By the Grace of G‑d
15th of Tammuz, 5719 [July 21, 1959]
Brooklyn, N. Y.

Greeting and Blessing:

In reply to your inquiry as to whether or not there has been any change in my stand toward the affiliation of orthodox Rabbis or synagogues with the New York Board of Rabbis or Synagogue Council -

I wish to assure you that there has not been, nor could there be, any change in my stand on this vital and far-reaching question.

My considered opinion, as I have reiterated it on several occasions privately and publicly, is based on the undisputable Halachic decision formulated by Rambam (Hilechot Teshuvah 3:8), according to which the doctrines and ideology of the Conservative and Reform movements can only be classed in the category of heretical movements which have plagued our people at one time or another, only to disappear again, having no basis in our everlasting Torah, Toras Emes, Toras Chaim.

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Click to enlarge

I have clearly stated my view that membership in the New York Board of Rabbis, or Synagogue Council of America, or similar religious bodies, strikes deeply at the roots of true Judaism. Such membership cannot escape the logical inference that the Conservative and Reform movements are recognized by the orthodox members of the said bodies as belonging within the fold of true Judaism, differing only in degree or in minor details; whereas in truth these movements deny the very basis of true Judaism. Protestations to the contrary can only be regarded as empty words, refuted by actions.

May G‑d enlighten the eyes of those that still waver on this vital question, to remedy the situation without delay. I hope and pray that everyone, both Rabbi and layman, will use his utmost influence in that direction.

With blessing,
M. M. Schneerson