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B’nai B’rith Surveys Sentiments of Jewish Youths Entering College

Fifty-five percent of Jewish boys and girls in this country who intend to go to college would be influenced in their choice of a college by the number of Jewish students and programs in such a school, a survey sponsored by the B’nai B’rith Vocational Service revealed here today.

The survey, conducted among 6, 600 Jewish youngsters affiliated with the B’nai B’rith Vocational Service, also showed that 71 percent of those who planned to go to college gave as their prime motive the desire to train for a future occupation. Engineering was the top major choice for boys, with medicine, business and law following in that order, while 30 percent of the girls planned to go into education. Approximately 75 percent of both boys and girls were interested in professional careers. In many instances, the occupational choices differed “considerably” from the occupations of the parents.

The data also showed that 84 percent of the fathers were high school graduates, and 34 percent were college graduates. The educational level ratio in both instances was shown to be higher than among parents of college-bound youths in the general American population. Most of the fathers were in white-collar occupations, 21 percent of them being professionals.

One-third of the mothers held jobs, the survey showed. Seventy-one percent of the students planning to go to college said financing would involve sacrifices by the parents. Nearly all expected to work during summer vacations, and 25 percent already held summer jobs. Most of the parents, 86 percent, were shown in the survey to be members of synagogues or temples. The youngsters showed strong ties to the Jewish community. Two-thirds said they would be willing to work for a year in Israel after completing their college education.

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