Establishment of a National Reform Jewish Academy on the Secondary Level

The Commission on Jewish Education is cognizant of the deep concern, voiced at the 50th General Assembly of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations in Miami Beach, that subtle erosion may alter our commitments to the American public school system and to the separation of Church and State, which have historically undergirded the educational policies and practices of the UAHC. Therefore, the Commission on Jewish Education submits the following resolution, which continues our commitment to those principles for which the UAHC has historically stood but also takes into account the very real need for high quality in Jewish education and the challenges presented by the Reform movement of tomorrow.

Today we see a growing need for a resource of secondary education with Reform Jewish content wider than can be provided by part-time, supplementary programs-to meet the Jewish needs of our youth. High school students motivated toward maximum Jewish education cannot at present satisfy their thirst for Jewish knowledge under the auspices of the Reform movement.

By encouraging the creation of one privately financed, self-supporting academy, independent of the budget of the UAHC, its affiliates, and the HUC-JIR, to provide Reform Jewish content in the context of a general academic program, the UAHC will discharge its duty to those children of our own congregations and to others whose desire for more intense knowledge we must answer. At the same time, the special nature of such a school assures that it will offer no threat to the public school system, nor breach the wall of separation between Church and State through reliance on public finances. It will be a school with enrollment limited to youngsters of the highest motivation and aptitude, with scholarships for those in need of financial aid. It will be open to applicants without regard to race, religion, or national origin.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the UAHC, in consultation with Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, be authorized to proceed, subject to the limitations set forth in this resolution, to stimulate the creation of a privately financed Reform Jewish Academy on the secondary level.