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Chief Rabbi Urges Formation of an American-israel Torah Corps

Chief Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman of Israel today called for the “establishment of a Joint American-Israel Torah Corps to help spiritually undernourished and underdeveloped countries in Europe, South America, and Asia to maintain the basic values, ideals and rituals of historic and traditional Judaism.”

Speaking at a dinner of the Religious Zionists of America, the Chief Rabbi told the 1,000 assembled guests that the need for help is urgent if far-off Jewish communities in Europe, South America and Asia are to survive spiritually. He appealed to the leaders of religious Jewry in the United States “to cooperate with Israel in the setting up of the necessary machinery to implement the concept of a mutual Torah Corps patterned along the ideas of American and European Peace Corps operations.”

“The Torah Corps, he said, “should take on the character of a vanguard and pioneer in disseminating the concepts and ideals of traditional Judaism in every area of the Jewish world which is handicapped by a dearth of competent educated and learned individuals in communal life.”

Rabbi Mordecai Kirshblum, president of the Religious Zionists of America, berated “those narrow minded and short-sighted Americans who have conjured up the false image and bogeyman of dual loyalty.” He said that “there is no conflict or incompatibility whatsoever between the goals of Zionism and the democratic ideology of pluralism which characterizes American ways and beliefs.”

He also urged the government of Germany to recall those German scientists who are aiding Egypt to launch an attack on Israel. No government is powerless to prevent its own citizens from performing in a manner which will bring about serious international complications such as a rocket and missile assault on a free and innocent nation like Israel,” he said.

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