Approves of Teaching News in Schools

Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn comments in the Sentinel, a Chicago weekly, on Mr. Rudavsky’s suggestion that study of Jewish current events be introduced into the curriculum of Jewish schools in America. He writes:

Mr. David Rudavsky, one of the leading Jewish educators in New York City, contributed an interesting article to a recent issue of the Jewish Daily Bulletin in which he advocates strongly the introduction of current events into the curriculum of the Jewish school. After outlining in detail his argument, Mr. Rudavsky clinches it by saying:

“Jewish current events provide a natural avenue of approach to Jewish life. It introduces the pupil to the vital problems confronting the Jewish group; it helps develop that understanding and that appreciation of Jewish activities and movements which may eventually lead to participation. Jewish current events thus serve as an important and effective socializing agency in Jewish education and help integrate the child in Jewish life.”

While Mr. Rudavsky’s logic is patent and cogent it has been overlooked to a large extent in American Israel. There are many Jewish homes where a Jewish periodical does not gain admission. It is particularly tragic to realize that the residents of such homes have in numerous instances aspirations for leadership in Jewish organizations. How can anyone do anything for his people without being fully informed on current Jewish affairs?

The Jewish periodical is much more than a private enterprise; it is a powerful communal agency. It forms a necessary adjunct particularly to the synagogue and reaches into places where the voice of the Rabbi, for one reason or another, is not heard. We can never have a responsive Jewish community without an aggressive and healthy Jewish press.

Those who are interested in the perpetuation of Judaism on these shores must therefore do their share towards the greater popularization of the Jewish periodical. It is especially advisable to interest the rising generation in reading the Jewish weekly and to discuss with them its contents regularly. This simple process will make for Jewish knowledge and Jewish loyalty.

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