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August 16, 1968 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-08-16

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

Detroit Study Finds Pupils in Jewish Schools Miss Bine, Mr. Ehrlich
Fail to Link Judaic Values, Democratic Ideals Wed at Beth Abraham

The necessity for Jewish educa-
tion to the future of American
Jewry has long been emphasized.
But the extent to which such edu-
cation has a bearing on children's
Judaic and democratic beliefs has
not been adequately explored.
Neither has it been scientifical-
ly determined if differences in
outlook exist between children at-
tending day schools, those attend-
ing communal or congregational
afternoon schools and those at-
tending Sunday schools only.
To remedy the informational
gap, Joshua S. Geller, a graduate
of the Midrasha College of Jewish
St udies and a '
United Hebrew
Schools teacher,
has completed "A
_arly
Study of E
Adolescent Atti-
tudes Toward
Ethnic and Demo-
cratk Beliefs as
Related to At-
tendance in Pub
lie and Jewish
Dr. Geller
,Schools."
The dissertation was written in
partial fulfillment of requirements
for a PhD degree from the Uni-
versity of Michigan department of
education. Dr. Geller, 35, who re-
ceived his degree this month, also
holds bachelors and masters de-
grees from Wayne State University
and is a counselor at Northwest-
ern High School.
He received grants from the
Memorial Foundation for Jewish
Culture and the Jewish Welfare
Federation of Detroit to complete
the 235-page work while on sab-
batical leave from Northwestern
this past year.
. The sample consisted of 425
seventh graders from Detroit and
Southfield representative of the
middle class socio-economic group.
There were 150 non-Jewish public
school students selected to form a
comparison group with Jewish
youngsters in the area of demo-
cratic beliefs only.
All seventh graders (77) of the
three Jewish day schools were
selected, and 198 students were
drawn from the communal- and
congregational - sponsored schools.
Their mean age. was 12 years 3
months.
Using the Purdue Opinion Poll
to determine student democratic
_ attitudes, Dr. Geller found that
"the youngsters who attend public
and supplementary school are
more strongly committed to the
ideals of the Bill of Rights and
the Constitution than are the day
School students.
"Conversely," he said, "day
school students are more strongly
committed to the upholding of the
religious rituals and other ethnic
beliefs and practices."

Dann

Dr. Geller found that "None of
the groups attributed any major
portion of their attitude formu-
lation toward democracy to have
been influenced by the ideals of
the Judaic humanistic heritage"
and concluded from this:
"Is it possible that the religious,
ethical and social problems which
are of interest to adolescents in
this age of crisis are ignored? Is
it possible that Jewish education
emphasizes the parochial which is
in the end abandoned by the ma-
jority and the part which is rele-
vant is de-emphasized? . . . This
research indicates that it was a
valid problem to which administra-
tors must address themselves, in
order to make Jewish education
relevant for Jewish- youth." .
Respondents of the Reform-spon-
sored schools appeared to be more
in agreement with American
liberal values than were the Ortho-
dox or Conservative respondents,
said Dr. Geller. "Conversely, Or-
thodox respondents seemed to be
more in congruence with ethnic
beliefs and behaviors than were
Reform or Conservative respon-
dents."
He found, further, that the
higher the formal education of
the parents, the greater the
liberal outlook of the students
and the weaker their commit-
ment to religious beliefs and
behaviors.
Interestingly, Dr. Geller indi-
cates that there were fewer differ-
ences between the day school and
afternoon (Sunday) school respon-
dents than between students of the
various supplementary schools.
"This denotes that intensity and
frequency of attendance were not
the sole factors which contributed
toward favorable attitudes. The
attitudes rather seemed to reflect
responses to particular stimuli.
"This suggests that the supple-
mentary schools can be effective
agents for Jewish education pro-
viding the objectives were to be
clearly defined and curriculum
formulation based on empirical
findings."
Of the majority respondents
(those in the supplementary
schools), there was a large per-
centage who felt that the study of
history, Hebrew, or knowledge of
Judaism was not very important,
implying that they "see no intel-
lectual stimulation in their Jewish
education. If this is to be altered
for the better, the curriculum will
have to reflect the interest of the
learner; it will have to have rele-
vance to the, contemporary Ameri-
can scene and have transfer value
to other activities and experiences.
This suggests that Jewish educa-
tion will have to aim not for more
conservation, but rather for crea-
tive reconstruction."

BY HENRY LEONARD

Dr. Geller suggests that a new
frame of reference be used for
exploration of Jewish values and
beliefs. Such a need, he said, is
implied by data indicating that
a considerable proportion of af-
ternoon (Sunday) school respon-
dents do not accept the tradi-
tional religious beliefs. This is
despite the fact that Jewish. re-
ligious educators "claim that the
rituals are an important aspect
of the Jewish religion since they
symbolize the religious values
and beliefs of the Jewish peo-
ple."
"Instead of indoctrination of dog-
matic beliefs,'"' writes Dr. Geller,
"it may be better to expose youth
to free inquiry."
Thee importanceof the school for
reinforcement of attitudes is point-
ed out by the writer, who adds that
"parents must be appraised of the
objectives of the school and made
to understand the necessity for
close cooperation between the
school and the home." Educators,
on the other hand, "must involve
parents in formulating school ob-
j ectives."
With this in mind, Dr. Geller
recommends that a study be under-
taken to expose parental attitudes,
teacher attitudes, modes of teach-
ing and other "causal" effects to
account for the significant differ-
ences found between the three
types of public supplementary
schools ( communal, congregational
and one-day congregational) com-
pared in this study.
Among other recommendations,
he suggested that a study be made
between various types of day
schools under different ideological
auspices; and that achievement
measuring devices be developed
to measure relationships between
achievement and attitudes.
The young respondents ex-
pressed a feeling of responsi-
bility for the fate of other Jews.
They take pride in Israel, regard-
less of the school they attend.
All were concerned about perse-
' cutions in Europe.
Yet, Dr. Geller finds that "the
acculturated youngsters who are
exposed to the culture at large and
to their own subculture are the
most liberal in their interpreta-
tion of the Bill of Rights."
The results of one series of
questions, for example, "denote
that a large majority (42-61 per
cent) accept the belief that there
are people of some races and na-
tionalities who are by nature less
capable of advancement . . . An
acceptance of such fascist and
racist theory is rather dangerous
in an egalitarian society which
claims to adhere to the principle
of equality for all mankind."
Dr. Geller adds that the day
school students "while they dem-
onstrate a high religious intensity
and are concerned about religious
freedom (82 per cent are in favor
of freedom of religion) are not
as favorably exposed to problems
dealing with race. It seems if these
youngsters- are really to benefit
from a religious education, they
must be taught to love all man-
kind regardless of race, creed or
color."
In concluding, Dr. Geller says:
"The analysis which showed no
correlation between the ethnic and
social attitudes, the respondent's
lack of awareness of the relation-
ship between Judaic values and
democratic ideals, suggest that to
make Jewish education relevant to
the student, teachers will have to
help youth understand that the
prophetic ideals of freedom, justice
and brotherhood are related to
American democracy and to the
contemporary scene."

Philly Federation Ignites
Building Fund Drive

ti

why do they hide the Choir?
Are they ashamed of them?"
Copr. 1968, Dayenu Productions
,
,

"Pop

r ,

PHILALDELPHIA (JTA) — The
Federation of Jewish Agencies has
announced creation of a new multi-
million dollar program to seek
large gifts to finance construction,
expansion and modernization proj-
ects of the
_ federation's affiliated
agencies.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
26—Friday, August 16, 1968

Australia Makes Book
Gift to Hebrew University

JERUSALEM (HTA)—The Aus-
tralian government has made a
gift of books on Australia to the
Jewish National and University Li-
brary at the Hebrew University.
The volumes were presented to
Avraham Harman, president of the
Hebrew University, by Australian
Ambassador William Landate.

BY POPULAR DEMAND !

Now Booking - - -

ED BURG

MRS. MICHAEL EHRLICH

In a recent ceremony at Cong.
Beth Abraham, Rochelle Carole
Bine and Michael Ernest Ehrlich
exchanged wedding vows. Rabbi
Israel Halpern and Cantor Shabtai
Ackerman officiated.
The couple's parents are Mr. and
Mrs. Oscar Bine of WarringtOn
Dr., and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Ehrlich
of Willowick Dr., Southfield.
The bride wore a gown of silk
organza trimmed in Alencon lace.
She carried a bouquet of Cymbi-
dium orchids and butterfly roses.
Phyllis Ehrlich, sister of the
bridegroom, was maid of honor.
Bridesmaids were Mrs. Irene
Mandell, Jill Harwoods, Pat
Richards, Mrs. Carol Viers and
Mrs. Cynthia Cohen.
Barry Lakind served as best
man. Edward Mandell, Michael
Ehrlich, David Zerkel, Steven Zer-
kel and Ronald Krigel were ushers.
Todd Simon was ring bearer.

MUSIC BY

SAM BARNETT

AND HIS ORCHESTRA

LI 1-2563

and His Orchestra
Good Music
for All Occasions

LI 4-9278

PERSONALIZED
PARTY FAVORS

Give each of your guests his own
personalized momento. Made from
ceramics. Ash trays, candy dishes :.
etc. For weddings and Bar Mitvazs,
etc. Also personalized novelty pens.

INVITATIONS & ACCESSORIES

also available.

MARCIA MASSERMAN

646-6138

CUSTOM FURNITURE &
CARPET CLEANING
ON LOCATION

Phone
549-7170

EXPECTING OUT OF TOWN GUESTS
FOR A WEDDING OR A BAR MITZVA?

Crunkrook House Motel

Is Conveniently Located at

20500 JAMES COUZENS

(8 Mile & Greenfield—Across from Northland)
Call 342-3000 For the Finest Accommodations
Try Our Barber Shop
Dine at the SCOTCH & SIRLOIN RESTAURANT
Airport Limousini Service Available

WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE

CARL'S KOSHER MEAT
& POULTRY MARKET

(FORMERLY CARL & MIKE'S)

has returned to the same location as before

13514 W. 7 Mile Rd.

We are looking forward to seeing our former friends

and customers.

WE DELIVER

DI 1-3166.



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