JOHANNESBURG (Aug. 21)
The South African Zionist Youth Council has condemned the South African B’nai Akiva, the Orthodox youth group, for walking out of the youth council because the council approved acceptance of Maginim, the Reform youth movement, as a member. However, youth council officials reportedly were making efforts to persuade the B’nai Akiva to rescind its walkout.
The membership application of Maginim was strongly opposed at a meeting of the youth council but more than two-thirds of the delegates voted to admit the Reform youth group. B’nai Akiva leaders said they were pulling their movement out of the youth council because they refused to sit with Reform Jewish young people.
The youth council said in its statement that B’nai Akiva had been participating for more than three years with Reform youth members on the Western Province Zionist Youth Council. Zionist leaders asserted that B’nai Akiva has participated in youth council activities despite the membership in the council of Hashomer Hatzair, which is admittedly anti-religious.