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Jews Still Viewed Negatively in Protestant School Curricula

“Protestant church school curricula still tend to draw an unjustifiably negative picture of Jews and Judaism in dealing with such crucial themes as the Jewish religion itself, the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, their role in the crucifixion, and the relationships between Jesus and his Jewish contemporaries.”

That is the conclusion of Gerald S. Strober, consultant on religious curricula in the American Jewish Committee’s Interreligious Affairs Department, in a new booklet, “Portrait of the Elder Brother: Jews and Judaism in Protestant Teaching Materials.” The booklet is published by the AJ Committee and the National Conference of Christians and Jews and was released today.

Protestant “negativism obscures understanding of Israel and its meaning to Jews everywhere (and) continues to perpetuate outdated stereotypes and prejudices in daily life, and to hamper the growth of mutual respect between Christians and Jews,” Strober charges.

Strober, who several months ago condemned the rock musical “Jesus Christ, Superstar” for its treatment of Jews, calls in his booklet for an immediate “thoroughgoing reform of Christian teaching about Jewish religion and life.” His study was planned and supervised by Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum and Dr. Bernhard E. Olson, directors of Interreligious Affairs at the AJ Committee and the NCCJ.

At a luncheon meeting today for religious educators and denominational officials. Rabbi Tan-enbaum, noting the “tragic and staggering” loss of life in the Middle East and elsewhere because of “religious hostility,” declared that “The ultimate price that is to be paid for continued purveyance of prejudice in religious guise is the credibility in religious creeds and communities as legitimate claimants to the role of moral and spiritual custodians of the values of mankind.”

Two thousand people gathered Sunday in Montreal’s Dominion Square to mark Simchat Torah by hearing speeches of protest against the Soviet head tax. Dr. John O’Brien, principal of Sir George Williams University, said that the “regrettable” head tax has “revolted” the Canadian academic community, and called for its condemnation by all civilized people.

Hebron Mayor Sheikh Mohammad All Jaabari said that he did not envisage a local solution of the Palestinian problems during this century due to the split among the residents of the administered territories.

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