“Jewish students are beginning to think a bit more seriously of the problem growing out of their belonging to the Jewish group,” Rabbi Maurice P. Pekarsky, director of the Hillel foundation at Cornell University, said yesterday.
Rabbi Pekarsky, who graduated with high honors from the Jewish Institute of Religion last year, and who holds a degree from the University of Michigan, arrived here from Ithaca to assume his position as head of the Avukah summer school which opens Wednesday. The youthful rabbi pointed out that because of the present world conditions the Jewish student is more race conscious than at any other time.
“The early results of a seminar at Cornell,” Rabbi Pekarsky added, “proves that the Jewish students are afraid of their environment.” To allay this fear, the rabbi declares, there must be a definite affiliation on the part of the student with some powerful Jewish movement.
The head of the Avukah school was optimistic of the future. “There is a growing interest among Jewish students in Jewish life,” he declared. To the query whether there is any evidence of Nazism at Cornell, he replied, “very little.”
Discussing the Avukah summer school, he said: “The school was organized to attempt a deeper study of Zionism. It undertakes to study Zionism as a creative factor in American Jewish life.”