Campaign Launched to Establish Jewish Studies Department at State University

Jewish students at the State University of Buffalo and the Buffalo Jewish community have joined forces in a campaign to establish a Department of Jewish Studies at the University. The University now conducts a Modern Hebrew Language program and has instituted a special Jewish History course for the 1970 Fall semester. The students believe the time is ripe, with several thousand Jewish students enrolled at the Buffalo center, for the establishment of such a program. Claiming that their cause had not received sufficient priority and consideration on the part of University authorities because of their reluctance to utilize violence and disorder to achieve their goal, the Jewish students have called upon all students and professors and members of the general community to help them overcome the “apathy” of University officials. The Buffalo Jewish community had for 10 years unsuccessfully sought the establishment of a curriculum of Jewish studies at the University.

Last year, the University agreed to establish a Modern Hebrew Language program, to be funded by members of the Jewish community, on a two-year trial basis. If the program attracted a sufficient number of students, the University agreed to assume the cost of the program. The program’s success led the university to add a special course in Jewish History for the 1970 Fall semester. In their campaign to establish a Department of Jewish Studies, the Jewish students met with University executive vice president Dr. Albert Somet and won promises that the University would sponsor the Hebrew Language program and would continue the Jewish History course in the Spring 1971 semester. The students also were assured that all petitions and other materials presented to the University would be considered and replied to. The students are seeking support of the academic and general community through advertisements and petitions.

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