B’nai B’rith Young Adults Call for More Youth on Jewish Decision-making Boards

Characterizing present-day Jewish community leadership as “mostly middle-aged,” the B’nai B’rith Young Adults’ international convention called for “more balanced and more democratic representation on Jewish decision-making bodies in the United States and Canada.” B’nai B’rith Young Adults Is the 18-to-29-year-old membership component of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization. The statement, approved by the delegates to the 25th annual meeting praised the “priceless contributions of older leaders,” but contended that rapid social and cultural change now requires greatly accelerated admission of youth to councils and committees of the Jewish community “from top to bottom.” It noted that, “Over-representation of business and professional leaders of deservedly high repute produces too many programs that lack basic appeal to the largest segment of the population–the youth.”

The Young Adults also urged “trans-generational communication” as a theme for the Jewish year of 5731. Noting that the High Holy Days are “traditionally a time for spiritual reflection,” the statement proposed they be devoted this year to “extensive analysis and discussion of the possibility of reshaping Jewish institutions in harmony with contemporary social developments, especially with regard to a new, more active community role of Jewish youth.” In a message to the convention. Dr. Max F. Baer, national director of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, called for efforts to foster recognition of the link between contemporary social action and the Jewish religious and cultural tradition. The convention concluded this weekend by urging President Nixon and Congress to act swiftly to make military material available to Israel to counteract the new threat of Soviet missile bases In Egypt. Other resolutions advocated liberalization of abortion laws and of birth control laws in the United States and Canada.

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