NEW YORK (Nov. 7)
Jewish communal action, at home and abroad on issues of survival, both subtle and stark, will be the underlying themes of major addresses by Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and Professor Leon Jick of Brandeis University and director of the recently created institute for Jewish Life, on the first formal day, Thursday, of the 41st General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (CJF), in Toronto.
Speaking before more than 1800 communal leaders from the United States and Canada–the largest number ever to participate in a CJF Assembly–and a contingent of foreign delegates attending the five-day conclave at the Royal York Hotel, Rabin will survey Israel’s position in light of changing needs and today’s special climate of concerns. Rabin will participate as well at a candle-lighting ceremony during the session, commemorating Israel’s 25th anniversary.
Earlier in the day, at the Assembly’s opening plenary breakfast, Prof. Jick will present his first major report to communities on the Institute for Jewish Life’s plans and programs in an evaluation of “The Institute as a Program for Action.” It is expected that Prof. Jick, on leave of absence from Brandeis University where he is director of the Lown Graduate Center for Contemporary Jewish Studies, will announce the Institute’s first programs and formulations at this time.
REPORTS ON JEWISH POPULATION STUDY
Established as a division of the CJF at last year’s General Assembly in Pittsburgh and charged with fostering, creating and developing innovative projects designed to enhance the quality of Jewish life, the institute has, in the past few months, been shaping guidelines and selecting replicable projects that could help make Jewish life more meaningful.
The first series of reports of CJF’s National Jewish Population Study, detailing the most comprehensive data ever compiled in such areas as intermarriage, use of Jewish and non-Jewish service agencies as well as a demographic profile of American Jewry will be presented. The increasing communal role of women and youth and recognition by Federations of the increasing commitment of these two groups as well as their enormous potential, is being reflected at this year’s General Assembly by the many sessions centering on issues of major concern to them.
Throughout the five days, communal leaders will participate in more than 50 workshops and sessions whose focus are the needs and priorities of Jews at home and abroad–both immediate and long-range. Dr. David Sidorsky, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and a consultant to the American Jewish Committee’s recent Task Force on the Future of the Jewish Community in America, will give the annual Herbert R. Abeles Memorial Address at the Saturday Oneg Shabbat where he will discuss “A New Agenda for the 70’s.”
PRESENTATION OF FIRST SMOLAR AWARD
At the Saturday evening banquet, CJF president Max M. Fisher and Irving Blum, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Jewish Life, and president-elect of the CJF, will each give major presentations that center on “Building the Jewish Future on this Continent.” Also at the banquet, presentations will be made to the 1972 William J. Shroder Award winners as well as to the first winner of the Smolar Award for Excellence in American-Jewish Journalism, for outstanding reportage covering Jewish communal affairs and issues in North America.
Sessions dealing with the worsening plight of Soviet Jewry will feature Richard Maass of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, Louis J. Fox, past president of the CJF, and Abraham Bayer and Robert Segal of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. Jacob Stein, chairman of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations, will participate in the session on “Observing Israel’s 25th Anniversary in the Local Community.” Irving Kane of Cleveland, likewise a CJF past president, will lead the session dealing with “Jewish Needs Outside of Israel–A New Perspective.” Paul Bernick of the American ORT Federation, Samuel L. Haber of the American Joint Distribution Committee and Gaynor I. Jacobson of the United Hias Service will be panelists.