Jewish Communities in Italy Hold Two-day Conference on Education

Jewish communities throughout Italy were called upon here today to intensify their efforts to seek means of support for Jewish education by the time the education subsidies furnished by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany are terminated next year.

Addressing a two-day conference on educational problems convened by the Educational and Cultural Department of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, Renzo Levi, vice-president of the Union, said that it was 20 years since the end of the war in Italy and “the majority of the communities should be ready to pay for their schools.”

In a report to the conference, Dr. Augusto Segre, head of the Education Department of the Union, said that the number of pupils in Italian Jewish schools had increased by 15 percent in the past three years to a total of 2,856. He said, however, that the Italian Jewish community was still not aware of the importance of instilling Jewish values in the new generation.

Rabbi Elio Toaff, chief rabbi of Rome, proposed that the scope of the Rabbinical College here be enlarged to serve as a Higher Institute of Jewish Studies to instruct not only future rabbis but all Jews wishing to engage in Jewish studies. Rabbi Toaff also urged that future rabbis round out their training by spending a year in Israel.

The conference delegates, which included rabbis, educators and communal representatives, adopted a number of resolutions aimed at improving the conditions of the Jewish schools and teachers and raising standards.

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