Synagogue Council of America

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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 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."[1] 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.[2]

The records of the organization are stored with the Center for Jewish History (CJH) in New York, which also maintains a history of the organization.[3]

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.[4]

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