Because of a typographical error, a story on last week's religion page incorrectly reported the percentage of converts to Reform Judaism who belong to synagogues. Fifty-five percent of converts surveyed belong to synagogus, compared with 40 percent of those born into the faith.
Leaders of Reform Judaism in North America have authorized a legal challenge in Israeli courts of what they view as the second class status Israel gives their branch of Judaism.
Delegates to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, (UAHC), meeting in Toronto, approved a resolutin to provide "all means necessary for a judicial test . . . before the Israeli courts" of the rights of Reform rabbis in Israel to perform their usual rabbinical functions.
The only religious expression of Judaism officially recognized in Israel is Orthodoxy. Neither Reform nor Conservative rabbis can officiate at marriages there, conduct funerals or approve conversions recognized under Israeli law.
In addition, the resolution adopted by the more than 3,000 delegates pointed out, "while the Israeli government funding provides the bulk of the support for Orthodox synagogues and institutions in the Jewish state, Reform and Conservative institutions receive very little."
Because most American Jews who contribute to Israel are members of the Reform and Conservative communities here, the nonrecognition of their religious leadership has been a sore point for them.
As they are in this country, practicing Orthodox Jews are the distinct minority in Israel. But the Orthodox rabbinate dominates religious affairs there because of political considerations.
Since the beginnings of the secular Jewish state, neither of its major political parties -- Labor or the Likud -- has been able to muster a large enough majority to govern without entering into coalition with two small religious parties. The price of such cooperation by the religious leaders is the continued recognition of Orthodoxy as the only approved expression of Judaism.
Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, president of the UAHC, told delegates the Reform movement is planning to challenge the restrictions on its rabbis -- possibly by having a reform rabbi officiate at a wedding, probably at one of the two kibbutzim the movement maintains in Israel.
According to a spokesman for the UAHC, such an action could result, in a jail sentence for the rabbi and annulment of the marriage.
Schindler indicated he is prepared to fight "up to the Israeli Supreme Court if necessary" for the rights of the Reform movement.
Reform Judaism in this country is so committed to the support of Israel that rabbinical students are required to spend a year of their training at the Jerusalem branch of their training institution.
In his address to the Toronto convention, Schindler said: "We refuse to be beggars at Jerusalem's gates. We Reform Jews will not be read out of the Jewish people."
Shimon Peres, who as chairman of Israel's Labor Party is the current opposition leader in the Knesset (parliament), pledged to the delegates his party's full support for "recognition of all streams of Judaism" in Israel.
When the Labor Party returns to power, Peres said, it would move to right some of the inequities suffered by Reform and Conservative Judaism.