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July 19, 1968 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-07-19

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

Jewish Teens Have Faith, but Defy Tradition

PITTSBURGH—While a major-
ity of the Jewish teen-agers queried
in an opinion survey expressed a
belief in God, their concept of a
good Jew did not seem to follow
traditional thinking on this sub-
ject. These attitudes emerged from
a survey conducted under the joint
sponsorship of the Pittsburgh YM
& WHA-Irene Kaufmann Centers,
an affiliate of the National Jew-
ish Welfare Board, and the Pitts-
burgh Chapter of the American
Jewish Committee.
Completed under the supervision
of Earl Yaillen, staff development
director of the Y-IKC, the survey
represented almost one-third of the
agency's teen-age members, more
than 90 per cent of whom were
members of clubs and groups as-
sociated with the Y. The answers
given to a comprehensive ques-
tionnaire included the following
opinions, feelings and practices:
Holiday observances: Festivals,
such as Passover Seders, are ob-
served with members of the fam-
ily, but synagogue attendance is
generally limited to the High Holy
Days.
Religious education: Almost all

of the teen-agers attend or have
attended some religious school,
even those whose parents do not
belong to a Conservative, Ortho-
dox or Reform congregation. They
showed a desire to learn more
about Jewish life, history and
philosophy, but were not interested
in the ritualistic aspects of Juda-
ism. About 25 per cent indicated
an interest in getting more Jew-
ish information from the Y, and
almost the same number preferred
a congregation. A large percent-
age of the others showed interest
in the College of Jewish Studies.
Dating and inter-marriage: Ap-
proximately 65 per cent said they
have gone out on dates with non-
Jews. In order to be a good Jew,
one must marry within the Jewish
faith, 40 per cent felt. However,
it was indicated that 85 per cent
of their parents disapproved of in-
termarriage (68 per cent strongly
and 16 per cent mildly).
Parent-Teen-ager Relationships:
Teen-agers indicated they are more
likely to discuss personal problems
with their mothers. Matters of edu-
cation and religion are discussed
freely with both parents. Where

IMVIIINWatim. ■■•■ ••nawaaw ■ oomea ■•■o■n■ DINIwoelmemowne ■oso■ti■o■ oissoommwo■oymo

Boris Smolar's

'Between You -
. and Me'

(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

CAMPUS TALKS: The graduation season just past showed that

sexual behavior is involved, neither
parent is considered a popular
source.
Identification with Israel: The
Jewish teen-agers showed a marked
sympathy for Israel, even before
the Six-Day War. A large major-
ity stated that American Jews
should help raise money for Israel
and influence American govern-
ment policy to help Israel. But
less than half felt that Jews should
visit Israel. Support for Israel was
low on their priority list of quali-
fications for a good Jew.

They Made
The Grade

JAMES MARTIN, 13551 Rose-
mary, Oak Park, will take his
junior year of high school in Israel,
through the American-Israeli Sec-
ondary School Program of the de-
partment of education and culture,
Jewish Agency for Israel. Thirty-
three American teen-agers are tak-
ing part, including Irving Weston
of Flint ( see Flint page). The
youngsters will study at Alonei
Yitzhak Secondary School in the
Shomron Valley,

RAE MILLER, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Andrew Miller of Cata-
lina Ave., Southfield, is attending
the 21st annual modern dance ses-
sion of the Connecticut College
School of Dance. She is accom-
panied by Mrs. HARRIET BERG,
director of the Young Dancers
Guild, to which Rae belongs. She
is a student at Southfield High
School.

Friday, July 19, 1968-15

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Israeli Soldiers in Holland
for Annual 4-Day March

THE HAGUE (JTA)—A contin-
gent of 54 Israeli soldiers and offi-
cers has arrived in the Nether-
lands to take part in the nation's
four-day route march. Representa.
tives from various armies and
thousands of Dutch civilians par-
ticipate in the annual event.

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about 350,000 Jewish students are now enrolled in American colleges

and universities. This is 5 per cent more than last year. It means that
80 per cent of the Jewish college-age population is now attending Ameri-
can schools of higher learning.
Within five years all the Jewish youths of college-age in this
country will be receiving higher education. The rise in the number of
Jewish students is larger in major universities than in the smaller
schools. A sampling taken by the Hillel Foundations in 50 smaller
'Universities where there were a handful of Jewish students a few years
ago, showed a 15 per cent increase.
Jewish parents in small communities are as ambitious today to
give their children higher education as are parents in larger cities. If
they cannot send their children to college in a large center, they send
them to the nearest neighboring town. But to college they must go;
even if they may not use the education later. The boys may graduate
and join the father in his business. The girls may marry and raise a
family. But higher education is a must.
What about Jewish education? How many of the 350,000 enrolled
Jewish students have a solid Jewish education? How many of them
have any Jewish education? How many of them are active in Hillel
Foundation programs at the campus? How many display interest in
things Jewish?
STUDENTS IMAGE: The Jewish student of today is not what he
was years ago. The "playboy" out for a good time before settling down
to work in his father's business is a vanishing species. So is the girl who
has come to the campus only to find a suitable husband.
The Jewish student today works hard. Learning is his primary
mission. He also thinks hard. This explains his rebellion against parental
values. Like many of the non-Jewish students, he is critical of the adult
community and is serious in his criticism. He rejects what he con-
siders the dominant characteristics of his home community — ostenta-
tiousness, conspicuous consumption, the pre-eminence of class status
and the absence of an active involvement in the burning social issues
of our times.
What he has learned of Judaism at Sunday school or afternoon
school levels some years ago is, of course, totally inadequate.'ll cannot
be regarded as intellectually respectable in comparison with what he
now learns in other areas.
His meager Jewish education during his teen years brings him to
the campus uninformed, unidentified, uncommitted. The traditional
vitality of the Jewish community therefore mean little to him. He be-
comes subject to the swift process of acculturation. This process is
accelerated for most students by being cut off from the Jewish identity
ties of their home environments.
The remarkable thing is that despite the alienation to things Jew-
ish manifested by many Jewish students, most of them honestly search
for the meaning of their Jewishness.
SERIOUS CHALLENGE: It is obvious that the future of Jewish
community life in America hinges on the quality of Jewish leadership
which will emerge from the campus.
Aware of this fact, the Council of Jewish Federations and Wel-
fare Funds and the Bnai Brith Hillel Foundations are developing signifi-
cant cooperation between them.
The CJFWF-Hillel approach is based on the conviction that no
single campus organization can effectively meet the challenge of
strengthening the students' - Jewish identity. The CJFWF considers
this challenge a Jewish communal responsibility in which Hillel Foun-
' dations, chairs of Jewish studies and local Jewish communal services
can all become part of the planning resources for meaningful involve-
ment of college youth.
Several Federations are already engaged in moving ahead pro-
grams to involve college youth and faculty at universities in their
cities. This is especially the case with the Federations in Los Angeles,
Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Louisville and Al-
bany.
Since 75 per cent of Jewish university students attend schools in
areas of organized Jewish_ communities, much hope is laid on the joint
CJFIATF-Hillel efforts now being made to achieve a breakthrough in the
indifference which .many. students. show_ to . Jewish. life.. ...... ... „ .

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