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American Religious Convention Discusses Shortage of Teachers

Prominent Jewish educators issued a sharp warning here today that the development of American Jewish life was facing a serious treat by the lack of religious educational teachers.

Speakers, addressing more than 1,000 delegates attending the convention of the newly-established American Religious Zionist Organization, composed of the Mizrachi and Hapoel Hamizrachi, emphasized that the dearth of competent teachers for the Jewish schools is so great that it is threatening a breakdown of the existing Jewish all-day schools and afternoon and evening schools.

Isidor Margolis, executive director of the National Education Committee of the new group, laid particular emphasis on the teacher shortage. He asserted: “Even if all the present students in the Jewish teachers institutes throughout the country should enter the teaching profession, they would only supply less than 50 percent of the demand.” He estimated that there are at the present time some 225 day schools devoted to a curriculum of religious and secular studies in the United States.

Rabbi Solomon J. Sharfman, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, which embraces 700 Orthodox rabbis, hailed the merger of the Hapoel Hamizrachi and the Mizrachi groups into a united front. “The unity in Orthodoxy will help to strengthen the religious Jewish community in the United States which represents the largest part of world Jewry,” he said.

Jacob Greenberg, Deputy Speaker of Israel’s Parliament, emphasized the need of the United Nations to achieve an immediate peace settlement between Israel and the Arab states, warning at the same time that failure would ultimately lead to world-wide hostilities. He called attention to Israel’s adherence to democratic ideals and principles and its strategic position as a democratic citadel in the Middle East.

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