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November 23, 2014 | 1st Kislev 5775

OUTREACH

Board of Trustees
December 1978
Houston, Texas

OUTREACH


Rapid demographic change is doing much to affect the future of American Jewry. Among the significant and critical demographic trends are the growth of mixed marriage, the decline of the Jewish birthrate relative to the general population, and an increase in the numbers of non-Jews converting to Judaism. These trends require our profound, serious, and continuing attention. They call for creative leadership so that we reach out to shape our future and do not become passive products of forces beyond our own control.

Accordingly, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, at its Board meeting in Houston on December 2, 1978, resolves to:

  1. Intensify our formal and informal Jewish education programs within the Reform synagogue and the Reform Jewish movement to stimulate positive and knowledgeable Jewish identification;

  2. Develop a sensitive program of welcoming converts to and involving them in Judaism, recognizing that those who choose Judaism in good faith are as authentic in their Jewish identity as those who are born Jewish;

  3. Develop an effective outreach program whereby the Reform synagogue can seek out mixed married couples in order to respond to the particular emotional and social stresses in their situations and to make the congregation, the rabbi, and Judaism itself available to them and their families.

  4. Plan a special program to bring the message of Judaism to any and all who wish to examine or embrace it. Judaism is not an exclusive club of born Jews: It is a universal faith with an ancient tradition that has deep resonance for people alive today; and

  5. Implement these principles by calling upon the chairman of the Board to appoint a special task force of members of the Board, rabbis, and lay people to examine these recommendations for implementation in all the program departments of the UAHC and to report back to meeting of the Board in the spring 1979 with an interim report.

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