Synagogue Council of America
The Synagogue Council of America was an American Jewish organization of synagogue and rabbinical associations, founded in 1926. The Council was the umbrella body bridging the three primary religious movements within Judaism in the United States. It included:
- The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox)
- The Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox)
- The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (Conservative)
- The Rabbinical Assembly (Conservative)
- The Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform)
- The Central Conference of American Rabbis (Reform)
The organization dissolved in 1994, facing financial difficulties and fractiousness among its members, the organization effectively collapsed after a proposal to relocate the council's offices from Manhattan to White Plains, New York, where it would have been housed in a Reform congregation, was rejected by Orthodox members of the organization. Rabbi Haskel Lookstein of the Orthodox Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun served as the organization's final president lamented the lack of "people who are really interested in maintaining the organization." Steven Bayme considers that the Council's collapse was symbolic of the general Orthodox drift to the right, and raised serious questions of how orthodoxy can cooperate with the broader Jewish community in areas of external protection, support for Israel and Jewish continuity.
The North American Boards of Rabbis was formed in 1999, as part of an effort at interdenominational cohesiveness in the Jewish community. The organization would be a parent body for boards of rabbis in individual communities, with its first president being Orthodox Rabbi Marc Schneier, who was then serving as president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
- via Religion News Service. "70-YEAR RUN OF SYNAGOGUE COUNCIL ENDS", The Chicago Tribune, November 25, 1994. Accessed January 22, 2012.
- Steven Bayme, Understanding Jewish History, p.302, 1997
- Guide to the Records of the Synagogue Council of America (1926-1994),undated, 1926-1982, 1990-1992, Center for Jewish History. Accessed January 22, 2012.
- Staff. "New Group Reunites Four Branches of Judaism", The New York Times, February 23, 1999. Accessed January 22, 2012.
- (American Jewish Historical Society) Center for Jewish History : Guide to the Records of the Synagogue Council of America (retrieved July 19, 2010) (archived at http://www.webcitation.org/5rLucIVgI)