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May 06, 1966 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-05-06

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

Cooperative Organizational ActionAimed at Advancing Jewish ValuesUrged at JWB Convention

NEW YORK — Louis Stern was
elected to a two-year term as

rich heritage, without apprecia-
tion of the contemporary rele-
president of the National Jewish
vancy of this heritage, and with-
Welfare Board Sunday, at the
out significant Jewish experi-
closing session of JWB's golden ence."
jubilee biennial convention which
He added "the e x e c u t i v e
launched the year-long celebra-
heads of each of the organizations
tion of the agency's 50th anniver-
should convene to consider ave-
sary.
nues for joint activity. Out of such
The tenth president of JWB, sober consultation by the distin-
Stern had served as president guished professional leaders of our
since January 1966 to fill a vacan- organizations can surely emerge
cy created by the death of his pre- the beginnings of a shared ap-
decessor, Mrs. Florence G. Hel- proach to this problem."
ler.
Notes of both optimism and pes-
Charles
Gershenson, Detroit
civic leader, was elected to the simism about the future of Jewish
life in America were sounded
board of directors.
throughout the JWB convention. In
The establishment of a Confer- a symposium which opened the
ence of Executives of Major Jew- convention, Dr. Gerson D. Cohen,
ish Organizations was proposed by professor of history, Columbia
Sanford Solender of Rye, N.Y., University, said: "We can count
JWB executive vice-president.
on no objective factors to guaran-
The major deficiency in Am-
tee the continuity of Jewish life.
erican Jewish life, Solender said,
If history is an index, there will
is that "most American Jews
be tremendous losses to the Jewish
are without knowledge of their community — including men and
women of great talent—through in-
termarriage, self-alienation and
passive and active withdrawal
from the Jewish community. Those
who remain will look to deeply
committed leaders to provide guid-
ance and purposive direction." All
this adds up to the fact that for
the Jewish life we envision we
must provide a Jewish elite that
will be able to formulate, inter-
pret, and transmit the type or
types of Jewish life that we want
to see preserved, developed, be-
queathed."

Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein
said that unless there will be
one Jewish institution on whom
the Jewish community can de-
pend and from whom there can
emanate a creative Jewish life,
"little else that we do will mat-
ter." "That institution," Rabbi
Lookstein said, "is the Jewish
school."

LOUIS STERN

LAWN
SPRINKLERS

JWB President Louis Stern
said that there "is no real feel-
ing of mutuality" among Jew-
ish organizations, and there
must be more "effective working
relations."

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base.

phasis will shift to Christian-Jew-
ish relationships, Negro-Jewish re-
lationships and problems resulting
from school desegregation, housing
and equal opportunity legislation."
Bertram H. Gold, executive di-
rector, Jewish Association of Los
Angeles, told the delegates to the
JWB convention that "the Jewish
young person today is being mold-
ed much more decisively by his
general rather than by his Jewish
environment." Yet, he said, "the
Jewish youth today is seeking
some form of self-definition and
some clearly definable value sys-
tem."
Arthur Cantor, Broadway pro-
ducer of such plays as "The Tenth
Man" and "Gideon," said "Jewish
values will continue to survive in
the face of the assimilationist
threat." Jews have to be survival-
ists. This is in the nature of being
Jewish."
Philip M. Klutznick, former U.S.
Representative to the Economic
and Social Council of the United
Nations, in a speech read for him
in his absence at the dedication
of the new Milton Weill Building
of the Emanu-El Midtown YM &
YWHA in New York City, said:
"We are engaged in a new type
of adventure in the Jewish experi-
ence — a conscious investment in
the Jewish future. Some delight
to denigrate this era as the age of
the 'edifice complex.' It is really
a period of thoughtful additions as
well as reconstruction. It is not by
accident that this is the first time
when the major additions to -center
facilities and expanded services
are the product of joint planning
by Federations and Centers.
"The Jewish Community Cen-
ter's promise for the future is
rooted in its tradition of reaching
out to all Jews of all ages, and is
assured by its determination to
make experience as a Jew mean-
ingful."
Irwin Shaw of Detroit said
that "a program of adult Jewish
education participated in by a
majority of Jews is a 'sine qua
non' for any meaningful Jewish
survival in this country."
He said: "Centers and YM &
YWHAs must focus more attention
on the Jewish aspects of their
adult programming, and this, in
turn, means a greater attention to
our literary resources.
"Unless we recognize the funda-
mental role of adult Jewish educa-
tion in Jewish survival, we will
never give it the proper attention
and support.
"In the Center, as well as in the
synagogue and in general Jewish
education, adult education has
heretofore received relatively lit-
tle consideration."
Declaring that "token con-
cessions" made by the Soviet
Union to Soviet Jewry "do not
meet the expectations of world
opinion, especially those of the
Jewish community in America,"
the Jewish Welfare Board un-
animously adopted a resolution
voicing its support of "minimal
demand to restore the right of
Soviet Jewry to live as Jews."
Urging its affiliated Jewish com-
munity centers throughout the
United States "to continue to give
leadership and to cooperate with
local groups in the effort to re-
duce the injustice done to Soviet
Jewry," JWB, which is a member
of the American Jewish Confer-
ence on Soviet Jewry, outlined
the minimal demands on behalf
of Soviet Jewry.
Arthur J. Goldberg, United States
Ambassador to the United Nations,

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of American society," but added
a warning that this gain posed the
danger of loss of Jewish identity

among American Jews.
Speaking at the banquet session
of the convention, Sunday, he said
that the dropping of such barriers

was "a wonderful historical trend"

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
12—Friday, May 6, 1966

for which all America should re-
joice and that he believed that it
would continue. Then he added the
warning That "as this trend con-
tinues, it brings on another prob-
lem for American Jewry — one
which we have faced for a long
time but perhaps never on so large
a scale: the danger of losing our
identity as Jews, or of seeing that
identity so watered down that we
begin to forget who we are and
whence we came."
Citing the concern of many Jew-
is organizations "about the sup-
port and involvement of Jewish
intellectuals," the Ambassador
suggested that the answer was

probably not for the organizations
to become lesS Jewish and more
secular "but, on the contrary, in
their reaffirming their Jewish
heritage. Perhaps the way to make
the Jewish intellectual feel at

should be a model and inspiration
for the idealist and the reformer
of tomorrow.
He proposed "new forms of co-
operation" in American Jewish
life "to replace some of the com-
peting efforts of today and to bring
all of the doctrinal divisions of the
Jewish community into a single
national effort." While such a
united approach would he hard to
achieve, he asserted, "it might
offer the most effective way to
survey emerging needs, to set

priorities, and to mobilize the
necessary money and talent."

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is not to de-emphasize but rather
to reaffirm that which is most uni-
versal in our heritage." He also

declared that, if American Jewry
"is a vital force, it must prove that
vitality among the young people
who are tomorrow's leaders. Per-
haps too many of today's Jewish
youth programs are aimed at mak-
ing the young people grow up to
be just like their parents—instead

of encouraging them to find their
own style and their own modes of
expression."

He cautioned the present Ameri-
can adult Jewish generation against
setting itself up as a model "for
the succeeding generation." "Our
real message to them," he said,
"is not in our own sterling virtues,
nor in our activities but in some-

thing far deeper—the Jewish heri-
tage, whose prophetic tradition

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