“As Jews we have to know what’s wrong with Jewish life and how we can help to set it right,” declared Professor Mordecai Kaplan, dean of the Jewish Theological Seminary Institute and the Israel Friedlander classes, at the third annual opening of classes last night.
“The purpose of youth and adult education should be to learn what’s wrong with the world and what’s to be done to set it right,” said Dr. Kaplan. “As Jews we have to know what’s wrong with Jewish life and how we can help to set it right. We were never in such a predicament as we are in today.
“We are caught between the devil of Fascism and the deep sea of Marxism. The Fascists want to destroy the Jews and the Marxists want to destroy Judaism. Taking the cue from the Fascists, our rich Jewish assimilators decry all Jewish cultural and social activity as unpatriotic. Taking the cue from the Marxists our proletarian Jewish associations condemn Jewish religion as an obstacle to a classless society.
“We must therefore achieve a formula for Jewish living that will give us the courage to combat the selfish and bigoted nationalism preached by Gentile and Jewish Fascists and the materialism and hopeless class division preached by Gentile and Jewish Marxists.
“We must also develop a program of Jewish communal life which will look toward a cooperative nationalism and an economic system based on service instead of profit. Only thus can we provide our Jewish youth with a sense of purpose in being Jews and convince them of Judaism’s power to elicit the best that is in them.”