesty, but their
provide the opportunity for position was rejected.
conversion of the non-Jewish
Rabbi Charles Kroloff of
spouse; and to encourage a Westfield, N.J., chairman of
creative and consistent cul- the CCAR's church - state
tivation of involvement in the committee, cautioned the
Jewish community and the rabbis that .a new genera-
synagogue.
tion of politicians and school
Delegates to the conven- officials pressing for prayers
tion overwhelmingly adopted in the public schools and
a resolution calling upon Con- government funds for sec-
gress to grant unconditional tarian education, poses new
amnesty to those men who threats to the principle of
refused to serve in the Viet- church-state separation.

"Your neck, your throat,
your heart are all so many
ways of escape from slavery.
You shall find the road to
freedom in every vein in your
body." —Casear

Rabbi Kroloff cited the
new voluntary prayer amend-
ment recently introduced into
Congress by Senator Howard
IF YOU TURN THE
Baker (R. Tenn.) and Sen-
ator Richard Schweiker
(R. Pa.), as a "danger
UPSIDE DOWN YOU WON'T
signal."
FIND A FINER WINE THAN
The committee found that
there has been an "upswing"
in religious practices in the
public schools and a con- RABBI ROBERT I. KAHN
tinued attempt in Congress fects housing, education and
Milan Wineries, Detroit, Mich..
and state legislatures to find employment.
legal avenues to provide some
form of tax credits or other
funds to aid parochial
I'LL GIVE YOU 5 LBS. OF
schools.
FREE
MATZOHS IF I CAN'T
Many of the rabbis attend-
BEAT YOUR
YOUR BEST
BEST DEAL!!
DEAN
ed a brief religious service
in the Ebenezer Baptist
PHIL SCHOSTAK

Church with the Rev. and
SEE OR CALL "PHIL" FOR YOUR
Mrs. Martin Luther King Sr.,
to pay a tribute to the me-
(OVER COST) DEAL
11%
mory of Martin Luther King
OPEN. MONDAY & THURSDAY TIL 9 P.M.
Jr.
The rabbis called upon
29200 TELEGRAPH (AT 12 MILE)
Jews to engage in new acti-
vist community work in as-
suring the rights of minority
groups, particularly as it af-

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