Claims ‘top Priority’ for Jewish Education As Most Important Problem

Jewish education should receive top priority in Jewish communal programs, in allocation of funds and in “the mobilization of our efforts,” Dr. Nahum Goldmann, world Jewish leader, told the opening session today of the World Conference on Jewish Education.

“Thanks to the upbuilding of Israel, Jewish education is today our most important problem,” he said. “Fighting anti-Semitism and giving relief is important but the consolidation of Jewish education is even more vital.”

He described the purpose of the conference, which is being attended by educators and Jewish leaders from all parts of the free world, as two-fold: “To draw the attention of the Jewish communities to the central role of education in our lives and to find solutions to the problems of Jewish education.”

He said that the traditional forces of Jewish life which had spurred Jewish education “have broken down for many Jews. We therefore have to find new content for Jewish education, based on Jewish culture and Jewish religion which can be significant to the new generation and to find ways to bring these values to the members of that generation.”

Another unsolved problem, he told the delegates, was that “the new civilization” represented by Israel must have a key role in the development of Jewish education programs.

Mrs. Rose Halprin, member of the Jewish Agency executive, said there had been a growing realization that only a Jewishly literate Jewish youth could ensure the continuity of the Jewish people. She said the task of the conference was to develop a program of Jewish education which would meet the needs of all who believed in the unity of the Jewish people and in its great contributions to the world’s cultural life.

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