Jewish Congress Leaders Urges U.S. Jews to Affirm Their Identity

Dr. Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, tonight urged American Jews to join the “relentless battle for equality among all men” and to affirm their identity as Jews.

Dr. Prinz told a conference of 100 American Jewish Congress leaders that American freedom offers a “magnificent opportunity for American Jews to help win justice and equal rights for all Americans regardless of race or religion.” At the same time, he said, Jews in America “in order to survive as Jews,” must commit themselves as members of an ancient people,” “proud of their Jewish heritage and determined to transmit it to the generations to come.”

Because anti-Semitism was no longer a problem of paramount concern, he said, American Jews now faced a problem not of physical survival but of “how best to assure the creative continuity of one of the oldest and noblest heritages in western civilization.” A superficial and diluted understanding of the Jewish heritage among Jewish youth and adults must be overcome by close contact with Israel “as the greatest single source of Jewish values and Jewish culture,” he said.

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