American Jewish Congress Three-day ‘dialogue’ Opens in Jerusalem

The pressures of nation-building in Israel, and the trend toward assimilation in the United States are causing Jews in both countries to abandon those cultural and ethical values that made the Jews a distinctive people. Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld, president of the American Jewish Congress, warned today.

Dr. Lelyveld weighed the relationship of both Israeli and American Jews to Jewish traditional values in opening the AJC’s annual “dialogue” today. The event, this year, is being held at the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovoth. About 40 Israeli and American scholars, writers and religious writers are attending the three-day parley which is devoted to the theme of “The Nature of the Jewish Distinctiveness in the United States and Israel.”

“Both the Sabra and the Canaanite Jew in Israel and the assimilated Jew in the United States, ” said Rabbi Lelyveld, “reject the distinguishing values born of the Jewish religious heritage and folk experience. As a result, the heritage of Jewish values has been blurred and now faces the danger of being erased. “

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