KIAMESHA LAKE, N. Y. (Jun. 17)
The American Jewish community was urged last night to shed its “cultural amnesia” by energizing programs of “study and creative Jewish living.”
Label A. Katz, of New Orleans, national president of B’nai B’rith, told the 1, 750 delegates attending the 107th annual convention of B’nai B’rith’s District One, here, that in its own “characteristics and uniqueness,” American Jewry can avert any threats to its cultural survival “and find satisfaction and fulfillment in its own Jewishness.”
Making his first public address since his election at B’nai B’rith’s international convention in Jerusalem, two weeks ago, Mr. Katz said it was “a false notion that Jewish life in America must revolve as a cultural satellite of Israel. “This same view, he added, is expressed by “far-sighted leaders of Israel.”
Mr. Katz also took issue with “misguided iconoclasts who argue for a creative Jewish life in America that excludes any unity of purpose between the Jews of America and those of Israel.” He recommended widespread encouragement of the teaching and use of modern Hebrew as the cultural language of Jews throughout the world.
Proposing that Jewish groups adopt practical means of Jewish education for both youth and adults, “as a primary step toward Jewish creativity,” he warned that “Jewish heritage cannot be treated as a hand-me-down from one generation to the next. It is a living, growing process in which each generation must leave its imprint and contribution.”