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June 06, 1969 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-06-06

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

NEW YORK—A New York area
rabbi told a gathering of Jewish
communal workers here that most
American Jews have sacrificed
their Jewish identity in order to
succeed in American society and
proposed a "psychic liberation"
which he claimed demands "im-
mersion in Jewish culture and
heritage."
Rabbi Irving Greenberg of the
Riverdale Jewish Center spoke be_
fore 1,000 dele-
gates at the 71st
annual meeting
of the National
Conference of
Jewish Commu-
nal Service, the
organization of
professionals
serving Jewish
communal bodies
and agencies,
held at the Wal-
dorf-Astoria.
The conference
elected Sanford
Solender, execu-
tive vice presi-
dent of the Na-
tional Jewish
Welfare Boar d,
as president. Solender
Rabbi Greenberg, associate pro-
fessor of history at Yeshiva Uni-
versity, charged that "Jews have
succeeded in America as Amer-
icans but at every step have jetti-
soned or sacrificed their distinctive
Jewishness to ensure accommoda-
tion."
He said this was true of the
great majority of Jews, including
social workers, whose "ground-
ing . in the culture and values
of Judaism is marginal and often
inauthentic. He said that in order
to "recover full Jewish identity,"
American Jewry must create
"new centers of thought, culture,
religious value development and
Jewish studies."
Rabbi Greenberg said it was
equally important to re-educate
"Jewish communal leaders social
workers, rabbis and even laymen
to serious grounding in Jewish
values and experience."
The conference was addressed
by its retiring president, Mrs.
Martha K. Selig. who declared that
the Jewish community must, in
most cases, be independent of gov-
ernment aid and maintain its own
financial responsibilities.
She said this was not because the
government might refuse to fi-
nance certain Jewish community
programs "but because govern-
ment should not." Mrs. Selig said
this course "may mean, in effect,
a self-imposed taxation. In that
case it might be called 'taxation
for identification,' a concept with
which we Jews have been familiar
from the beginnings of our his-
tory."
One session of the conference
was addressed by Gus Tyler, as-
sistant president of the Interna-
tional Ladies' Garment Workers
Union, who urged a "redistribu-
tion of income and power" in
America.
Tyler said it is impossible "to
conduct a war on poverty without!
a war on riches—that top 1 per
cent of the population that earns
28 per cent of the income in the
U.S. yet pays few taxes in pro-;
portion.
He also attacked the military
in this country which, "by virtue
of an uncritical American pub-
lic, has accumulated unprece-
dented power." He warned his
listeners not to assume that the
ending of the Vietnam war will
end gigantic military expendi-
tures and urged a "war on the
waste of war machines."
His third suggestion for confront-
ing "that dangerous point at which
we have arrived, when we must
keep down the fever until the crisis
is past," was for a "war on cities
—a real movement of populations
to planned, balanced areas." The
private sector will not do this, he
said, so the public sector must
start.

Resolutions on the Middle East

and on the urban crisis were adopt-
ed at the closing sessions of the
annual meeting.
The resolution on the Middle
East called upon the U.S. govern-
ment "to oppose a settlement by
outside powers and to insist upon
face-to-face negotiations among
the nations directly concerned."
The resolution on the urban
crisis offered a seven-point pro-
gram and called on President
Nixon and the new administration
to "take immediate effective action
to implement fully and to improve
existing laws designed to break the
cycle of poverty."
The seven-point program urged
the following as a minimum:
• "That all Americans have a
guaranteed minimum annual in-
come, one that will lift them well
above the poverty level.
• "For those who are employ-
able, we must insist that there be a
job for all, with the government as
the employer of last resort. So that
all workers may reach a decent
standard of living, we urge a $2
minimum wage.
• "For those who are not able to
work—whether the 9,000,000 now on
public assistance, or the many
millions more who need such as-
sistance but are not on welfare,
we urge a guaranteed level of as-
sistance . . . sufficient to provide
a decent and honorable standard
of living.
• "Until such a plan is imple-
mented, we ask that public assist-
ance payments be assured at an
adequate level and that assistance
be provided to all who are in need
and that federally assisted public
welfare standards be adopted.
• "We must continue the effort
to eliminate slums and to provide
'safe, sanitary and decent hous-
ing' for everyone . . Congress
must appropriate adequate funds.
• Human services for poor peo-
ple are being denied adequate
funds. Congress must make ade-
quate funding available for these
vital efforts.
• At a time of unparalleled afflu-
ence countless numbers of Amer-
icans still go hungry. Congress
must act immediately to develop
legislation to insure that every
American has sufficient and ade-
quate food.
• Improvements in the Social
Security System have made a be-
ginning in providing badly needed
health care for the aged and for
the poor. However, more remains
to be done in this area. We endorse
the creation of a federal contrib-
utory health insurance program,
with government paying the premi-
um for those unable to pay.
Groups participating in the
conference included the National
Association of Jewish Center
Workers, the National Council

Dayan Advised to Drop Issue Over Writer's Charge

Other Detroiters in attendance
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Attorney to refer the matter to court and
included Albert Cohen, Harold General Meir Shamgar said this that no additional public beneat
Dubin, Mrs. Ada Feldman, Allan week there was no need to probe would be gained from holding judi-
Gelfond, Gerald Goldstein, Samuel the allegations of author Moshe cial proceedings in the matter.
Goldstein, Dr. Morton Plotnick,
Mrs. Louis Rudner, Ralph Sirotkin, A. Gilboa that Defense Minister
Charles Wolfe and Dr. Benjamin Moshe Dayan and Chief of Army
Yapko. Hy Bergman, Flint Jewish Intelligence Maj. Gen. Aharon
Vetnco ELECTRONIC
Community Council executive di- Yariv misled the cabinet before the
GARAGE DOOR
Six-Day War by exaggerating
rector, also was present.
OPENER
Egyptian strength and intentions. '

As the result of a movement
among a younger element of
Jewish Center workers meeting
in the conference—the "Waldorf
Caucus"—a new group was cre-
ated: the National Association
for Jewish Community Person.
nel.
Center personnel who have been
in the field less than three years
will now assume a more active role
in the formulation of policy.

Shamgar published his opinion at
the request of Gen. Dayan, who
had asked if libel action was justi-
fied. Premier Golda Meir rebutted
the charge and dissociated herself
from the implications of Gilboa's
allegations which appeared in a
book.
Shamgar said there was no need

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The Waldorf Caucus strongly
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tion of Jewish Center Workers con-
cern itself with such questions as
the quality of Jewish education,
structure of communal fund rais-
ing, synagogue practices and the
quality of lay leadership. •
At an evening of entertainment,
Theodore Bikel, actor and folk
singer, urged all Jewish communal
workers to make "Jewish culture
your prime concern above anything
else . . . Building buildings is
meaningless without people. We
are engaged in that kind of idiocy.
Forget about form, and concen-
trate on content." Ida Kaminska,
former head of the Yiddish State
Theater in Poland. delivered a
monologue at that cultural evening.

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More than 75 meetings, insti-
tutes, workshops and other sessions
during the four-day NCJCS con-
ference covered the full spectrum
of Jewish communal services and
programs.
A number of Detroiters took
part in conference sessions, includ-
ing Alan Kandel, director of plan-
ning and budgeting for the Jewish
Welfare Federation and vice pres-
ident of the Association of Jewish
Community Relations Workers;
Prof. Robert Kestenbaum of the
Wayne State University psychology
department. whose topic was "The
Dying Aged Among Us;" Armand
Lauffer, assistant professor in the
University of Michigan school of
social work; and Joshua Geller, of
the United Hebrew Schools faculty,
who delivered a paper on "Ado-
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Attitudes as Related to Student AL
tendance in Communal, Congrega-
tional, Day and Public Schools."
Samuel Cohen, assistant director
of Federation, served as chairman
of the latter session.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8—Friday, June 6, 1969

Communal Workers Urge War on Poverty

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