KIAMESHA LAKE, N.Y. (Nov. 13)
The Soviet Union was accused here today by Henry R. Rappaport, president of the United Synagogue of America, of a policy of “systematic Judophobia” inherited by the Communist leaders from Czarist days, and of being “the world’s leading generator of anti-Semitism.”
Mr. Rappaport voiced his accusations against the USSR in a presidential address before the United Synagogue’s convention, attended by 3,000 delegates from 825 Conservative synagogues in North America. Another Conservative leader, Rabbi Bernard Segal, executive director of the United Synagogue, warned that the “alarming and acute” shortage of religious and Hebrew teachers threatens not only the future of Jewish education but the very survival of Jewish life in America.
Rabbi Segal reported that, last year, 400 Conservative synagogues had applied for teachers from the organization’s placement bureau, but only 45 positions were filled–32 of them “actually transfers from smaller communities.” The Conservative movement’s teacher training school, he said, graduates only 180 teachers annually, whereas the Jewish community needs 800 each year.
To help meet the situation, he proposed development of a code of personal practices toward teachers, including a living wage and adequate working conditions; creation of university scholarships and fellowships to attract promising young people to the professions; provision of faculties and facilities for teaching academies; and a public relations and recruitment program.