Newspaper Page Text
Reform Judaism Has Fast Growth * BY WILLIAM McGAFFIN Ten years ago when World War II ended there were only about 250.000 reform Jews in America. Now there are between 750,000 and 1,000.000. What is the explanation of this remarkable growth? Is it because of the influence of a dynamic leader? Or is it the appeal of a religion adapted to modern times? The answer is because of both. The growth has come about under the livewire leadership of Chicago-born Dr. Maurice N. Eisendrath, who is 52 and looks about 35. He took over 12 years ago as president of the Union of Ameri can Hebrew Congregations, the national organization for reform Judaism in America. IBs admirers, who are legion, give him credit for much of what has happened in the postwar years. But at the same time they agree with his own explanation which modestly leaves him out of it. This is what Rabbi Eisendrath told me as we sat down to talk in the beautiful national head quarters of UAHC on fifth Ave nue overlooking Central Park: “A great many men and women in the armed forces came out of Jewish homes where they liter ally could not understand the religion that was practiced in them.” But they were exposed during the war years to reform Jewish chaplains who conducted prayers in a language they could under stand. And they learned about a reli gion that dealt with their prob lems in a more liberal, modern concept. When I asked him to define re- Comp Hiawatha FOR BOYS Huron National Forest, Michigan Write for details Plan a delightful summer vacation for your boy: active land and wa ter sports, Indian lore and Crafts. 17325 Fairfield, Detroit 21, Mich. GREETINGS Voght's Commercial Barber Shop 26 N. Hogan Street PHONE EL 6-8660 Jacksonville, Florida Greetings and Best Wishes CAMP SKY-TOP for BOYS AND GIRLS ROSMAN, N. C. Director: NATHAN A. MILLER Dean, Little River School 6550-38th TERRACE MIAMI SPRINGS, FLORIDA Phone 88-9704 Greetings and Best Wishes SHEBHAN CONCRETE FIFE CO. m Jacksonville ~ Tallahassee Phone EL 4-2886 Decatur, Ga. pho(|e 2 . 5117 Tampa w,one Sanford Phone 8-3556 Clarkson 7126 Phone 1241 form Judaism, he replied: “Reform Judaism is that form of Judaism which believes in adapting the forms, customs, "tra ditions and even some of the theological aspects of our religion to the time, condition and place in which we find ourselves.” A reform Jew, for instance, can eat pork. His wife is not breaking the Jewish Sabbath if she cooks on that day. A reform Jew can worship in the synagog without wearing his hat. Men and women sit together in the synagog. At worship in reform synagogs the language is both Hebrew and English. Traditional observances have been revised. In Rabbi Eisendrath’s opinion, however, the greatest accomplish ment of reform Judaism is in the field of education. "Reform Judaism, for instance, adapted Jewish education to the American scene. The Jewish heri tage is now transmitted to Jewish children through about 500 reli gious or temple schools. The union is also the patron body of the Hebrew Union Col lege—Jewish institute of religion. Rabbis, teachers and cantors are trained in this college which has an enrollment of 125 students. The union owns one camp at Oconomowoc, Wise., another at Saratoga, Cal., and rents a half dozen others. Rabbi Eisendrath said: “I don’t believe religion is solely for in dividual salvation. It also has a role to play in society. "Reform Judaism, for instance, has been active in such social problems as juvenile delinquency, racial prejudice and segregation." When I asked him why the Greetings and Best Wishes While Tile Co. 630 St. Clair Street Phone EV 8-1702 Jacksonville, Florida BEST WISHES FAIRFAX VARIETY STORE 4205 St. Johns Avenue Phone EV 9-6340 Jacksonville, Florida GREETINGS AND BEST WISHEi K. F. Stevens Jeweler CLOCKS - WATCHES - JEWELRY Watchmaker - Jeweler 713 LAKE (Next to Worth Theatre) LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY DR. MAURICE EISENDRATH independent reform synagogs had organized into a national union, he recalled the words of the poet: “No man is an island entire to himself.” Rabbi Eisendrath said we are now coming out of a period of reaction against religion brought about when young people were exposed for the first time to the scientific explanation of the uni verse. V (Miami Herald) ■ ~ 1 e Shavuoth Services At Etz Hayim The Etz Hayim Synagogue, 29 West 6th St., will usher in the Festival of Shevuoth this Thurs day night at 7:00 P. M. with the Holiday Evening Service. Friday morning and Saturday morning, services start at 8:30 A. M. On Saturday, May 28, the second and concluding day of the Holiday, the Yizkor Memorial Prayer for the departed will be said at about 10:00 A. M. On Friday morning, May 27, Rabbi Joshua Sodden will speak on the “Immortal Doctrine.” On Saturday morning, Rabbi Sodden will speak on the significance of the Memorial Prayer for the liv ing. On Saturday afternoon, pre ceding the evening service at 6:00 P. M. the Rabbi^ conducts a Bible class. BEST WISHES Riverside Manor BEAUTY SALON 1759 Geraldine Drive Phone EV 9-0161 Jacksonville, Florida GREETINGS DEMETREE HARDWARE & BUILDERS SUPPLY 5938 BEACH BOULEVARD PHONE FL 9-9937 (Lovegrove Rd. & Beach Blvd.) GREETINGS S. RALPH FETNER AIA 3991 St. Johns Avenue PHONES EV 8-0339 EV 9-6210 JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA BEST WISHES Jacksonville Freezers, Inc. Freezing, Processing, Cold Storage of Seafoods, Meats and Other Food Products Telephones EL 5-8454 or EL 5-8455 Talleyrand Ave. 8 Eighth St. P. O. Box 3343 JACKSONVILLE 6, FLORIDA Confirmation in Valdosta (Editor's note: We are grateful for the following article sent us by Mrs. Henrietta Gorod, charming wife of the popular rabbi of Valdosta.) Nothing matches or quite comes up to a Confirmation Exercise, at any lime. Confirmation is a public pledge to one's Faith amid the beauty and hallowedness of our religion. Confirmation is closely associated and in rhythmic accord with Shevuoth, the time of re ceiving the Ten Commandments. Confirmation not only stimulates much thought in the proper direction, but reveals the strength, the beauty and the hope the teachings of the Torah have for all of us. Confirmation Exercises, there fore, is not only beautiful but truly meaningful. It can be com pared to an enchanting garden whose soil has been painstakingly cared for and treated with the proper elements that would tend to stimulate beautiful and healthy growth. The confirmands are symbolic of the lovely blooms that have grown 'and matured from little unnoticed buds. We in Valdosta had the love liest 'blooms' in our 'Confirma tion Garden' this year. They are: Howard Broomberg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Broomberg; Gail Gordon, daughter of Major and Mrs. M. Gordon; Benjamin Landey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ir ving Landey; Sidney Morris, son of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Morris. To us in Valdosta, Confirmation Exercises are not an annual event, only because we do not have a permanent 'year in-year out' Con firmation Class, as larger Jewish communities may have. Our pre vious Confirmation Exercises took place three years ago. So. you see. Confirmation Exercises in our small Jewish community is some thing special. These exercises took place Sun day afternoon, May 22nd. The Synagogue looked lovely with baskets of white gladioli which dramatically complemented the Pulpit. This original and impressive program was dedicated to Confir mation and Shevuoth. The Con firmands gave an interesting dis course on “Shevuoth: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Howard Broomberg held forth on “Shev uoth—Yesterday.” Gail Gordon Greetings and Best Wishes KIDDIE KOLLEGE OLGA BURNHAM, Director 1320 PALMDALE (Lake Forest) PHONE PO 4-0558 or EL 6-2206 BEST WISHES ALWAYS BAGALEY SCHOOL Southside Branch Mrs. Elizabeth Hulett, Director 3365 Old St. Augustine Road Phone EX 8-1252 SPEND YOUR SUMMER VACATION IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS OSCEOLA LAKE INN HENDERSONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA Joe Rubin, Season June Ist to October Ist - Reasonable Rates • New Dance and Recreation Hall • Swimming Pool and Children's Wading Pool • Jewish-American Cuisine—-3 Meals Daily • All Rooms with Shower or Bath • Shuffleboard, Ping-Pong, Handball, Rowing, Fishing, Golf, Horseback Riding, Wiener Roasts, etc. P. O. BOX 764 PHONE 9156 I GREETINGS and BEST WISHES SUITED LITE INSURANCE CO. PHONE EL 6-8445 328 OCEAN STREET JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA Friday, May 27, 195 S spoke on “Shevuoth —Today.” Benjamin Landey spoke on “Shevuoth—Tomorrow.” Sidney Morris’ address was “The Tercen tenary and our Confirmation.” These confirmands made us and everyone present feel truly hum ble and proud. Aside from the confirmands, the children participating in tho pro gram were: Arnold Kramer, Marc Giges, Ronna Taylor, Marcia Broomberg, Rosalind Zolldnd, Mary Ruth Kramer, Adrienne Spieler, Harold Dandey, Wayne Lazarus and Marsha Gordon. After Rabbi Gorod’s address, Mr. Abe Golivesky, president of the Congregation, preseftted the Confirmation Certificates. Mrs. Jack Broomberg, president of Hadassah-Sisterhood made the presentation of Israeli Bibles to the Confirmands. After the Bene diction everyone was invited into the Annex for the very lovely Confirmation Reception tendered by the parents of the confirmands. The out of town guests included Mr. and Mrs. Harold Blumberg and children, Helen, Larry and Richard of Dothan, Alabama: Mr. and Mrs. Louis Cohen and chil dren, Marlene, Maureen and Lynn of Dothan; Mrs. Max Bohrman of Lake City, Fla.; Mr. Eddie Arnold of Washington, D. C.; Mr. Jerome Kunick of Chicago, 111., and Mr. Abe Hirshbein of Miami, Florida. The Rabbi and I went home with happy hearts; happy in the knowledge that through His un tiring efforts a few more links in the bond of Judaism had been added.