“In contrast to the interwar years, Conservative synagogues had, by the 1950s, rather clearly delineated themselves as a branch of Judaism quite distinct from Orthodoxy”

In contrast to the interwar years, Conservative synagogues had, by the 1950s, rather clearly delineated themselves as a branch of Judaism quite distinct from Orthodoxy. Membership in the United Synagogue of America meant, overwhelmingly, a rabbi ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary, men and women seated together in the pews, a bat mitzvah ceremony (still rare), an abbreviated, late-Friday-evening service with plenty of English, a lengthy Sabbath morning “traditional” service, and the use of the common “Silverman prayer book” rather than each individual bringing his own prayer book. Few people mistook a Conservative worship service for an Orthodox service, even when some of the latter had mixed seating, by the 1950s.

Marc Lee Raphael, The Synagogue in America: A Short History (New York & London: New York University Press, 2011), 147.