Education Group Gets Proposals to Improve Relations with South American Jews

A "good neighbor program" to cement relations between the Jowish community of the United States and the more than 500,000 Jews in South America, and to aid South American Jewish communities in the development of  their educational and cultural activities, was recommended today to the Plan and Scope committee of the American Association for Jewish Education meeting here. The proposal was made by Dr. Aharon Kessler, director of community services and consultation for ## Association, in a report on his recently-completed survey tour of five major South American countries.

Dr. Kossler, who studied Jewish educational and cultural activities in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru on behalf of the Association and the World Zionist organization, declared that the Jewish communities in South America have many serious ## exaggerated misconceptions about Jewish life in the United States. "They grossly underestimate the extent of anti-Semitism in the United States," he said, "and are completely misinformed about the vigor and scope of our community life. As a result, ## natural affinity between Jewish communities on the American continent, faced with ## similar problems and with almost identical aims, is beclouded and prevented from expressing itself."In a series of recommendations aimed at the creation of a bridge between the communities, Dr. Kossler proposed that a "Voice of American Jewry" program, similar to the Voice of America, be created to provide South American Jewish periodicals and other organs with clear, accurate and sustained information on Jewish life in the United States. He also suggested a program of systematic iterchange of personnel in ## religious, educational and social service fields between U.S. and South American Jewish communities, and the provision of opportunities for South American community functionaries to study at universities in the United States.Jewish education in the countries he visited, Dr. Kessler stated, is characterized by uniformly low enrollment, less than 25 percent of the children of any Jewish community being registered in the Jewish schools. The curriculum of these schools, he said, is largely ethnic and cultural in emphasis, rather than religious.

Dr. Kessler recommended a program of assistance, including the preparation of educational materials such as texts and audio-visual aids, in Spanish, Portuguese, Yiddish and Hebrew, training opportunities for teachers in the United States and in Israel and periodic visits by U.S. exports in Jewish education to lecture at Jewish teacher-training institutions in South America.