European Rabbis Urge Increased Religious Teaching for Refugees on Continent

The Standing Committee of the Conference of European Rabbis agreed at a meeting here today that it was urgent for Europe’s Jewish spiritual leaders to direct Jewish religious feeling, awakened by the May-June crisis and war in the Middle East, “into an active appreciation of Jewish belief and practice, and a wider diffusion of Jewish knowledge among young and old alike.”

The rabbis reviewed the religious and educational situations in Jewish religious communities in Europe and expressed concern about the problems of a large number of Sephardic Jews who migrated to France in recent years and whose numbers have been increased by the flight of large numbers of Jews from Arab countries since last June. The rabbis noted that there had been similar influxes into Italy, Belgium, Spain and Britain.

The spiritual leaders declared that, in addition to provision for the physical and social needs of those newcomers, there was also a “vital need” to meet their religious and educational requirements to prevent “their disintegration” as Jews and “eventual disappearance from the Jewish scene.” They urged increased educational activities through creation of a network of Jewish day schools.

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