Dr. Goldmann Reviews Problems Facing Jewry; Stresses Situation in Russia
Menu JTA Search

Dr. Goldmann Reviews Problems Facing Jewry; Stresses Situation in Russia

Download PDF for this date

Problems facing the Jews of the present generation were reviewed tonight by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the Jewish Agency, addressing 2,500 delegates and guests assembled at the 44th national convention of the Hadassah held here. Dr. Goldmann said that Jewry today must find a solution to three outstanding problems.

“The one concerns the millions of Jews in the Eastern European countries, primarily in the Soviet Union,” Dr. Goldmann stated. “Here are three to three and a half million Jews, the largest section of European Jewry which has survived the Nazi period and which has to be saved as an active part of Jewish life in the future. The problem of these Jewish communities is not one of anti-Semitism in the usual sense. They are not threatened by persecution. But they are, especially in the Soviet Union, discriminated against as a minority and don’t have the facilities for their own Jewish life which minorities enjoy.

“There is no greater task for the Jewish people than to use all its influence to get the Soviet Union to offer the Jewish communities the possibility of living as Jews religiously and culturally and also to allow those who want to go to Israel to do so, “Dr. Goldmann declared.

“The second problem concerns the task of securing Jewish survival and preventing assimilation and disintegration of the young generation,” he continued. “This is the central problem of the Jewish communities in the free world. It is no more anti-Semitism as decades ago but the danger of internal disintegration and of indifference. Development of Jewish life and above all of Jewish education in many forms is the number one problem of the Jewish communities in the Western world. It has to receive top priority in Jewish life as against philanthropical and welfare activities.

“The problem of securing Jewish survival is closely tied up with the position of Israel in Jewish life,” Dr. Goldmann pointed out. “Israel will have to become after the destruction of the great Jewish cultural centers in central and Eastern Europe in the Nazi period the new source of Jewish values and Jewish spiritual development. The relationship between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora will have to become more and more one of give and take, of mutual influences. The Jewish communities in the world, in the second decade of Israel’s existence will have to make even greater efforts than they have done in the first decade to enable Israel to solve the tremendous problem political, economic and social which lie ahead.

“On the other hand, Israel will have to contribute more and more to the spiritual and cultural life of Diaspora Jewries and it will require real statesmanship and great constructive efforts both on behalf of Israel and the Diaspora in order to create the methods and the patterns for this mutual relationship which represents a unique problem for the Jewish people in this period of Jewish history,” Dr. Goldmann concluded.


Dr. Kalman J. Mann, director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel, told the convention that Israel mist still solve vital problems of public health if it is to integrate successfully tens of thousands of new immigrants, especially those from the Oriental countries. He declared that public health problems now evident in Israel stem either front environment or the people and may affect the individual, the family or the community, originating in physical, emotional or social causes.

“In order to attempt to solve these problems, we need an awareness of them on the part of the medical profession,” he said. “We need more workers–specialists in the public health field. And we need an awareness on the part of communities concerning their responsibilities toward their own health.

“It is because of this that Hadassah is adapting its regional community health services so that they may be utilized by the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem in training undergraduates in the essentials of social medicine and public health as well as for the post-graduate training of workers in these fields, “he stated. “Furthermore, Hadassah has created community and family health centers where physical emotional and social causes of disease can be handled and where responsibility for health has been widened to include not only the individual but also the family and community.”

Moshe Kol, world head of Youth Aliyah, is ready to accept all children between the ages of 13 and years–from Morocco and the Soviet Union, or from any other country, who are in need or want to come to Israel and can secure permission from their respective governments to emigrate to Israel. Hadassah is the official representative of Youth Aliyah in the United States.

Mrs. D. Leonard Cohen, national chairman of Hadassah’s medical center committee, told the convention that the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center now being built at Kiryat Hadassah five miles west of Jerusalem, will be the focal point of cancer research in the Middle East.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund