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July 09, 1982 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-07-09

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

-----

"'THE DETROIT JEWISH - NEWS

Reform Rabbis Reject Criticism of Lebanon
Action, Defer Voting on Who Is a Jew' Issue

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Delegates to the 93rd an-
nual conference of the Cen-
tral Conference of Ameri-
can Rabbis last week
endorsed unanimously Is-
rael's incursion into Leba-
non against terrorism and
the Palestine Liberation
Organization, simultane-
ously expressing their "deep
concern" at the loss of life on
both sides.
The 525 Reform rabbini-

cal delegates called on the
Reform movement's 1.2 mil-
lion congregants to join in
efforts under Jewish and
non-Jewish auspices to
raise funds to provide food,
medical supplies and shel-
ter for the people of Lebanon
who are the victims of the
war.
The delegates rejected
an attempt by a CCAR
member, Rabbi Israel
Dresner, who is also

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mended the move to the
CCAR in 1979, said that the
vote demonstrated that the
Reform movement had ac-
cepted "overwhelmingly,"
the idea that Jewish fathers
"are no less equal than
Jewish mothers in deter-
mining the Jewishness of
their offspring. There are
however, strong dif-
ferences" on the criteria "for
accepting a child into the
Jewish faith," he said.

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The delegates, after three
hours of debate, deferred for
further study a proposal for
acceptance of children of a
mixed marriage as Jewish if
either the father or mother
is Jewish: Rabbinic law
holds that progeny is
Jewish only if the mother is
Jewish.
The proposal emerged
from a two-year study by a
CCAR Committee on Pat-
rilineal Descent. Presented
to the delegates as a motion,
the proposal was that
"where only one of the par-
ents is Jewish, the Jewish-
ness of a child is derivable
from the Jewish parent, and
is expressed by participa-
tion in Jewish life."
Rabbi Herman Schaal-
man of Chicago, who was
elected to a second one-year
term as CCAR president,
said he believed that 179-
168 vote which referred the
issue back to committee,
was partly due to the fact
that for many Reform rab-
bis this was the first expo-
sure "to a discussion of the
many facets of this prob-
lem." He said many of the
delegates felt uncomforta-
ble to bring such a complex
issue to a quick conclusion.
Rabbi Joseph Glaser,
CCAR executive vice-
president, said, after the
vote, that "a general feel-
ing existed that there
should be equalization
between maternal and
paternal descent. How-
ever, at this time, many of
the CCAR members do
not want a flat equaliza-
tion between the two be-
cause of the weight of
tradition and the general
break that such a drama-
tic action would mean to
the rest of the world."
Rabbi Alexander Schin-
dler, president of the Union
of American Hebrew Con-
gregations who recom-

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Friday, July 9, 1982

35

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president of the Associa-
tion of Reform Rabbis of
Greater New York, to
condemn the Israeli mili-
tary action. The dele-
gates rejected an effort
by some delegates to in-
troduce a resolution that
would have criticized the
Israeli action in Lebanon.
Dresner, stressing he was
speaking for himself and
not for the association he
heads, said he was a lifelong
Zionist "dedicated to a
democratic and just Israel"
but that "what is happening
in Lebanon today was noth-
ing to do with that kind of
Israel." He made his state-
ment at a news conference
sponsored at the United Na-
tions Church Center by a
newly-formed National
Emergency Committee on
/Lebanon. A CCAR spokes-
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