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November 06, 1992 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-06

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Sets Policy

New York (JTA) — Long
noted for its absence from
contemporary issues of so-
cial justice, the Conservative
movement is beginning to
make its presence felt in the
public arena.
The Public Policy Com-
mission of the Leadership
Council of Conservative
Judaism made its public
debut this year with the
movement's first testimony
to the platform committees
of the Democratic and
Republican parties.
John Ruskay, a commis-
sion member and vice
chancellor of the Jewish
Theological Seminary of
America, said the testimony
was a "more than modest
step" to end the silence of
the national institutions of
Conservative Judaism on so-
cial issues.
The Conservative move-
ment is the last of the four-
major branches of American
Judaism to become actively
involved in the public policy
The Public Policy Com-
mission was established as
an outgrowth of a meeting
held by the movement's
Leadership Council in the
spring of 1991.
It marks the "first time all
the arms of the movement
have come together to de-
velop positions across organ-
izational lines and to present
them to broader forums,"
said Mr. Ruskay.
The Leadership Council
was established in 1986 by
Ismar Schorsch shortly after
he became the chancellor of
JTA to provide a setting for
Conservative leaders to
share information and plan
for the long term, according
to Mr. Ruskay.
Council members include
professional and lay leaders
of the five major arms of the
Conservative movement: the
seminary, United Syn-
agogue of Conservative
'Judaism, the Rabbinical
Assembly, Women's League
and the Federation of Jewish
Men's Clubs.
The group was considered
to have the most active
public policy and social ac-
tions department.
In addition to unifying the
voice of Conservative
Judaism, the commission in-
tends to generate more seri-
ous public-policy programs
within each of the arms of
the movement and to devise
better ways of disseminating
public policy positions
throughout the Conser-
vative membership.



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