ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (Nov. 28)
A warning to Jewish federations and welfare funds not to “attempt to purchase control over the educational program of Jewish day schools,” was issued at the 49th national convention of Agudath Israel of America. A manifesto adopted unanimously expressed “appreciation for the new awareness of the central Jewish fund-raising agencies to the fiscal needs of the Jewish day schools.”
However, it expressed “grave concern” over the increasingly-expressed demand by non-Orthodox Jewish leaders that the federations must oversee the content of the curricula of the schools to be funded. The 1,500 delegates at the confab declared that “Jewish education is not for sale to the highest bidder, and despite their precarious financial condition, the Jewish day schools will insist that funding from Jewish federations will be channeled without any attached control strings.”
The Orthodox gathering which opened Thursday and adjourned this afternoon also announced that an international “crash program” to educate the Jewish community throughout the world about the “true meaning of Jewish identification” will be launched by task forces of Jewish scholars. The task forces of Agudath Israel will attempt to educate Jewish masses on the dangers to their continued ties with the Jewish faith evolving from any attempt to distort the true interpretation of Jewishness.
The convention also sent a message of encouragement to Russian Jews: “You are not alone. The Guardian of Israel watches you and protects you. Our hearts beat as one for you and with you till your freedom is assured to live fully as Jews.” The convention is the first Jewish gathering covered by the Voice of America since its recently-announced new series of Russian-language broadcasts to Soviet Jewry.
CONCERN OVER SOVIET EMIGRES TO ISRAEL
The Orthodox Jewish gathering also expressed concern over reports that religious Jewish immigrants from Russia arriving in Israel are not being provided with absorption centers in areas conducive to their continuing the practice of their religious faith and instilling this heritage into the education of their children. The assembled Jewish activists called upon the Israeli government “to cease sending religious Jewish immigrants from Russia to non-religious communities totally estranged from Judaism, representing an act of bad faith to spiritual heroes who had maintained their religious practice at great personal sacrifice in Communist Russia.”
In a message to the convention, President Nixon lauded Agudath Israel of America for “providing moral leadership to the Jewish community” and for its “outstanding charitable and educational programs (which) continue to serve our nation and to strengthen its humanitarian conditions.”