Jewish Academic Community to Be Involved in Research Problems Affecting Jewish Survival in U.s., Abr
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Jewish Academic Community to Be Involved in Research Problems Affecting Jewish Survival in U.s., Abr

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The Synagogue Council of America announced today the establishment of an Institute for Jewish Policy Planning and Research that will tap the resources of the Jewish academic community in America to conduct long-range analysis and research on problems affecting Jewish survival in America and overseas. The announcement of the new Institute was made by Rabbi Irving Lehrman, of Miami Beach, president of the Synagogue Council which is the national coordinating body of Conservative, Orthodox and Reform Judaism in the US.

Philip M. Klutznick of Chicago, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations, was named chairman of the Institute’s board of trustees. Dr. Marver Bernstein, president-elect of Brandeis University and former dean of the Woodrow Wilson School for Public Administration and International Affairs of Princeton University will head an academic panel which will recommend major study and research projects.

Commenting on the new Institute, Klutznick observed that Jewish policy planning In the US has lacked range and direction. “We have tended to react to emergencies and crises, and rarely engage in long-range policy planning,” he said. “These conditions could easily be remedied if the American Jewish community learned to draw on one of the richest resources it possesses…the Jewish academic community, men of eminence in their fields of specialty whose counsel is sought by American Industry and government. That is what the new Institute proposes to do.”


The Institute has already commissioned a major study of developments that might be expected in American-Israel relations in the next five years, and their impact on the American Jewish community. The study is being made by Prof. Nadav Safran of the Harvard University Center for Middle East Affairs.

It has also commissioned a series of projectional studies on various developments that might take place in the Soviet Union in the next five years and their possible impact on the status of Soviet Jews. That project is being conducted by Prof. Zvi Gitelman of the University of Michigan. The Institute also proposes to commission studies on social unrest in the US and its likely impact on the American Jewish community.

Dr. Bernstein stated that in the past, relations between Jewish leaders and the Jewish academic community have been “fitful and strained.” He said that scholars who study international affairs and domestic policy processes are rarely consulted. The new Institute, Dr. Bernstein said, would Involve these scholars on an ongoing basis. “The results of their efforts will be made available to the policy-making bodies of all major Jewish organizations, and thus offers some assurance that the work of these scholars will not be wasteful and shelved,” he said.

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