WASHINGTON (Jun. 24)
Jewish Community Relations Agencies said today Jewish reaction to the missionizing thrusts of Key ’73, the Christian evangelical movement, had brought many Christian-leaders to the realization that they must abandon proselytizing among Jews.
“For the first time in the history of the Jewish-Christian relations in America,” a resolution adopted at the annual plenary session of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council declared, “Christian denominations have been confronted with the need to come to terms with the living reality of Judaism in the Jewish community.” This was viewed as one of the “positive consequences” flowing from Key ’73 by the 300 delegates representing 93 community councils affiliated with NJCRAC.
But the NJCRAC statement criticized the “evangelical view of America as a single ‘Christian nation’” and deplored the seeming support given this concept by public participation of the President, governors and other public officials in “prayer breakfasts” and the use of publicly financed institutions, such as state universities and high schools, “as arenas for systematic proselytizing activities.”
The effect of such proselytization has been minimal, the NJCRAC agencies declared. “We do not perceive (it) as a major threat to the integrity or security of the American Jewish community or its Judaism.”
ANTI-SEMITISM IN U.S.A. ON THE DECLINE
The Conference also condemned “unconstitutional” use of electronic surveillance and other invasions of privacy, denouncing such actions by government agencies as “an alarming disregard for some of the most basic safeguards of individual freedom.”
A policy statement adopted at the annual plenary sessions of National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council urged that the Jewish community “continue to speak out in opposition to infringements on personal liberty.”
“It is essential to the security of the Jewish community that our society remain free and open, protecting the rights of all individuals,” NJCRAC’s constituent agencies declared.
Another consensus by the NJCRAC agencies found anti-semitism in the form of overt discrimination and open hostility toward Jews “in a continued decline.” It appraised the American Jewish community as “unprecedently secure, socially, economically, and politically.”
The extent of “Jew-baiting propaganda” during the past year was limited largely to a “weakened and decimated” radical right, a few far left groups who inflammatory anti-Zionist statements were beyond “legitimate criticism” of Israeli policies, and extremists among Black nationalists, NJCRAC reports.
NJCRAC concluded its five-day meeting with the election of Lewis D. Cole of Louisville, Kentucky, as chairman succeeding Albert E. Arent of Washington, who had served the customary three one-year terms. Isaiah Minkoff of N.Y., NJCRAC’s chief administrative officer since its inception, was re-elected to a 29th term as executive vice-chairman.