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Daroff Appeals for Constructive Programs to Combat Assimilation

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An urgent appeal to “every Jewish and Zionist organization” in the United States to enact “a constructive program” to combat the threat of assimilation was made by Samuel Daroff, president of the American Jewish League for Israel.

Speaking at a board meeting, he cited statistics indicating that Judaism lost seven of every 10 children born in mixed marriages and a Jewish birthrate of 2, 2 per family. He warned that if such trends continued unabated, “the proportion of Jews in this country’s population will diminish from its present 2.9 percent to 1, 6 percent by the end of the twentieth century.”

“It is the holy duty of every Jewish and Zionist organization to formulate and enact a constructive program to counteract this threat, to find ways and means of attracting young people back to self-conscious Judaism, to make them want to regain their Jewish identity and be proud of it,” Mr. Daroff declared.

Dr. Judah L. Shapiro, chairman of the North American Committee of the Reorganization Commission, urged creation of a single comprehensive Zionist organization in the United States. He said American synagogues and other Jewish institutions “are interested in incorporating the Zionist ideal into their program of activities but they have no single representative of American Zionism who can guide and enlighten them in the tenets and principles of Zionism,” He added that the committee recognized this need and was working for formation of such a single organization.

Eleazar Lipsky, vice-president of the League, rejected the thesis that Zionism had fulfilled its mission with the restoration of Israel. He asserted that “apart from its unfinished task of assuring Jewish unity and survival, Zionism has something to say about every important issue or problem.”

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