Primacy of Jewish Education Recognized by All Jews in United States

The primacy of Jewish education is recognized by all elements of American Jewry, a study published today by the Institute for Jewish Affairs of the World Jewish Congress, establishes.

The study shows that over 200 Jewish school buildings have been erected during the past few years. Enrollment in Jewish schools has risen to 350,000, as contrasted with only 240,000 in 1947. The number of all-day schools reached approximately 170 during 1954, with a total enrollment of over 30,000 students. As of October, 1954, Hebrew was included in the language program of 71 secondary schools in 12 American cities.

In Mexico, which has the finest Jewish educational system qualitatively and quantitatively of all Latin American countries, the Jewish School of Mexico City celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1954 by introducing several progressive innovations, the study reports. There was no perceptible growth in Jewish education in European countries during 1954, but significant gains were recorded in New Zealand and South Africa, it points out.

An important development in Jewish education in the United States during the past year, the survey indicates, is the application of audio-visual aids to Jewish education, both on the juvenile and adult level. The production of film and tape recordings increased considerably during 1954.

Turning to literature, scholarship and publications, the study notes that Hebrew literature has its natural center in Israel, and the demand for Hebrew books in 1954 was greater than ever before. Israel now has about 60 publishing houses. Of the books being published, approximately 60 percent are translations from foreign languages, and the balance are original works.

Commenting on developments in the realm of Yiddish literature, the report declares that output was “quite good with regard to quantity; however, the number of books of great literary value was rather small.” The Yiddish theatre continued its decline not only in the United States, but also in Argentina, Brazil and Europe.

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