Pincus Urges Jewish Communities to Give Top Priority to Jewish Education

Jewish Agency chairman Louis Pincus urged Jewish communities abroad to give top priority to Jewish education. Addressing a meeting of the Zionist General Council, Pincus said “Whereas previously the construction of hospitals or old-age homes may have occupied pride of place, today it belongs to Jewish education.” He said that equal emphasis should be given to the content of Jewish education and how to maintain the unique status of Judaism in a multi cultural society. Pincus said study of the Hebrew language was of major importance in this respect. However, he added, Jewish education must also place Israel in the center of the Jewish people and Jews must regard Israel as the focus of Jewish historic continuity and part of their identity. Jewish education, he concluded, must be based on the eternal values of the Jewish people as well as all that is good and beautiful in the cultures of other nations.

Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, a member of the Jewish Agency executive in New York, proposed that the World Zionist Organization establish a “think tank” to develop a four-point program of action. His points were: a reconstitution of Jewish life abroad, using among other things the mass communications media; subsidies for Jewish camps that are “truly Jewish in character” and for free Jewish universities and Jewish communes; Zionist leadership in Jewish day schools throughout the United States; the recasting of Jewish textbooks to free them from the East European heritage and adapt them to the real experience of the diaspora. The Board of Governors of the reconstituted Jewish Agency held its first meeting in Jerusalem Friday and decided to convene three times a year. The next meeting was scheduled for the end of August. It was also decided to convene the next session of the Jewish Agency’s Assembly in Dec., 1972. The Jewish Agency Executive was authorized to handle all current issues between formal meetings of the Board of Governors and the General Assembly.

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