Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Forms New Agency to Aid 125,000 Jewish College Youth
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Federation of Jewish Philanthropies Forms New Agency to Aid 125,000 Jewish College Youth

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A new agency, the Jewish Association for College Youth (JACY), designed to help curtail the apparent growing alienation of campus-age Jews from their religious and communal heritages, has been established by the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, it was announced today by George H. Heyman, Jr., president of Federation. In making the announcement, Mr. Heyman noted that the Jewish Federation has accepted recommendations made by its Committee on Communal Planning, chaired by David Sher, a member of the Board of Trustees, to establish JACY as a subvention agency of Federation through a grant of $75,000. JACY will not only manage its own program, but will also enjoy latitude to seek funds beyond those received from Federation. Efforts are now under way to create a Board of Directors which will appoint an Executive Director for the new agency. The Board will consist of at least 20 members, half of whom will be appointed from the Board of Federation, its agencies particularly those which may be Involved in services on campus) and the general Jewish community and half from faculty, administration and students on campus. Mr. Heyman noted that “Federation has felt that special efforts should be undertaken to understand the needs of the college age group and to determine how best to build closer relationships between these young Jewish people and the organized Jewish community.”

The work of JACY will be primarily in straying, planning and financing cooperative efforts involving the Jewish community and the college youth, Including both inter-and inter-campus programs. Direct operation of programs recognized or Initiated by JACY will be carried on by existing social agencies, campus or other appropriate local or national organizations. “With its vast complex of services and opportunities for meaningful participation,” Mr. Heyman stated, “Federation and its agencies cannot stand aloof from the 125,000 Jewish college students In the 60 degree-granting colleges and universities in greater New York.” The study, initiated more than a year ago by the Committee on Communal Planning, urged establishment of JACY in the light of the following conditions: the viewpoints of Jewish college youth toward Jewish life and the Jewish community range “from the pole of rejection to the pole of commitment–with the majority somewhere in between”; indifference to Jewish continuity Is widespread among youth, but most Jewish college students do not actively reject their Jewishness; colleges and universities have only infrequently provided Jewish students with an opportunity to study Judaism on a mature and Intellectually challenging level.

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