Reform synagogue group to consider name change

Posted: Friday, January 03, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Reform movement's Union of American Hebrew Congregations will consider changing its name to Union for Reform Judaism at its biennial meeting in November.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the union, proposed the change at a Dec. 14 meeting of the group's board of trustees. The panel voted to put the issue on the conference agenda.

Yoffie said the use of the word Hebrew instead of Jewish in the current name was outdated. He also called the old name ''clumsy'' and ''difficult to remember.'' It was chosen in 1873 when the organization was founded.

''If we expect the union to be well-known and immediately recognized, we must change its name,'' Yoffie said.

The group, which represents more than 900 congregations in North America, has tried several times to persuade its members to choose a new name, but could not win enough support to do so.

To address concerns that the name be inclusive, Yoffie proposed adding a tagline -- a second line that appears below the name that offers additional information about the group's goals. The trustees decided to immediately adopted the tagline, ''Serving Reform Congregations in North America.''

The biennial meeting, where delegates will vote on the proposal, will be held in Minneapolis.


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