Agudath Israel Warns of ‘impending Explosion’ Unless Priorities of Jewish Federations Are Re-ordered

Warnings of “an Impending explosion on the Jewish scene unless the priorities of Jewish federations are reordered,” were contained In a resolution adopted at the 50th national convention of Agudath Israel of America here over the weekend. The 1000 delegates expressed disappointment that the recent General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds in Toronto “paid comparatively minor attention to the major problem on the Jewish agenda: how to maintain and expand the only sure means of guaranteeing Jewish survival, the Jewish day school movement.”

The resolution singled out the Jewish Federation of New York as “one of the most flagrant culprits In a lopsided system of priorities, which places maximum Jewish education at the bottom of the totem pole, while concentrating on physical services which are Increasingly a government responsibility.” Concern about the manner in which the Jewish community was “dragged Into” political election battles was expressed in another resolution that called on Agudath Israel to attempt to influence Jewish groups to eliminate the predominant emphasis on Jewish interests in the political battles of American election campaigns.

The convention adopted a resolution calling upon Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Elliot Richardson, to effectively halt the misuse of affirmative action programs to undermine the merit system In employment opportunities. The organization charged that in spite of recent guidelines published by HEW’s Office for Civil Rights, which prohibits preferential treatment based on racial quotas, there are colleges and universities which continue such practice.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, chairman of the Council of Torah Sages of Agudath Israel, called upon Orthodox Jews to “set aside their internal differences” and Join ranks with the Agudath Israel movement. Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of Agudath Israel of America declared that the organization will fund an ambitious program for its youth movement, Zeirei Agudath Israel to “reach out into the spiritual wastelands of America to attract Jewish youth Into yeshivos and day schools.”

In a message to the convention, President Nixon lauded the organization for its “Immeasurable contributions in a half-century of devoted service to the highest tenets of religion and the most cherished Ideals of our nation.” The President stated that Agudath Israel’s programs have “sustained and carried forward an inspiring religious heritage, and in doing so they have strengthened the spiritual and moral fiber of our society.”

A group of Bar Ilan University students blocked traffic on a busy highway near their campus today to demand the construction of pedestrian bridges in order to prevent accidents. The highway has been the scene recently of several fatal accidents. The students claimed that the authorities had promised to construct bridges but so far none have been built.

Some 1000 people staged a peaceful demonstration last night outside Albert Hall In London while a concert of Russian music was being presented inside the hall as part of a Soviet music festival. The demonstration was sponsored Jointly by the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Participants included members of WIZO, Zionist organizations, students, the “36 Committee,” other groups of campaigners on behalf of Soviet Jewry, and many unaffiliated British Jews.

A religious court to serve the needs of the Druze population on the Golan Heights was inaugurated yesterday.

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