American Mizrachi Convention Opens; Hears Greetings from Eisenhower

The 35th annual national convention of the Mizrachi Organization of America opened here last night with a message from President Eisenhower extending greetings to the delegates which emphasized that the program of religious education conducted by the Mizrachi organization “helps to hasten the day when human dignity and wisdom and understanding, preached by the prophets of Israel, will be respected throughout the world.”

The opening session was the scene of a mass prayer for peace in the Middle East, spiritual strength for Israel, and the continued recovery of President Eisenhower. Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, Mizrachi president, appealed to the President to take action to circumvent “the Jews’ new enemies” from carrying through the extermination which Hitler began. He also declared that Israel was in greater danger of becoming another Munich, rather than another Korea. He charged that “certain elements” in the State Department are blocking the United States from supplying effective aid to or concluding a security agreement with Israel.

Meanwhile, the Mizrachi National Education Committee’s 16th annual conference here heard a report that the number of Jewish day schools in the United States had increased by 750 percent in the past 15 years. The growth of the day school system, it was reported, was most notable in suburban areas. But a warning was sounded that an acute shortage of teachers, both Hebrew and secular, now threatens the entire day school movement.

Speaking to more than 200 principals, teachers and lay leaders, Isidor Margolis, executive director of the Committee, said that “we are witness to a complete revolution in day school education.” He pointed out that the schools were no longer restricted to one geographic area and that “in every region of the United States yeshivot are functioning.” He added that the growth of the movement was no miracle, but rather the result of careful planning.

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