Report Cites Jewish Educational Defects in Iran

Between 50-60 percent of Jewish school-age children in Iran receive no Jewish education and for those who do. the education they get is sub-standard, according to a survey by an Israeli educator on the status of Jewish education in Iran. The report, by Prof. Joseph Glantz of the Bar Ilan University School of Education, also stated that there were clear symptoms of assimilation in the Iranian Jewish community and offered a series of recommendations to improve the quality of Jewish education and Jewish life generally in that country.

Prof. Glantz was commissioned by the World Zionist Organization to make his survey and spent several months in Iran. His report, released here, was the subject of a special meeting held recently under the chairmanship of Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the WZO Executive, which decided on a concerted international effort to improve the standards of Jewish education and culture in Iran.

The effort is part of an overall plan by the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) which decided at a meeting in Geneva last summer to extend and broaden Jewish education in the diaspora. Prof. Glantz stated in his report that Jewish education in Iran utilized unsuitable textbooks and mechanical teaching methods, the teachers themselves were not adequately educated, and were paid poor salaries and had no pension rights.

Prof. Glantz’s recommendations, which formed the basis for an action program, call for 10 hours of Jewish studies a week and a month of Jewish studies during the summer vacation; preparation of new textbooks; and the participation of parents in the educational programs of Jewish schools. The report also recommended the establishment of an umbrella body of all Jewish youth clubs in Iran to organize summer camps and special activities on Jewish holidays.

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