Community Trend Away from Universal Concerns Threatens to Alienate Youth, Rabbi Warns

A growing trend within the Jewish community to deal more with “particular Jewish interests” and less with its “universal concern for humanity” threatens to alienate a large segment of today’s Jewish youth, according to Albert Vorspan, director of social action for the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. Mr. Vorspan addressed 230 Jewish college students at Camp B’nai B’rith here yesterday, attending the 24th annual summer institute of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation.

Mr. Vorspan declared that many Jewish youths, determined to involve themselves with the issues “that are tearing their consciences apart,” will either restructure the Jewish community to meet their needs or fall away from it entirely “if the trend toward parochialism continues.”

The speaker warned that the Jewish community’s “drift to look inward” to the increasing exclusion of broader moral and ethical questions, poses the danger of turning it into “a tribal, fossilized, self-righteous group on the periphery of American life.” Mr. Vorspan, however, took exception to the “other side of the coin,” He referred to those Jewish youths who “have swallowed every mythology about a Third World force and conspiratorial theory by which Israel and every other Jewish interest are sold down the river.”

NEXT STORY