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June 12, 1964 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-06-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Communal 'Workers Conclude
That Negro Integration, Jewish
Separateness Are Compatible

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — The
National Conference of Jewish
Communal Service, attended by
more than 1,000 workers in Jewish
communal institutions in this coun-
try, concluded its sessions with
the adoption of a statement an-
swering the question whether it is
possible to achieve that subtle bal-
ance of integration and separate-
ness that makes possible both cre-
ative Jewish living and full par-
ticipation in the struggle for civil
rights for all Americans.
The statement defined two anci-
ent Jewish traditions as basic to
definition of any program of ac-
tion. The first is the commitment
to social justice stemming back to
Biblical days and the second is
the value in preserving a distinc-
tive Jewish community.
A proper understanding of Jew-
ish traditions as well as of democ-
racy make clear, the statement
declared, that there is a compata-
bility between these two commit-
ments that make possible construc-
tive solutions of such problems as
the intake, membership and re-
sources of Jewish agencies, that
can serve both the Jewish and
the general communities.
The statement concluded with a
series of questions related to how
the various fields of communal
service can play an effective role
in meeting the demands for full
justice for all Americans, and at
the same time contribute to the
enhancing of Jewish life and
withstand the drive toward con-
formity and assimilation.
Dr. Nathan Glazer, University
of California sociologist, told the
conference that Negro demands,
while formally similar to those

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of other groups In the American
society, challenge the right to
maintain such subcommunities
as the Jewish community "far
more radically than any other
group demand in American his-
tory."
Such demands for equality, he
said, imply the conclusion that the
sub-community "has no right to
exist. It either protects privilege,
or creates inequality. This is cer-
tainly the force of present - day
Negro demands."
He added that the liberal view-
point, both Jewish and non-Jewish,
in the United States had always
assumed that the group pattern of
American life itself was not being
challenged and the advancement
of disadvantaged groups would
proceed in such a way as to re-
spect it. "But it has not and per-
haps cannot" in the case of Negro
demands, he asserted.
He pointed out that if American
Jews were for the time being pro-
tected against this demand, "they
are not protected against demands
for entry on equal grounds into
institutions which are the real
seat of Jewish exclusiveness, the
Jewish business for example, or
the Jewish—or largely Jewish-
schoal."
Louis Berkowitz, executive di-
rector of the Educational Alliance
of New York, said the experience
of that institution had indicated it
was possible "to have a substantial
minority of Negroes and Puerto
Ricans and other groups, while
retaining its primary Jewish char-
acter."
Sam Arkus, executive director
of the Julius Schepps Commun-
ity Center of Dallas, said that
while Negroes rarely used Jew-
ish center facilities in the south,
"lay and professional center
leadership have taken the stand
that membership based on color
was reprehensible but that each
center needed to work through
for itself in terms of its own
communal situations the solution
best suited for that continuity."
He said that a study conducted
among Jewish centers in the South
showed that "the more Jewish
image the center had in its com-
munity, the smaller the number
of non-Jews using its facilities and
that Negroes therefore rarely made
use of Jewish center facilities and
only rarely made requests for
membership or use."
"While there had been no mark-
ed effect on Jewish communal
services resulting from the inte-
gration crisis, there is danger that
in the desire to help solve the
problems of integration, Jewish
agencies may be too ready to sac-
rifice their valid sectarian char-
acter."
This warning was voiced by
Charles Miller, special planning
director of the Federation of Jew-
ish Agencies of Philadelphia.
Miller warned that "any threat
to this sectarianism is undemo-
cratic and contrary to the best
principles of cultural pluralism."
Noting that many Jewish agencies
had non-sectarian policies and
would continue to have them, he
said "this does not prevent them
from having a primary responsi-
bility to serve the Jewish commun-
ity and its members."
"The major way in which Jew-
ish agencies can maintain their
sectarian character is to serve
the cause of Jewish survival,
strengthen Jewish community
and cultural life, and maintain
the integrity of the Jewish fam-
ily," he declared.

Another speaker at the session,
Jacob H. Kravitz, executive direc-
tor of the Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion of Dallas, said that "all sec-
tarian and nonsectarian social wel-
fare agencies" were now "facing
the significance of the integra-

tion struggle and its impact on
their services."
He urged that Jewish welfare
agencies "take the lead in examin-
ing this problem with agency
staffs and boards, in keeping with
the Jewish tradition of social jus-
tice so that the 'open door' policy
of social services shall exclude no
one because of race, color or
creed." In the south, he pointed
out, "the majority of Jewish com-
munal services" have traditionally
"combined Jewish purposes with
nonsectarian service policies."
Victor D. Sanua reported on a
study of Jewish teen-agers and
their interests as related to mem-
bership in Jewish Centers. He said
that about 50 per cent of the teen-
agers joined Jewish centers be-
cause of the Jewish auspices of
the center and that most adoles-
cents regarded the center primar-
ily as a place to meet friends.
One-third of the respondents
indicated they had no objection
to dating non-Jews, one-third ex-
pressed reservations such as
fears of "getting serious" about
a non-Jewish date and one-third
would not date non-Jews at all.
More of the boys were inclined
to date non-Jews.
Forty per cent of the boys and
ten per cent of the girls aspired
to a career in one of the major
professions and 26 per cent of the
girls mentioned teaching as their
ambition. Girls spend their spare
time in various social activities
and boys engage in various sports
activities. In center programs,
dances, social lounge activities and
gymnastics received top ratings
from the teen-agers.
Dr. Canua said that very few of
the youths expressed dissatisfac-
tion with center activities and
staff and that it was possible that
many answered in a manner they
considered so c i ally desirable.
However, he added, most of those
interviewed in the study returned
to the Center for a second or suc-
cessive year of membership.
A report on a national study of
Jewish Young Adults showed that
the typical Jewish young adult was
well integrated in American so-
ciety.
Dr. Harry Specht of the Rich-
mond,. California Youth Project,
also reported that the ties of the
young adult to Jewishness and
other Jews were mainly on the
level of social activity. Group ac-
tivities, such as large dances and
parties which provide opportuni-
ties to meet members of the oppo-
site sex are the chief basis of most
group formations for such Jews.
At a session on Soviet anti-
Semitism, Emanuel Muravchik,
national director of the Jewish
Labor Committee, said there
were deep- historical roots for
anti-Semitism in Russia. He add-
ed that while it could not be
said that there was purposeful
planning of anti-Semitism by the
Soviet Government, there were •
no efforts by that government
to counteract anti-Semitism. So-
viet leaders are disturbed by the
desire of Jews to identify them-
selves as Jews, having assumed
that such desires would disap-
pear.
Dr. Hans Rooker, director of the
Russian and Eastern European
Studies Center of the University
of California in Los Angeles, said
that whether Jewishness was de-
fined religiously, culturally or eth-
nically, its expression in the So-
viet Union was "nearly impos-
sible."
Arnold Horelick of the Social
Science Department of the Rand
Corporation, told the session that
the Soviet Government's policy on
anti-Semitism was based on expe-
diency and on indifference and
even hostility to Jews as a national
and ethnic group. He asserted that
the Soviet regime "probably is not
deliberately creating anti - Semi-
tism" but that it appeased anti-
Semites and exploited anti-Semi-
tism "to achieve objectives that
are important to it."

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, June 12, 1964
13

Brazilian Jewry
The Jewish community of
Brazil, which dates back to the
early 16th century, today num-
bers some 125,000 persons,
about one-third of whom live in
Rio de Janeiro and one-third in
Sao Paulo.

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