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Hillel Seeks to Stimulate Interest of Professors in Jewish Affairs

An intensified effort by the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations to restore the interest of Jewish college professors in Jewish community affairs has resulted in Hillel-sponsored faculty programs on 30 campuses, says a report released today by Dr. William Haber, chairman of the national Hillel commission. The report indicates these programs have been “singularly successful” in reclaiming Jewish faculty interest in Judaism.

Dr. Haber, who is a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, reported that while there is not yet an “encouraging trend” in the change of religious attitude among Jewish faculty members, there is “encouraging response” on campuses where Hillel programs have been established. He said that plans have been evolved for a series of inter-collegiate faculty seminars on a city-wide basis, which would bring together professors from different colleges and disciplines.

“These sessions will be devoted not only to discussion of Jewish issues, but to an exploration of the ways by which Jewish faculty members can identify themselves with the Jewish community and, in turn, how the Jewish community can best utilize their scholarly and intellectual skills,” Dr. Haber declared.

The first such inter-university faculty seminar was held at the Hillel House of the University of Chicago. Rabbi Benjamin M. Kahn of Washington, D.C., national Hillel director, reported that faculty members, representing ten colleges and universities in the area, were “highly enthusiastic” with the program and endorsed plans for regional and national faculty conferences.

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