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Jewish Youth Conference Told to Build Jewish Culture in U.S.

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“The overwhelming majority of Jewish young people in this country will spend their lives in the United States; here there is the challenge both of America and of Jewry, ” Dr. Emanuel Gamoran, education director of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, told the 6th annual assembly of the National Jewish Youth Conference which is being held at Cejwin Camps, near here.

“On the American scene,” Dr. Gamoran said, “the Jewish young people wish to participate with their fellow citizens in helping all Americans to live the good life; on the Jewish scene they wish to enable their fellow beings as well as themselves to be happy men and women. It becomes their task to help build an indigenous Jewish culture in America. The development of an American Jewish life that is worthy, that is full of dignity and nobility, is one of the primary tasks of young people.”

Seldon M. Kruger, chairman of the National Jewish Youth Conference, told the assembly that Communism and McCarthyism are “twin foes of freedom.” The methods used by both the Communists and McCarthyism are identical, he said. “They drape themselves in the cloak of freedom, “he asserted, “but they cynically destroy the soul and spirit of the freedom whose name they invoke. “They avow respect for religion, but stamp ruthlessly underfoot all standards of morality; they threaten to subject to their inquisitions even the clergy. They are, in short, the arrogant and the absolute, who sit in solemn judgment on the loyalty and morality of their fellow citizens, all unhumbled by the sheer effrontery of such a usurpation of conscience and God.”

The Conference today voted to reorganize itself into a nation-wide youth body of more than 300 local and regional Jewish youth and young adult councils. The Conference, which is sponsored by the National Jewish Welfare Board, has for the past five years represented not only the local and regional councils, but also ten national Jewish youth organizations.

The reason for the move, which becomes effective October 1, 1953, is that the JWB, sole sponsor of the Conference since its beginning in 1948, felt that representative national adult Jewish organization with youth programs should co-sponsor such an all-inclusive body. Since these national organizations did not agree to co-sponsor the Conference at this time and JWB was financially unable to continue sole sponsorship of a conference including both youth councils and national organizations, it suggested that the Conference re-constitute itself.

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