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American Jewish Congress Announces Plans to Intensify Cultural Program

The American Jewish Congress will seek funds this year to intensify its Jewish cultural program, officials indicated today at the organization’s national biennial convention here. Paul H. Vishny, of Chicago, chairman of the convention committee on Jewish affairs, said plans were also being drawn for a broad program of research studies on Jewish intermarriage, Jewish family life and Jewish family structure.

Another program will call for “in-depth exploration of Jewish values in their historic and contemporary relationship to American Jewish life.” Under this heading, the Congress will extend to major Jewish communities throughout the country its series of conferences on Jewish values–previously held only in New York–on such issues as Jewish roots of social action; Jewish writers and readers; and Jewish values and experiences.

At the same time, the AJC will intensify its program of publication and distribution of books, records and films to provide “critically needed tools of teaching and learning for American Jewish adults. ” He declared: “It is essential that the American Jewish Congress give leadership to larger numbers of affiliated and unaffiliated American Jews in their search for positive Jewish values; for proud, secure, total Jewish identification; and for the great task of bringing back large numbers of disaffected Jewish intellectuals, professionals and students to a meaningful and stimulating personal Judaism.”

He said that the AJC hoped to work with “the many institutions and instruments of Jewish life that can and should be linked to and involved in the program. ” He warned that “there is mounting evidence which points toward a weakening of the fabric of Jewish identity, Jewish community and Jewish cultural survival on the American scene To meet this problem, we of the American Jewish Congress pledge redoubled efforts to expand the work of our commission on Jewish affairs.”

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