NEW YORK (Feb. 2)
The Association of Orthodox Jewish Teachers In New York Public Schools announced today the formation of the first of a planned 30 “Akiva Clubs,” a project in city public high schools to help strengthen the Jewish student’s identity as a Jew and his Jewish education. Under the sponsorship of the association, an agency representing some 6,000 Orthodox men and women teachers in the New York City public school system, the clubs will seek to win alienated Jewish students back “into the fold,” and to counteract anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish propaganda being disseminated by radical groups on high school campuses, according to Philip Kipust, president. He said almost all of the public high schools have Afro-American and Newman clubs, while Jewish clubs are virtually non-existent.
The Akiva Club was established at Franklin Delano Roosevelt high school in Brooklyn and has an initial membership of about 25 students, he reported. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his organization hopes to eventually establish such clubs in all public high schools with a substantial Jewish student attendance. He said the clubs will offer members a variety of Jewish cultural programs, including speeches on major Jewish issues by Jewish leaders, showings of filmstrips on Israel, and field trips to places of Jewish interest in the city. The AOJT will finance the Akiva clubs and will also supply them with Jewish literature, filmstrips and speakers, Mr. Kipust said. Each club will be led by an Orthodox teacher. Max Lew, chairman of the organization’s committee for student activities, is directing the Akiva club program, he added.