Lake Placid, N. Y. (Jun. 16)
The growth of American Jewry will be at a greatly decelerated tempo in the next few decades, eventually ceasing altogether.
This was predicted today in the presidential report submitted by William Pinsker, president of the National Association of Jewish Center Executives, to the conference of the Association taking place here.
“American Jewry,” Mr. Pinsker said, “can no longer count upon accessions of strength from the old reservoirs of Europe. It must seek from within itself the solutions to the problems of survival which it faces.
“The time is coming, Mr. Pinsker continued, “when direction will be as greatly needed as action, and it will be necessary to consciously motivate changes rather than merely adapt ourselves to them as they occur. The Jewish Center will be called upon to take a more aggressive stand on many questions than it has hitherto been requested to take.”
SEES NEUTRALITY ENDING
Pointing out that the Jewish Center has worked mightily as an instrument for the preservation of Jewish life, rather than as an agency of assimilation, Mr. Pinsker emphasized that in the major conflicts which are dividing American and Jewish communities into opposing camps, the Jewish Center is neutral.
“The time will come, however,” Mr. Pinsker warned, “when neutrality will become extremely difficult; when a middle-of-the-road position will mean standing stillâ€”where one road will lead to survival and another to disintegration, we shall be called upon to choose which road to follow.”
The problem of the American Jewish school system came up for discussion at the National Council for Jewish Education which is meeting here simultaneously with the National Conference of Jewish Social Service and the National Association of Jewish Center Executives.
Nathan Brilliant, Jewish educator of Cleveland, said that the interest now displayed in the work of the Jewish Sunday school is encouraging. The Sunday school, he reported, is rapidly attracting a greater number of children to it and holds its children for a much longer time than any Talmud Torah.
Israel Konowitz, veteran Hebrew pedagogue of New York City, read a critical and stimulating paper on the achievements of the daily Hebrew School in America.
Reports were also rendered at the meeting by Zvi Scharfstein, noted Hebrew educator, Ben Rosen of Philadelphia, Dr. Samuel Dinin, Dr. Barnett R. Brickner and Dr. Louis L. Kaplan of Philadelphia.
An interesting report was rendered by A. P. Schoolman of New York regarding the establishment of a Department of Education at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Mr. Schoolman expressed his satisfaction with the response which this project has received in America.