Jewish Religious Textbooks Found Lacking Information on Nazi Era

The Jewish Community Relations Council here today reported that a study of textbooks used by Jewish religious schools in Philadelphia showed that students there have very little awareness and understanding of the Hitler era and the full meaning of Nazism and the swastika. As a result, the JCRC will seek to produce a study guide or textbook supplement for use in Jewish religious schools, I. David Pincus, JCRC leader, announced.

“In light of the rise of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and in Argentina, the recent Eichmann trial in Israel and the current trials of former Nazi leaders in Germany, and the issues involving extremism in our country, it is most important that our youth have a full knowledge and understanding of the ravages suffered by Jews and all mankind in the past two decades as a result of Fascism, Nazism and all other forms of totalitarianism setting up race against race and religion against religion, ” declared Mr, Pincus.

“If our youth are to help achieve a society where human rights and human dignity are enjoyed by all regardless of race, religion or ethnic origin, they must have an awareness of the discrimination, persecution and vilification and other unconscionable wrongs perpetrated against the Jews,” he added.

In addition to a local study guide on the subject, Mr. Pincus said that the results of the JCRC study of how the Hitler period is treated in textbooks used by Jewish religious schools will be brought to the attention of all national Jewish religious bodies, community relations agencies and the American Association of Jewish Education.

Robert K. Greenfield, JCRC president, commended the subcommittee of local educators, religious and community relations officials, who conducted the exhaustive study and analysis of the principal textbooks used in Jewish religious schools. Chairman of the study committee was Dr. William K. Labritz, education director of the Board of Jewish Education of the United Synagogue of America.

Other members of the committee included Dr. Elazar Goelman, Dean of Gratz College; Rabbi Meir Lasker, representing the Board of Rabbis; Dr. Meir Ben-Horin, professor of education at Dropsie College; Dr. Edwin Rcthman, for the American Jewish Committee; Leon Levenson, for the Jewish Labor Committee; Stanton W. Kratzok, for Brith Sholom; David J. Dean, for American Jewish Congress; Mrs, Samuel Drasin, for B’nai B’rith; and Mrs. Leonard Liss, for the Hebrew Sunday School Society.

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