Jewish Conferences to Seek New Technique to Combat Assimilation

A striving for new patterns of Jewish education and a deep concern for arriving at new techniques to meet the problems of assimilation and alienation among Jewish youth and intellectuals will mark a number of international conferences being held in Europe this month, according to Mrs. Rose L. Halprin, chairman of the Jewish Agency-American Section.

In a statement issued today prior to leaving for Geneva to attend a month-long series of meetings of the World Council on Jewish Education, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) and the World Jewish Congress, Mrs. Halprin said the meetings this summer “take on an unusual significance because out of them may well emerge changing programs that can help assure Jewish continuity and survival for years to come.

“Eighteen years after statehood for Israel, Jewish leadership must face the reality of changes that have occurred during the period, ” Mrs. Halprin said, “Jewish leadership, both in the Diaspora and in Israel must give careful heed to these changes. We, who live in the United States, and the other free lands of the West, must prepare to fight one of our most difficult battles, a continuing struggle against the forces of assimilation that thrive in our open society.”

Mrs. Halprin also discussed the question of the reorganization of the Zionist movement, a subject, she said, that “has been growing in importance during the last few years. First, we must recognize that the growing public discussion is a manifestation of the self-analysis that exists among the Zionist leadership itself, and which has taken active form with the appointment by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, of Commissions on Zionist Reorganization which are now conducting world-wide surveys on the problem. “

Pointing out that the Zionist movement, and a great majority of Zionists living in the Diaspora, has for many years recognized the limitations of the party structure, she said that Americans will welcome a “breakaway from the dominance of the party structure in Zionist life.” Looking to the future, Mrs. Halprin said she hopes for “a revitalized Zionist movement, unencumbered by a structure it has outgrown. Freed of party divisiveness, the Zionist movement can be strengthened as it assumes the leadership in the development and furtherance of cultural and educational programs that are essential to the survival of the Jewish people both in Israel and the Diaspora,” she stated.

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