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Israel May Lose Its Occidental Standards if Education is Retarded, Professor Warns

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“Educational development must not be retarded in Israel–even during the present crisis–if the Jewish state is to remain an occidental country with high standards, and not become another Syria or Lebanon,” Prof. Eliezer Rieger, chairman of the School of Education at the Hebrew University declared here at the closing session of the six-day annual meeting of the national board of directors of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Prof. Rieger pointed out that a very large percentage of the population in Israel is now composed of Jews from Oriental countries. He also declared that “the four separate educational systems in Israel–two religious, one labor and one general in orientation–constitute a menace to a free society.” He said that the School of Education which is outside these divisions, is attempting to counteract the use of education as a political instrument. He lauded the support given by the National Council of Jewish Women to the School of Education.

The meeting adopted a budget of $625,000 for the 1950-51 fiscal year–the largest in the organization’s 57-year history. Mrs. Irving M. Engel, president of the Council, reported that the organization now has 94,000 members and 240 local sections throughout the country. The work of the Council in aiding Jewish DP’s reaching the United States was praised by Albert Lieberman of Philadelphia, chairman of the board of the United Service for New Americans.

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