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May 06, 1966 - Image 16

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

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American Jewish Congress Elects Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld as President

thur J. Lelyveld of Cleveland,
foriner national director of the Hil-
lel Foundations, active in many
Jewish movements who recently
gained fame for his leadership in
the civil rights movement, was
elected president of the American
Jewish Congress to succeed Dr.
Joachim Prinz, at the national bi-
ennial convention held here last
In one of the major addresses at
the convention, Rabbi Lelyveld
warned American Jews against re-
sponding to Negro anti-Semitism
by withdrawing from the battle for
civil rights. He charged during a
convention symposium that recent
incidents of Negro anti-Semitism
evoked a "Jewish backlash" involv-
ing suggestions for such a with-
drawal from "the new isolationists
in Jewish life."
He told the delegates that
there was "a new preoccupation
with Negro anti-Semitism among
Jewish academicians who have
posed "a false dichotomy between
the preservation of Judaism and
the application of Jewish values
to contemporary issues." When
such spokesmen urge Jews to
ignore the world to survive as
Jews, he declared, "they ignore
the whole point of Jewish sur-
vival." As a civil rights volun-
teer Rabbi Lelyveld was severely
beaten by segregationists in 1Vlis-
sissippi in 1964.
Bayard Rustin, Negro civil rights
leader, told the symposium that
"Jews must understand that some-
times in a transition period we are
often more critical of our closest
friends than of our enemies."
Rabbi Lelyveld declared that "I
do not serve the cause of Negro
emancipation because I expect the
Negro to love me in return. The
command to remember the strang-
er and the oppressed is uncondi-
Dr. Prinz, making his last address
as president, warned of "danger
signals" threatening continuation of
Jewish life in the United States. He
cited indifference among Jews to
Jewish history, particularly among
college youth. The current genera.
tion was no longer moved by the
slaughter of European Jewry or by
the emergence of Israel, he said.
He referred to ignorance of
Jewish values and ethical imper-
atives and their application to
current problems, as well as iso-
lationism and lack of identifica-
tion with the rest of "the house-
hold of Israel," and he urged
more intensified support of Jew-
ish education by local Jewish
communal groups, asserting that
if commitment to the church-
state separation principle barred
financial aid to schools, then Jews
must demand full support of
Jewish federations and welfare
He said Jews must join in the
struggle for racial justice and the
war on poverty because brother-
hood, equality and concern for the
poor "are among the great values
of our faith."
The AJCongress delegates
heard a warning that government
support of religious schools
posed a major threat both to pub-
lic education and to the integrity
and independence of Jewish day-
schools and yeshivot.
Shad Polier, chairman of the na-
tional governing council of the
Congress, said the "diversion" of
public school funds to church
schools had "robbed public educa-
tion of desperately needed funds
and subverted the most basic insti-
tution of American democracy."
"We recognize the right of per-
sons to provide private education
for their children," Polier de-
clared, "but we deny the right of
anyone to perpetuate either his
racial prejudices or his religious
obligations with the help of the
public purse."
Leo Pfeffer, special counsel of
the Congress, said Jewish Ortho-
doxy"may yet rue the day when it
accepted government subsidies and


16—Friday, May 6, 1966

the government controls that must States to take the lead in inter-
inevitably follow."
national efforts to bring all
Middle East nations to the
"American Jewry does not need
governmental funds for the support peace conference table, and
suggesting that a joint Ameri-
of its schools," Pfeffer declared.
can-Soviet parley be held for
He noted that in the past 30 years
ending the arms race in the
enrollment in Jewish day schools
had increased from 3,000 to 60,000 Middle East, was adopted at the
Closing session of the conven-
—"all without seeking or obtaining
one dollar of government funds.
The convention also adopted a
A contrary view was express-
ed by Rabbi Israel Klavan, exec- resolution condemning Soviet sup-
pression of the "basic human
utive vice president of the
Orthodox Rabbinical Council of rights" of Soviet Jewry. It pledged
support to the local and national
programs recommended by the
American Jewish Conference on
Soviety Jewry, to alert public
opinion to the plight of Soviet
The delegates called for sus-
pension of United States bomb-
ing missions against North Viet
Nam as an effort to move the
Vietnamese struggle from the -
battlefield to the bargaining
table. In voting the latter resolu-
tion, the convention expressed
its wish to give international
peace the same priority as the
traditional concerns of the
American Jewish Congress with
church-state separation, Jewish
education, civil rights and the
plight of Soviet Jewry.
In a resolution of Jewish educa-
RABBI ARTHUR J. LELYVELD tion, the convention urged that
America. He told the convention programs of Jewish education be
that Orthodox Jewry supported given "a larger share" of Jewish
church-state separation as "a de- communal and philanthropic
sirable principle" but that there funds, declaring that the needs
was no breach of that principle
in accepting government aid for Christian Church Donates
religious schools.
"The fact that children have to Desecrated -Synagogues
been sent to religious-sponsored
WINNIPEG (JTA)—Two syna-
schools does not mean that they are gogues that were desecrated here
to be denied the service offered by recently by hooligans who had
their community in the areas of smeared swastikas on the portals
health, remedial services, textbooks of the Jewish houses of worship
and other needed aids," he said.
received gifts from a Christian
In a luncheon address, Rep. Sey- church. The synagogues a r e
moud Halpern. Republican of Shaarey Zedek, and Rosh Pina.
Queen. N. Y., a member of the
Each of the synagogues received
House Foreign Affairs Commit- a letter from the 'Rev. R.D.F. Kim-
tee, warned of a growing military- mitt, rector of All Saints Anglican
diplomatic instability in the Middle Church here, enclosing to each of
East that, he said, "could prove the - Jewish congregations one-
even more dangerous in its ramifi- third of one Sunday's collection as
catiiins than Viet Nam."
an expression by his parishioners
He charged that U.S. policy had of "Revulsion at the acts of dese-
contributed to instability in the cration."
area, with U.S. economic aid to
Dr. D. B. Canton. president of
Egypt enabling Nasser "to divert Shaarey Zedek, and Max Margolis,
money from his domestic budget" president of Rosh Pina, said their
for the purchase of late-model congregations were touched by the
Soviet arms.
spirit of brotherhood shown by
The Queens Congressman dis- the church.
closed that he planned to introduce
Dr. Cantor said his congregation
an amendment to the foreign aid would donate the sum received
bill that would require the Presi- from the church to a charity. Mar-
dent '"to withhold aid from nations golis said his congregation would
that use their own assets to pur- match the church donation and
chase Soviet weapons."
contribute the total to the Canad-
A resolution urging the United
ian Council of Christians and Jews.

of Jewish educational institutions
"can and should be met without
the use of -tax-raised monies."
The convention warned of the
"grave erosion" of the principle
of separation of church and state
from "the increasing use of gov-
ernment funds to support paro-
chial schools," stating that those
Jewish educational groups that
seek Federal funds "ignore the
lesson taught by Jewish history
of the evils that flow when re-
ligion is made a tool of the state
—or the state the tool of religion."
Other resolutions pledged the
American Jewish Congress to in-
tensify efforts aimed at full im-
plementation of Supreme Court
decisions outlawing religious prac-
tices in public schools; pledged to
continue the AJC's fight "to end
the discrimination embedded in
many state Sunday closing laws
against those who observe Satur-
day as their Sabbath; and reaf-
firmed AJC opposition to the in-
clusion of any question concerning
religious beliefs or affiliation in



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the Federal census, on the .ground
that "the government may not
inquire into matters of religious
Another resolution urged the.
admission of Communist China to
the United Nations. Both National-
ist and Communist China should
be UN members, the resolution
Ambassador Michael Coma y,
Israel's permanent representative
to the United Nations, told the
convention that Israel's reprisal
raid into Jordan Friday night was
a deliberate effort "to impress
upon the Jordanian government
its duty to prevent terrorist attacks
from behind its border into "the
Jewish state."




TR 2.0888
RES. PHONE: UN 2-4608

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• • • • • Cr

Join in the Celebration

of Detroit's City of Israel



Kfar Rotenherz,-

near Haifa, Israel

Julius and Alice Rotertberg

• •

• •
• • •

• • •


• •

• • •

• • •
• •
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"Keys to the City Presentation"
at the Statler Hotel, Sunday Evening, May 29, 1966
Guest Speaker
General Chairman
Dinner Chairman
For Tickets or further information
14801 MEYERS RD.

•••0•••••••••••••••••*•••• • • • • • .5 • • • • • • •••••••..

Tilizrachi Wapoel Wamizrachi Cordially invites you
to celebrate


Thursday, May 12th — 8:30 P.M.

Nusbaum Hall, Beth Abraham Synagogue

8100 W. 7 Mile at Greenlawn


World Mizrachi Movement

Liturgical Selections and Israeli _Songs by


accompanied by his large BNAI DAVID CHOIR


Refreshments Will Be Served . .
Admission Charge and No Solicitations

• •



---: - '"="='=";:"=°=•---'='='='•=•="=-="M'='•='"•=-=-=='-=6 =•="==6+= *=°=,--"-=r=-Z •="=•=.=


Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum
Member of Jewish Agency

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