NEW YORK (May. 2)
The New York Archdiocese and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith announced today that closed circuit television programs on Judaism and the Jew in literature are now being taped to be shown, starting next fall, to some 8,000 teachers in New York Catholic schools. The announcement was made in connection with the opening here of the 55th annual meeting of the ADL here which will continue through next Tuesday.
The joint announcement, describing the project as the first in inter-religious relations, said that more than 250,000 Catholic parochial school children will eventually be exposed to the data in the tapes and in published resource aids. It also indicated that plans were being made to transfer the tapes to film for distribution to Catholic schools throughout the country. Taping has been taking place for the past two months in studios in Yonkers, maintained by the Archdiocese for an on-going closed circuit TV program. The five one-hour programs on the Jew in literature and six half-hour programs on Judaism will become part of the diocesan TV activity. Both series are using scholars recruited by the ADL.
Msgr. Edward M. Connors, associate superintendent of Archdiocese schools, said that "a gap existed" and "in general, we simply were not teaching as much as we should about Jews and Judaism." He described the TV effort in teacher-training as "the most significant way we know to fill the gap by exploring that world."
The five programs on the Jew in literature are designed for teachers of English. Dore Schary, ADL chairman, explained that the attempt to "counter the negative stereotype of the Jew" was being made, not by censoring the literature, "but by helping the teacher to question the premise of such stereotyping, deal with author motivation and so forth."
The TV series on Judaism is designed to acquaint both teachers and pupils with aspects of Jewish custom, law, ritual, practices, traditions and beliefs, and the Archdiocese is preparing a resource unit for this phase of the TV programs. The announcement indicated that the programs will help to make clear that the definition of the Jew includes more than religion, to point out the interrelationship between Jews, tradition and the land of Israel and "show the wide variations in Judaic practice."