Pincus: Struggle for Soviet Jewry ‘will Go on Unimpaired’

Louis A. Pincus, newly elected chairman of the Conference of Jewish Organizations (COJO) said here yesterday that the struggle for Soviet Jewry “is only at its midpoint” and has not yet reached a termination. The struggle, he told a press conference here, “will go on unimpaired.”

Pincus, addressing a press conference after his election, said also that COJO will try to coordinate the activities of its various members in their relations with Christian churches and organizations. In reply to a question by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Pincus said that COJO “does not plan at this stage to open a bureau in Rome to deal with relations with the Vatican.” He said that the three main international organizations participating in COJO, the World Zionist Organization, the World Jewish Congress, and B’nai B’rith, will continue their individual activities but consult each other within the COJO framework

Summing up the nature and role of COJO which was established in 1965 by Dr. Nahum Goldmann, Pincus said the international body is today “the widest Jewish political body, a platform for consultation, exchange of views and coordination of action.” He said that when COJO was established “We were not sure how it would shape. Today we know exactly where we are going. It is not yet an executive body, and it is not composed in accordance with any political yardstick, but it provides guidance and coordination.”

Pincus said the most important progress “was perhaps achieved in the COJO Commission for Education. Within one year it has established itself as a world Jewish body for education, embracing the two education departments of the Jewish Agency, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, the ORT, the Otsar Hatorah, the American Association for Jewish Education, educational bodies in various countries, the universities of Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Education.”

Pincus said, however, that the commission does not think in terms of a world master plan for Jewish education but in each country tackles educational problems separately in partnership with the local Jewish community.

Additional officers elected to the COJO presidium at the closing plenary session yesterday were: David Mann, chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Prof. Ady Steg of the CRIF in France, and one additional member, unnamed yet, of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

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