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B’nai B’rith President Urges U.S. Jews to Activate Jewish Education

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Jewish parents were urged today to “fill the cultural gap between youth and senility” by applying to themselves some of the standards of Jewish education they propose for their youth.

“The emerging culture of American Jewry will advance more rapidly if the present adult generation will try nourishing with something more than a vagarious acceptance of responsibility through the experiences of its children,” Philip M. Klutznick, president of B’nai B’rith, said here in a speech to 1,200 delegates at the 90th annual convention of B’nai B’rith District 6.

A “one-sided emphasis which places the destiny of our cultural survival in the hands of Jewish youth is a case of passing the buck to that generation,” Mr. Klutznick declared. He said that the same “mistaken attitude” is directed toward the State of Israel by many American Jews. “Israel’s existence increases the status and dignity of American Jews,” he stated. “But it is negligent to identify her as the guarantee of our own community’s cultural survival. That responsibility is exclusively our own.”

Declaring that the “learning process is not an exclusive mandate of youth but a continuing effort intended to last a lifetime,” Mr. Klutznick recommended “a lot more cultural self-enlightenment” for Jewish parents. “This could be the strongest motivating force for expanding the cultural and education facilities for Jewish youth–the problem we’re always talking about,” he said.

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