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August 10, 1979 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-08-10

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Friday, August 10, 1979

Experts Disagree on New York's Jewish Population

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increase its holdings of
State of Israel five-year
notes to $4 million.

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The Jewish population in
New York may be losing its
political clout. At least this
is the opinion of Jack
Diamond, a statistician spe-
cializing in Jewish demog-
raphy. Diamond feels that a
loss of political influence
may accompany a declining"
number of Jewish house-
holds and Jewish voters.


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York area are afraid to be-
come "visible" members of
the Jewish community for
fear of being considered
pariahs by American
Zionists. Diamond feels
these Israelis are "not a
major factor affecting the
Jewish popula-
tion."Diamond dwells a
great deal on the composi-
tion of the Jewish commu-
nity. He finds that as of the
Diamond is also highly National Jewish Population
critical of the methodology Survey (NJPS) of 1970-
used for calculating the
1971, New York's Jews
numbers of Jews in various were disproportionally
communities reported in aged, and included far more
the American Jewish Year elderly citizens in relation
Book, published annually to other ethnic groups.
by the American Jewish Jewish youth has declined,
Committee and the Jewish too. For many years,
Publication Society of Diamond notes, Jews have
America. Diamond warns had a lower birth rate than
that misleading reportage other segments of the popu-
on the Jewish community is
actually at, cross-purposes , lation.
to the organizations that
sponsor the Year Book, be-
cause losses to membership
and in fundraising will not
be anticipated.

One reason, he says, is
that higher levels of educa-
tion among Jews corre-
sponds to a greater aware-
ness of birth control
methods and the Jewish
population's responsiveness
to the call for "zero popula-
tion growth." Jews also tend
to marry later than non-
Jews, and a great many
households in New York
City are "singles" — includ-
ing widows and widowers.

The New York City
area contains the largest
Jewish population in the
world. A center of Jewish
cultural and religious
life, Diamond believes
that New York's Jewish
population now hovers at
only 750,000. Critics of
Diamond say that he does
not account for large
numbers of Jews in Nas-
sau. Suffolk and
Westchester Counties, as
well as those in northern
New Jersey, which bring
the number to two mil-
Ehrenhalt maintains
that the New York met-
ropolitan area is still "the
heartland of American
Jewry" and that we are "se-
eing a golden age in New
York City" in terms of the
degree of commitment and
identification with Jewish
life. Feldstein also notes
that a great many Israeli
immigrants in the New

Camp David framework
and the (Egyptian-Israeli)
peace signing."

Diamond disagrees with
the findings of Dr. Donald
Feldstein, executive direc-
tor for Community Services
of the Federation of Jewish
Philanthropies, and Samuel
Ehrenhalt, deputy regional
commissioner, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, both of
whom said they believed the
figure to be substantially
higher than Diamond's.

Diamond counts the
high rate of intermar-
riage and conversion out
of Judaism as responsi-
ble for the rapid demog-
raphic changes visible
throughout all American
Jewry. Without adequate
and up-to-date account-
ing of the population, the
effectiveness of Jewish

organizations' outcries
against assimilation will
be greatly diminished,
Diamond warns. Felds-
tein, however, observes
that federation efforts
are now being aimed at
the intermarriage prob-
Diamond feels that his
figures should have an ef-
fect on the way Jewish
organizations plan their
programs. A smaller and
more dispersed community
calls for new approaches by
Jewish groups, he said.
Diamond adds that for the
Jews who remain in the
New York metropolitan
area, a new "theology or a
philosophy to buoy their
spirits" in light of dwindling
numbers of synagogues and
community institutions, is

State Dept. Denies Charges U.S.
Is Changing M.E. Plans for Oil




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The State Department
strongly rejected charges in
the United States and Israel
that the U.S. was changing
its policy in the Middle East
in order to ensure continued
supplies of oil from Saudi
Arabia and other Arab oil-
producing countries.
Department spokesman
Tom Reston also denied that
the U.S. was trying to
"tamper' with or change"
United Nations Security
Council Resolution 242 to
meet Arab demands that
references to Palestinian
rights be included.
"Oil is not a controlling
factor — it is in no way
linked to our policy in the
Middle East," Reston said.
"It has been repeated
over and over again by
Ambassador Robert
Strauss, (President Car-
ter's special envoy for
Middle East negotia-
tions), and Assistant Sec-
retary of State Harold
Saunders, in a recent
statement, emphasizing
the U.S. is not doing any-
thing in the negotiations
based on our needs for
Reston noted that
Strauss, Saunders and
other Administration offi-
cials have repeatedly de-
nied reports that the U.S.
agreed to change its posi-
tions on the Palestinians in
return for Saudi Arabia's
promise last month of in-
creased oil production. That
accusation was reported as
fact this week by Time
The department spokes-
man reiterated that the
U.S. has not changed its pol-
icy on the Palestine Libera-
tion Organization and that
"there has been no change
or shift in the U.S. policy of
close friendship and firm
support of Israel."
stressed that "the United
States is not engaged in any
effort to tamper with or
change Resolution 242 of
the UN. In fact, that resolu-
tion remains the basis of our
Middle East Efforts, the

Reston noted that the
U.S is "engaged in the
debate on the issue of
Palestinian rights" at the
Security Council. We
are still int he process of
determining what our
position will be in that
debate which resumes on
Aug. 23. We are in close
contact with the state of
Israel and other coun-
tries about the debate."
Reston said the U.S. had
not decided what its posi-
tion will be on any resolu-
tion that is presented to the
Security Council, "except to
say that the U.S. position on
the PLO remains un-
changed." The U.S. has
been reported as ready to
support a resolution that
would change resolution
242 to include support for
Palestinian rights in hopes
that this will persuade the
PLO to support Resolution

242, including the pro-
visions affirming Israel's
right to exist.
In reaction to this, the Is-
raeli Cabinet on Sunday
adopted a strong resolution
rejecting any change in 242
and declaring that Israel
will never agree to negotia-
tions with the PLO. The
resolution was forwarded to
Washington and Israeli
Ambassador Ephraim
Evron was expected to dis-
cuss it with President Car-
ter Wednesday at the White
House. Evron had already
discussed it with Vance and
Reston said that U.S. "Ef-
forts are directed toward
pushing forward the process
laid out at Camp David by
all three leaders," Carter,
Israeli Premier Menahem
Begin and Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat. He
said Strauss will be return-
ing to the Middle East Aug.
18-20 "toncontinue the
process we have been
engaged in."

Nazi Dies in Dutch Pirson

Joseph Kotaella, one of
three Nazi war criminals
still imprisoned in Holland,
died at Breda prison last
week at the age of 71.
A German by birth, he
was, as deputy commandant
of the Amersfoort concen-
tration camp during World
War II, responsible for mass
murder and countless other
Kotaella was sentenced to
death after the war for the
murders of 77 camp in-
mates. In 1951 his sentence
was commuted to life im-
prisonment on grounds that
he was not mentally compe-
In 1971, the Dutch gov-
ernment announced its
intention to free him and
three other war criminals
for humanitarian rea-
sons in consideration of
their poor health. Only
one, Willy Lages, was re-
leased and died soon af-
terwards. Nationwide
protests forced the gov-

eminent to abandon its
plan. Kotaella had been
partially paralyzed for
several years.
The surviving war crimi-
nals still at Breda are Fer-
dinand aus der Fuenten and
Frantz Fischer who were in
charge of the deportation of
Jews from Amsterdam and
The Hague, respectively,
during the war.

Hungarian Rabbi

Visits PGEserm(
Chief Rabbi Dr.
Odon Singer returned here
Monday from an official
visit to the Leipzig Jewish
The visit, during which
he conducted religious serv-
ices, as "strengthening rela-
tions between the Hunga-
rian and the East German
Rabbi Singer also lec-
tured at the Calvinist
Cathedral where he was
welcomed by the Leipzig
University Choir.

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