Reorganization Steps Undertaken at Geneva by World Council of Jewish Education

Agreement was reached here today on a reorganization of the World Council of Jewish Education which would link it with the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) and with the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture IF THIS SHOULD BE FEASIBLE. The decision was taken at a meeting of the COJO over which Dr. Nahum Goldmann presided. A committee was appointed to direct the reorganization and report back before the end of 1968. The committee will also redefine the tasks of the World Council and seek to clarify its relations with the Jewish Agency. Sixty-five delegates are attending the COJO meetings here as well as a delegation of observers representing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations headed by Rabbi Herschel Schacter.

Representatives of three International Jewish organizations, the World Zionist Organization, the World Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith–are attending the conference together with representatives of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Representative Council of French Jewry, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the Jewish Labor Committee.

An American Jewish author and educator warned here that the fact that most Jewish youngsters do not continue their Jewish education beyond elementary school level is ” the number one problem of the Jewish world”.

Dr. Azriel Eisenberg, one of the speakers at a meeting of the World Council, said that 717,260 children between the age of three and seventeen attended Jewish schools out of an estimated Jewish school population outside of Israel of 1,523,361 — slightly over 47 percent. “The fad that at least half of our diaspora children are attending some type of Jewish school at any given moment does not lent itself to the interpretation that Jewry outside of Israel is fast approaching total assimilation,” he said. “On the other hand,” he continued, “the fact that outside of Israel there are only 90,000 at the very most who continue their Jewish studies beyond the elementary school level is cause for serious concern, the number one problem of the Jewish world.”

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