Hillel Rabbis Foresee Increased ‘turbulence’ Among College Students

A consensus of views expressed by 85 rabbis at the annual conference of B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation directors held here indicated that social protest by college students today is somewhat less than publicized demonstrations suggest, but more volatile than any other student generation since the depression years. The rabbis felt that, basically, it is a healthy rebellion against the failures in modern society.

In a keynote address, Rabbi Benjamin M. Kahn, Hillel national director, said that student protests “demonstrate a rejection of religious and moral cliches and express a student conviction that, if religion is to mean anything in their lives, it must relate itself concretely to poverty, war, and other social concerns that surround their generation.”

Rabbi Jehudah M. Cohen, of Los Angeles, West Coast Hillel regional director, said political turbulence will continue to emanate from the campus because students are dissatisfied with “the glacial pace of social progress.” He predicted that “an even larger number of college students will move from commitment to controversy and from social criticism to political action.”

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