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November 22, 1968 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-11-22

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CJFWF's Assembly Tackles Major Issues
Affecting Worldwide Jewish Communities

(Continued from Page 1)

The urban crisis was thoroughly
reviewed, and a major address on
the subject was delivered by Max
Fisher, chairman of the New De-
troit Committee.
Drawing major attention by its
challenge to Jewish parents and
to communal spokesmen, Dr.
Leonard J. Fein, director of the
Joint Center for Urban Studies
of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, posed the question,
"Can we permit ourselves to
suppose that our children do not
know that Jewish parents would
not tolerate for one day in their
children's public schools the con-
dition which they accept as a
matter of course in their chil-
dren's Hebrew schools?" He
thereupon expressed concern that
"commitment of the young to
Jewish survival is rapidly at-
tenuating, that the Jewish past
is increasingly irrelevant to the
young and the Jewish future
therefore cannot be safely entrust-
ed to their keeping."
Dr. Fein, who delivered the
annual Herbert Abeles Memorial
Address, on the subject "Jewish
Identification and Commitment,"
presented a rather gloomy outlook
of existing conditions, deploring
that Jewish education- is not a pre-
requisite for Jewish communal
leadership and that Jewish back-
ground does not count for very
much as a qualification for pro-
fessional leadership in the Jewish
community. He declared:
"I know of at least one school
of social work which has, over
the years, received hundreds of
inquiries from Jewish agencies
regarding the qualifications of
particular students for employ-
ment, and not once, in all these
hundreds of cases, -has there
been any inquiry at all concern-
ing the student's Jewish back-

Admitting that he cannot "in
honesty contend that the managers
of Jewish public life are conscious-
ly opposed to Jewish education."
Dr. Fein said: "Their problem is
more confusion than evil. But it is
plain that the inertial direction of
our communal institutions is sim-
ply not responsive to the repeated
warnings of disaster and urgings
toward reform."
The urgency of the problems of
improving Jewish education, Dr.
Fein lamented, is the fact "that
our consciousness of crisis will not
find a response in our behaviors;
we shall continue, as in the past,
to be guided by inertia, to permit
prevailing structures to absorb our
Even if the American Jewish
community doubles the $70,000,000
a year it is now spending on Jew-
ish education, Dr. Fein said that
more money is not the total ans-
"The answer," he said, "lies in
the direction of supporting experi-
mentation, of using Federation
dollars as seed money, in a con-
scious effort to break through to
new educational patterns. The al-
ternative to such use, the peipetu-
ation of prevailing patterns, sim-
ply will not produce effective re-
sults by any standard- of cost-
benefit analysis. Marginal in-
increases in across-the-board per
capita support are not likely to
mean very much-, and significant
increases are likely not possible.
But explicit subsidies for those
who dare to re-think our educa-
tional assumptions, incentive pay-
. meats for those who demonstrate
continued excellence,-the purchase
of expert consulting 'time, rewards
for innovationthese are likely to
be the investments which have
multiplier effects.-.They hre poli-
tically more difficult than trans-

48 Friday, Naveinber 22, 1968


fer payments, no doubt, but they
are educationally more valuable."
Dr. Fein expressed the feeling
that all efforts to sustain a strong
Judaism, including better Jewish
education, will fail as long as "the
general stance of our community
remains, in its core, a public re-
lations stance.
Dealing with a related theme,
the needs of the campus com-
munity, Dr. Leon A. Jick of
Brandeis University declared
there is need for a "growing
Jewish presence on the cam-
pus," that "we must not de-
nounce students for their apa-
thy." He said t h e situation
would be worse if not for the
significant efforts of the Hillel
Dr. Jick pointed out that- the
Jewish college students of this
generation are not separated mere-
ly by the "generation gap" which
operates in the total culture but
they know a "totally different ex-
perience of the meaning of Jew-
ishness. They do not remember
Hitler or the phenomenon of Jew-
ish homelessness. To them, the
state of Israel is not an achieve-
ment, it is a reality which is taken
for granted. They no longer re-
member the community of immi-
grants with its struggles and dis-
abilities—but also with its unique
strengths and its endearing qual-
ities. As a result, they have tasted
neither Jewish sorrow nor Jewish
joy. They know neither Jewish
insecurity nor Jewish solidarity.
Jewishly speaking, they have
grown up in a world totally differ-
ent from all that of previous Dias-
pora generations."
He stated that unless something
is done to change "the temper of
Jewish college youth, American
Jewry faces a crisis of continuity."
He said that "Creative Jewish
spiritual survival is now a con-
cern of highest priority." He
urged a three-point program for a
national unified effort on t h e
American college campus:
1. A greatly enlarged program
of suport for Jewish scholarship
on the college campuses in which
the recently established National
Foundation for Jewish Culture is
a "significant step in the right
2. The influence and affluence
of the Jewish community must be
exerted to expand new courses in
Judaica in American universities.
3. The strengthening of the Jew-
ish communal presence on the
campus through the instrumental-
ity of the Hillel Foundation to
meet "the more severe criticism
which college youth have leveled
at us, that we are hypocrites
whose deeds do not match our
Resolutions adopted by the as-
sembly called for support for
minority groups in crisis-ridden
American urban centers, aid for
Israel's unprecedented social wel-
fare needs, more intensive and
improved Jewish vocational facili-
The resolution on aid to Israel
called for "massive support" in
1969 of the Emergency Fund of
the United Jewish Appeal.
The resolution further stated
that for 1969, more than double
the amount raised in 1968 is need-
ed. In addition, 1969 needs require
additional funds to meet the "new
perils of Jews" that are fleeing
to Israel and the other nations of
the free world from Czechoslo-
vakia, Poland and Egypt.
The delegates pledged their sup-
port to the. Prime Minister's Con-
ference on Human Needs in Israel,
being convened in Jerusalem in
June 1969.
President Johnson was com-
mended for his declaration of



Sept. 10 in which he made a Negroes, and rehabilitation serv-
plea for "a real peace of justice ices for the aged, the young and
and reconciliation — not a cease the handicapped."
fire, not a temporary truce, not
He particularly suggested that
a renewal of the fragile armi- organized Jewish communities can
stice." President elect Nixon give "important help in providing
was also praised for his recent opportunities for Negroes to de-
"vigorous and forthright dec. velop businesses of their own.
larations reaffirming the tradi- This would only mean doing some-
tional U.S. commitment to the thing for Negroes that we have
security and peace of Israel."
been doing in our own local com-
The Soviet Union was criticized munities and overseas for years.
for its "systematic strangulation It would require setting up econo-
of Jewish religious, cultural and mic committees or loan funds
communal life" within its borders. ready to put up risk capital—at
The American Jewish Conference very low interest rates—to back
on Soviet Jewry was commended Inner City people who come for-
for its efforts "to spread aware- ward with worthwhile business
ness of the special discrimination plans."
Despite the attacks by Negro
to which. Jews are subjected by the
Soviet Union and to arouse world- militants on Jewish merchants
wide condemnation of anti-Semi- still in the ghetto, the Jewish
tism in the Soviet Union." The landlord, the Jewish housewife
Soviet government was particular- who hires Negro cleaning help, the
ly criticized for not living up to Jewish social worker and Jewish
the statement made last year by teacher, and the supporter of Is-
Premier Kosygin in which he rael, Fisher concluded, that "we
promised that family reunion with as Americans and Jews. have it
relatives in other countries of the within our power to make a sub-
world would - be facilitated by So- stantial and highly creative con-
tribution to the equal rights effort
viet authorities.
and to the people of the Inner
The Polish government was
condemned "for its cynical ex-
(The 1968 Humanitarian Award
ploitation of . anti-Semitism thin-
of the Jewish Agencies of Greater
ly disguised as anti-Zionism."
Philadelphia will be given to
On the home front, a resolution Fisher Sunday evening at a din-
stated that the ever - increasing ner in Philadelphia).
crises in America's cities now pre-
Projecting a portrait of the
sent a serious threat to Ameri- American Jewish communal pro-
can democratic institutions that gram for the next 25 years, Philip
"will not be solved by repressive , Bernstein, executive vice president
action directed at symptoms and of the Council of Federations, in
frustrations; nor by polarization of ,
the second major banquet address
prejudices by extremists; nor byl on Saturday night, stated:
action of Congress in cutting back
1. Our hospitals will more and
on essential programs and appro-
more concern themselves with re-
search in an attempt to find the
Stating that there is "no more
causes and prevention - and cures
pressing priority for our nation
of the illnesses that still baffle us
than the crisis in our cities," the —such diseases as cancer, hyper-
resolution said that "the report of
tension and the heart.
the President's Commission on
2. The problem of creating com-
Civil Disorders must be imple-
mented" and that the U.S. "can prehensive programs for the aged
reverse the trend only if it deals is of growing significance.
3. Child care is no longer a
with the root causes."
Jewish life in the U.S., another matter of orphanages, which
resolution said, needs the stren- have completely disappeared.
"What concerns us now, and
gthening that can come from ex-
panded and improved programs what will concern us even more
in the years ahead," he said,
in the field of Jewish education.
A parallel resolution applauded "will be our emotionally-disturb-
ed children. The time to get at
the establishment of the Bureau
mental illness is in youth, when
for Careers in Jewish Service and
the recent steps taken to meet we can prevent a lifetithe of
shortages of personnel in Jewish tragedy — for the children, and
for their parents."
communal agencies.
4. Family life, he said, "is in
The Large City Budgeting Con-
ference, on the occasion of its 20th trouble, beset by confusion and by
I believe our family agen-
anniversary, was commended for
its accomplishments which have cies will need to join with our
"resulted in more effective pro- rabbis to strengthen the very in-
grams and 'greater concentration stitution of Jewish family life it-
on the most important" needs, with self."
5. Jewish education with each
improved budgeting' a n d fiscal
passing year will have a more sig-
place on the Jewish com-
In his address at the assem-
munity agenda "because Jewish
- bly's banquet session in which
education is the very heart of our
he reviewed the issues created
by the urban crisis, Fisher de- future; because it is axiomatic
there can be no Jewish future
clared that "anti-Semitism does
not give the Jews any excuse to without Judaism."
6. Leisure-time activities will be-
withdraw from the battle for
come ever more important.
equal rights and_ justice for the
7. "The black revolution," Bern-
Fisher stated emphatically that stein said, "is the great moral
even if Jews are told that they are crisis of this. generation and of the
"not wanted and not welcome in next. What we do td solve the prob-
the inner city," the Jewish com- lems of minority groups 'in our
munity must participate in achiev- urban communities is a test of our
ing the "goals of the equal rights moral integrity as a nation,: and
struggle." He urged the formation our moral integrity as a people."
of local Jewish Urban Crisis pro-
8. The problem of Jews overseas,
grams on a community-wide basis in Israel, in Eastern -Europe and
and warned that those who would in the Arab countries, will need the
aid the Negro community must help of American Jewry for many
work with them and listen to years to come.
them. -
Bernstein said the Jewish com-
"The areas in which help should munity of the next quarter-century
be given by the JeWish community "must be an expression of Jewish
a nil . all other urban coalition religious purPose., - as" well -as an
groups,P he said, "should -be in expretsion . of profound American
getting jobs, improving hOusing, purpose." -
Providing edutational and recrea-
Recent political upheavals in
tional opportunities,' making- busi- Czechoslovakia,. - Poland, and the
ness Opportunities available for Arab countries have caused

emergency situations for : the
Jews in these -countries that the
Joint Distribution Committee - has
not been able to fully meet be-
cause of lack of adequate funds,
according to Samuel L. Haber,
executive vice chairman of the
JDC. The problems created by
the Six-Day War between Israel
and the. Arab states, he said,
have also increased greatly the .
demands made on the JDC in the
Malben program for the aged in
Israel, among aged Jews in. Mo-
rocco and Tunisia and among
Jews in Romania and France.
The extent of Jewish community
participation in urban projects for
Negro and other minority groups
is indicated in a report based upon
information from 39 communities.
In making the report public,
Louis J. - Fox, of Baltimore, who
was re-elected CJWF president,
said that "with our American cities
so deeply concerned and troubled
by the problems of their urban
areas, it is the duty of the organi-
zed community to help create and
activate effective organized ap-
proaches" such as urban coalitions
in all of our cities with which we
must be fully involved."
Among the activities in some of
the communities he reported that
Detroit has sponsored a four-year
college program scholarship for
25 inner-city youngsters and an
apartment housing project for 200
older persons.
Reporting that one-third of all
residents of old age homes were
found to have "moderately ad-
vanced mental impairment and an
additional one-quarter severe men-
tal impairment," a survey present-
ed today to the assembly declared
that programs for the mentally im-
paired too often are poor. Residents
of old age homes are "now older
as a group, better educated, more
likely to be on public assistance,
and with a shorter life expectancy
than was revealed in a similar
study made nine years ago."
The survey reached the con-
clusion that a number of "homes
for the aged should offer their
residents more convenient and
comfortable surroundings. Their
programs should be more person-
alized, and less formal.
Fifteen Jewish community organ-
izations were among the winners
of 18 public relations awards in the
annual contest sponsored by
CJFWF. Announcement of the win-
ners was made by Isidor Schifrin
of Cincinnati, chairman of the
judging committee,
A plea to American Jewry to
give top priority to the projected
1969. Emergency Fund drive was
read to the delegates from Arye
Pincus, chairman of the Jewish
Gen. Rabin, in his address, ex-
pressed doubts that Israel could
hope to attain peace in the , near
future because it appeared that
neither the Soviet Union nor Egypt
wanted peace and - other Arab coun-
tries which might . be willing to
make peace could not act under
present circumstances. He said
Israel was strengthening its mili-
tary forces to prevent war and-to
insure that, if war, 'nevertheless,



cdid - eome, -.:"We shall win it.".

The C.TEWF assembly provided
an opportunity for review: of many
issues affecting Jewish life,
During the conference, there
were sessions attended by mem-
bers ' of the press, there was zi-spe-

cialsembiar on the -English-Jew-
ish press, the Americaii Jewish
PreS AsSociation - had a confer-
ence; and- a special Jewish Tele-
graphic Agency committee'had its
first .meeting in Atlanta. The lot-
ter,::under the chairinanship of
Di- treat-, ap-
Philip Slcimmiitz
pointed by JTA President - Robert
Arnow, outlined 'new prdgrams for


new coverage • and _feature serv-
ices for American newspapers.

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