Menace in M.E.
Commentary, Page 2
VOL. LXXVI, , No. • 17
THE JEWISH NEWS
A Weekly Review
U.S. Labor Party
of Jewish Events
Story on Page 48
Dec. 28, 1979
17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075 424-8833 $15.00 Per Year: This Issue 35`
Seminary Senate Vote Halts
Women Ordination Decision
Synagogue Council Aids
the Cambodia Refugees
NEW YORK = The faculty senate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America last week
postponed by a vote of 25 to 19 any decision on the question of the ordination of women as rabbis in
Conservative Judaism. Gerson D. Cohen, chancellor of the seminary who has declared himself "a
passionate advocate" of the ordination of women, said he regarded the decision as a defeat of
ordination for the forseeable future.
The motion presented to the senate called upon the chancellor to appoint "a committee of
talmudic scholars" to complete a systematic study of the status of women in Jewish law, and
continued: "The proper resolution of the ordination question can be achieved only within this larger
Following the vote, Chancellor Cohen told the senate that he was not sure whether or not
he would appoint such a committee. He characterized as "an encouraging factor" the fact
that the seminary faculty had not avoided the issue, but had "confronted it directly, in an
interdisciplinary way, as no other movement in American Judaism could have done." He
announced that he would address a plenary session of students and faculty in mid-January,
at which time he would "interpret the spiritual and moral significance of the vote" as he saw
A check for $15,000 for Cambodian relief is presented to
Bishop Edwin R. Broderick and Kitty Madeson of the Inter-
faith Hunger Appeal by Stephen Cohen, chairman of the
Synagogue Council of America's task force on interna-
The question of ordination for women had been raised by rabbis and laity in the Conservative
movement, and late in 1977 Dr. Cohen appointed a 14-member commission to study the problem. The
commission reported last January that it found nothing in Jewish law to bar the ordination of women.
The majority of the commission members (11 of 14) recommended that Conservative Judaism move
toward the education of women for the rabbinate immediately. A minority of three, while accepting
most of the majority conclusions, felt that the time for ordination of women had not yet come.
The commission report was presented by Chancellor Cohen to the Rabbinical Assembly Conven-
tion in January, and the convention in turn referred the matter to the faculty senate The Rabbinical
of Conservative rabbis. The majority of its members are
Assembly is the international association graduates
of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the princi-
pal academic institution of the Consert atve movement.
Currently, the Reform and Reconstructionist rabbini-
cal seminaries ordain women. The question of women rab-
bis has not yet arisen in the Orthodox Jewish community.
The vote by the seminary's senate was precipi-
tated last Wednesday by a meeting of an estimated
175 members of the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) calling
(Continued on Page FY!
(See Story on Page 5)
650 New Soviet Jews in Detroit by Oct.1 Connally M.E. 'Plan
a Security 'Blunder'
of governors of the Jewish Welfare Federation, at its meeting last week, expressed a commitment
to settle 650 Soviet Jews in Detroit during the 1980 fiscal year.
The board's approval of its executive committee's recommendation is in response to an appeal from HIAS,
the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which is responsible for absorbing Jewish refugees in the Western world.
HIAS expects 32,000 Soviet Jews to arrive in this country between Oct. 1, 1979 and Sept. 30, 1980. Detroit is
one of 150 cities sharing in the resettlement program and was successful last year in the reception locally
Detroit, like the other cooperating communities, will receive federal block grant funds to offset a
portion of the necessary expenditures.
In a report from the Community Services Division of Federation, it was noted that positive results hate
emerged with Resettlement Service's implementation of guidelines affecting the newcomers' maintenance,
placement costs and the span of time involved in continuing financial support.
Under these guidelines, which were put into place six months ago as a result of sharply rising costs at
agencies closely involved with refugee absorption, it was found that within a 90-day time period, most newcom-
ers are being placed in jobs, with financial assistance reduced or eliminated by that time. In many
adjustment has been eased with the help of relatives who arrived in Detroit a year or two before. Center will
At the same time, Federation President George M. Zeltzer said that the Jewish Community
become the focal point of a broad community and organization-wide effort on behalf of the Russian immigrants to
integrate them more fully into all aspects of the Jewish scene. Their social and religious needs are to constitute
an important consideration in this undertaking.
The board also approved a one-time special allocation of $20,000 to Yeshivath Beth Yehuda for
Russian-speaking teachers who will help with the adjustment of newcomer students. Some 50
youngsters will be enabled to join in the regular educational curriculum at the yeshiva.
In other actions, the board approved a grant of $50,000 to the Jewish Home for Aged for
ments and expenditures by Tamarack Hills Authority for six projects, totaling up to $44,000.
The board also honored Samuel Frankel as outgoing vice president of Federation. Frankel has served
president since 1972.
Ry HUGH FITZGERALD
Aeaociate. Center for Internationa! Security
.4 story that circulates in the Middle Vast — I should
think en Ami7 fable brought up to date — td/, .:fa scorpion
who comes to a ricer and asks a frog to ,errs i-,vrn across.
'But you'll sting me,• protests the frog "Oh, no, I won't,"
de." So the
says the ecorpzor • "I want to get over to tr,.
frog undertakes to ferry him. bat whey: they L.re
over the scorpion does sting the frog. -Oh . '
d rown !"
that when you'd promised? Now I'll die are
Hisses the scorpion. "This is the Middle
The Dead See Scrolls"
John Connally's "plan" for the Midc11‘? East, like the
scorpion's for the frog, is both morally unacceptable and strategi-
cally short-sighted. His definition of "American interests" is
identical to the demands of the petro Arab lobby. When he
that "the oil of the Middle East will be the Vebiood of Western
civilization for decades to come" he shows that in his. energy. as in
his foreign, policy. a militant defeatism pre: :ails.
And h.,: "plan." tar from meeting the Soviet inn- - at. unwittingly
furthers a key Soviet aim, which is to wcake:‘. israel, our only
reliable strategic asset between Europe aild Australia. It is Is-
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