THE DETROIT JEW ISH NEWS — Friday, Sep t. 18, 1959 —
Dr. Drachler States Views on Education
School Bell's Ring Echoes Crucial Tasks
Facing Educator in Secular, Jewish School
By FRANK SIMONS
programs; 2. Encouragement of
The excited yells of tens of
scientific research that would
thousands of youngsters filled
make better use of present
the air last week as school
classroom time and provide
re-opened after the customary
better texts; and 3. Creation,
through the family, of a cli-
How long • this youthful en-
mate to make children under-
thusiasm for the opening bell
stand the need for a Jewish
will remain is a question not
easily answered. But one sta-
At present, Dr. Dr a c h l e r
claims that the "holding power"
tistic pointed to by educator
of the Jewish school is usually
Norman Drachler - is frighten-
ing in its overall implication.
good between the ages of 8
and 13, but, after Bar Mitzvah,
Dr. Drachler, an expert in
surveys point to the sharp de-
both the fields of secular and
cline in enrollment.
Jewish education, claims that
Lack of "holding power" is
fully 44 percent of all Detroit
a major criticism particularly
children who enter the ninth
of the afternoon school, and
grade will quit high school
before they graduate.
the all-day school has yet to
pr o v e itself, Dr. Drachler
This same problem—leaving
the Jewish school after Bar
DR. NORMAN DRACHLER
On the other hand, the Sun-
Mitzvah instead of continuing
through high school — is one Union of American Hebrew day school, which is now ex-
that must be squarely faced Congregations (R e f or m), in panding into what might best
by the Jewish community, just Miami. His subject will be be termed a religious school,
as the g e n e r al community "A Board of Education and the now offers mid-week classes, as
must attempt to keep young- School Education Committee— well as Saturday and Sunday
sters in school at least through How" They Are Alike and sessions, and is demonstrating
Where They Differ," an out- a greater ability to keep young
high school graduation.
Dr. Drachler is not an line of the responsibilities of people in attendance through
the high school years.
alarmist. He is merely point- the synagogue school board.
Referring to the recent edu-
Speaking as - principal of the
ing to studies made recently
in both Jewish and general cational survey made by the Beth El School, Dr. Drachler
areas of education, which American Association for Jew- noted that "it is striking that
bare the fact that the schools ish Education — the first real since we instituted the Bar
do not have the "holding attempt at studying Jewish Mitzvah-Bas Mitzvah program
power" on our children that education in many years—Dr. five years ago, every boy and
we would wish them to have. Drachler said that the impor- girl but two has continued with
For many years principal of tance of the report is not so the educational program."
Where the high school num-
the Temple Beth El Religious much what it reveals, but that
School, Dr. Drachler has been there has now been made an bered some 55 students only
with the Detroit Board of Edu- appraisal of Jewish education. six years ago, he continued,
"What we need most," he today there are over 200, and,
cation for 23 years. He has
served as principal of the King said, "is to evaluate, to take at graduation last June, some
and Metatal Schools, and, dur- inventory, to take stock of our 46 students r e c e i v e d high
ing the last year, he served as needs."
The Jewish educator faces
The importance of the day
coordinator of research for the
Citizens Advisory Committee on many discouragements—not the school cannot be minimized,
School Needs, the group which least being - the basic question Dr.. Drachler asserted, for
outlined and recommended as proposed by Dr. Ira Eisen- here is the basis for the
vital changes in our local edu- stein and others: "Can Jewish future scholars and leaders
Life Survive - Under Freedom?" in Jewish life. However, he
does not believe that the
"The Jew's belief that
This year, Dr. Drachler is
broad Jewish community re-
to be found in the Phillips study and le'rning are not
gards the day school with
Bldg., next door to the Board for the elite but for the
of Education building on broad masses is certainly in
"In terms of the b -r o a d
Broadway, where he occupies keeping with the American
the post of executive adminis- belief that in a democracy masses of Jewish youngsters,"
trative assistant in charge of people must be educated to Dr. Drachler concluded, "it is
the Board's newly-created di- govern themselves. That is not how intense a program
vision on school-community re- why Jewish education is not they are exposed to between
just for children, but calls ages 8 and 13, but, more im-
Much of his work deals with for • intensive adult study as portant, whether they continue
their Jewish education to col-
parent-teacher relationships, well." Dr. Drachler said.
human relations, school pro-
The barriers to obtaining a lege, and whether, at the same
motional work and administra- good education are the same time, they. have been imbued
tive research. Among his basic for the Jewish and general with the idea of 'Jewish cul-
tasks is a tremendous educa- communities, he added. !It is ture and the spirit of Jewish
tional campaign among parents easier to stay at home and values."
to show them the importance watch television than to attend
of educating their children and a meeting, or to read a quickie
to involve them in programs magazine 'rather than a book."
that will mean better educa-
"When one pinks up a Jewish
tional opportunities for their magazine, I am concerned that
so many articles are written
ALGIERS (JTA) — Morroc-
Even as secular education by rabbis and professionals in can Jewish leaders expressed
is demanding- close parent disproportion to laymen; it is fears that a suspension by Mor-
participation with teachers discouraging that there are so occo of postal relations with Is-
and administrators, so much few Jewish books in the Jew- rael may lead to an unofficial
more does Jewish education ish home; it also_ is unfortunate censorship of mail received or
require lay involvement, Dr. that national Jewish magazines sent by Moroccan Jews.
are not read nearly as widely
The goal of such a censor-
"There is -a great need," he as they should," Dr. Drachler ship, it was felt, would be to
said, "for the formation of continued.
prevent mailing to Israel
citizen study groups in the field
Yet, on the positive side of through emissaries or contacts
of Jewish education. While se- the ledger, there has been some in third countries.
cular studies are compulsory, awakening as to the need for
A spokesman for the Moroc-
Jewish education is voluntary. adult lay involvement in Jew- can Ministry of Posts in Rabat
Hence, it is even more impor- ish education.
said that postal ties had been
tant to establish involvement
Dr. Drachler pointed to suspended indefinitely and that
in planning and close participa- signs—right here in Detroit residents of MoroCco would
tion with laymen.
—that are indicative of a hereafter be unable to receive
"Only when the layman is new interest. These, he out- either mail or parcels from Is-
convinced of the need for his lined as the annual Jewish rael.
participation in Jewish school Book Fair, participation in
Because nearly all Moroccan
, problems will these problems the Midrasha program, the Jewish families have members
be solved," Dr. Drachler added. Center adult education pro- living in Israel, the effect of
He went so far as to propose gram and other study groups the decision is to abruptly sever
a "Little White House Confer- offered by synagogues and or- family ties.
ence," similar to that called by ganizations.
Jewish leaders also have ex-
the President of the United
What problems do adult pressed anxiety about a ban on
States, at which lay leaders leaders have to consider in the a large section of the Jewish
and Jewish educators would overall complexity of the Jew- pr e s s following the A r a b
plot the future of Jewish edu- ish education pi c t u r e? Dr. League meeting in Casablanca.
The measure was described as
Toward that end, Dr. Drach-
1. Greater priority to educa- adding further to the feelings
ler will speak, in November, at tional programs, both finan- of anxiety and. insecurity of
convention of the cially and in involvement in Moroccan Jews. •
Israel Postal Ties
Release of Israeli Mail No Sign
UAR Hostility Has Abated
LONDON, (JTA) — The Un-
ited Arab Republic has agreed
to return to Australia eight
sacks -of mail addressed to Is-
rael which they seized last
month from the Norwegian
freighter Tarn in the Suez
Canal, according to reports
An agreement for return of
the Mail, seizure of . which had
been protested by Israel, was
worked out by the Canadian
Poujade Breaks Silence
with Fascist Threats
PARIS, (JTA)—Pierre Pouj-
ade, the leader of- France's fas-
cist party, broke an extended
silence with sharp attack on
"Jews and foreigners."
- Addressing a gathering of a
few hundred followers, Poujade
assailed "stateless gangs': and
"all those Jews and foreigners
who ruin Frenchmen and sell
our national wealth." He prom-
ised to "sweep away" the Fifth
Republic as had been done with
Ambassador i-n Cairo who rep-
resents Australian interests in
the United Arab Republic.
A UAR - Foreign Ministry
spokesman was quoted as de-
claring that . return of the mail
did not mean any departure
from the principle of the UAR's
belligerency . toward Israel.
Cairo -had areeC: to return
the mail, he -said, in order to
fulfill. international postal reg-
ulations under which mail in
transit is considered the prop-
erty of the sender and not of
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