Jewish Leader Calls on Jewish Community to Democratically Determine Priorities

A national Jewish leader has castigated the Jewish community for allowing fund-raising to take “complete priority in American Jewish life” to the detriment of “our major concern – the questions of Jewish education, Jewish culture and Jewish spirituality.” The remarks were made yesterday by Dr. Judah Shapiro, former National Hillel Director and former chairman of the Commission for Reorganization of the American Zionist Movement, to the Labor Zionist Conference of the League for Labor Israel.

The Jewish community must begin to poll its members to determine priorities. Dr. Shapiro said. Currently, “there are no votes in Jewish life. There are no democratic forms of expression…If Jewish education or cultural effort requires support it must come as a supplicant.” Describing emphasis on health and welfare aid as “unneeded” in “these welfare days,” Dr. Shapiro asserted that “In the long run, the quality of Jewish life takes the highest priority, and support for this does not in any way jeopardize funds intended for Israel.”

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