Convention of Jewish Educators Discusses Inter-racial Understanding

Educators of American Reform Judaism were urged today to intensify their religious educational programs and to assume leadership, through the religious school, in creating greater understanding and better relationships among peoples of different ethnic, religious, and racial groups.

Addressing the five-day annual convention of the National Federation of Temple Educators, Dr. Norman Drachler of Detroit, the organization’s president, told the delegates that “one of the most serious problems facing the religious educator is putting into practice not only by word, but through deed, the teachings of the Jewish heritage which are concerned with social justice for all individuals.”

“In America,” he continued, “this means schools with equal educational opportunity for each child, decent homes for all our citizens, and fair employment practices for every one. These achievements will in themselves be empty, so long as people of different racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds are separated by artificial boundaries and geographic divisions.”

The Educators are an affiliate of the Union of American threw Congregations.

Dr. Drachler said recent studies predict that, in the next 15 years, more than 50 percent of the population in large metropolitan cities will be comprised of Negro citizens. This specifically includes northern communities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit, and others. “Since Jews are mostly located in large metropolitan areas they must, in cooperation with church, communal and particularly Negro groups, take positive steps to realize the hopes of building a democratically integrated community,” he stated.

Pointing to the vast development of suburban areas in the past decade, he noted that “there are many values to suburban living. It is dangerous, however, lest it become a temporary safety valve as an escape from facing up to the issue of integration that challenge us in cities today.”

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