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Survey Advises Catholics to Educate Pupils on Relations with Jews

Even the most religious Catholic families in the United States fail to instil among their children an understanding of the Jewish people, and that task may have to be taken up by the Catholic schools, it was stated here in a report on Roman Catholic education in this country, issued by the University of Notre Dame Press. The report consists of a 328-page volume, entitled “Catholic Schools in Action,” and had been financed by the Carnegie Corporation.

In a summary, the report stated: “Self-examination by Catholic schools may be especially necessary with respect to anti-Semitism. Catholic educators may desire to open a dialogue among Catholic students that will broaden their understanding of the Jewish and other minorities.”

As a test of Catholic student attitudes toward the Jewish people, the volume reported, 14, 519 students in parochial schools in 13 representative Catholic dioceses had been asked to give their reactions to this statement: “There is something strange and different about Jews; it is hard to know what they are thinking or planning, or what makes them tick.” Responding to this statement, it was reported, nearly one-third, or 32.7 percent of the students, said they were “uncertain”; 19.9 percent indicated some degree of anti-Jewish bias; and 47.4 percent showed themselves unprejudiced regarding Jews.

“It seems, ” the report stated, “that even the most religious families do not instil in their children an open-minded attitude toward Jews. Apparently, Catholic school children do not so much have an unfavorable image of Jews as they have no image at all. This may be accounted for to some extent by the infrequency of social contacts between Catholics and Jews.”

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