Goldman Urges Memorial Foundation to Take Greater Initiative for Jewish Culture

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, one of the founders of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture and chairman of its board of trustees expressed criticism today of the international agency which utilizes German restitution monies for grants to projects related to Jewish culture, education, publications and documentation of the Nazi holocaust era. Addressing the annual board meeting here, Goldmann said, “We have no doubt registered a number of achievements, but when I look back at the Memorial Foundation, I am not 100 percent satisfied.”

Goldmann said, “My original plea was that the Memorial Foundation should become a central address for great Jewish cultural and educational problems upon which our survival as a people depends. I see now that we mostly react instead of acting. We mostly wait for applications and then investigate them. We should endeavor to become a more active cultural and educational factor in Jewish life. We should take initiatives and sometimes we may have to look for partners in great projects.” Goldmann added that Foundation’s sphere of activities must remain with Jewish youth and Jewish intellectuals.

Mark Uliver, executive director of the Foundation who is retiring next year to settle in Israel reported that the agency has made allocations amounting to $8 million. In many Cases, he said, the Foundation helped other bodies raise funds on their own while its allocations opened the way for others to initiate important projects. “We should not always talk in terms of money.” he said. “It is our aim and purpose to stimulate cultural and educational efforts, not merely to make allocations.”

Reporting on research of the Holocaust era. Dr. Jacob Robinson noted that the loss of life sustained by world Jewry was second only to that suffered by the Soviet Union. “We lost six million and they lost 20 million,” he said. “but in relative figures our losses were 35 percent of Jewry while their losses were 10 percent of the Soviet population,” Robinson observed that Russia identifies living Jews by marking the fact on their identity cards. “But as victims of Nazism, Jews only appear as Soviet citizens,” he said.

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