NEW YORK (May. 15)
A prominent American Jewish leader, who has just returned from a visit to South Africa, asserted here yesterday that although the Jews in South Africa are prosperous and a “very homogeneous community” they feel threatened and lonely. Addressing some 40 Jewish community leaders attending the first Luncheon Club meeting under the auspices of the American Section of the World Jewish Congress, Philip Klutznick, a member of the Governing Council of the WJC and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said that this feeling that “they are on their own” and that their Jewishness is threatened has increased after the Yom Kippur War.
Klutznick, who was recently a guest of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, lauded the Jewish educational system in South Africa. “They have the best day schools,” he observed, adding, “I pray we will have the equivalent here.” But, he noted, the uncertainty about the future among the South-African Jewry is indicated by a sharp drop in the birth rate and the emigration of “the first and second sons” in many families.
Speaking about the political and social question of apartheid, Klutznick contended that there is no clear cut Jewish attitude on this issue. “The Jewish community is not 100 percent one way or other,” he said, claiming that he had no way to measure Jewish activity against apartheid.
According to Klutznick, South African Jewry, which numbers about 118,000, is extremely generous as far as fund-raising for Israel is concerned and their devotion to the Jewish State is tremendous. The Jewish community Itself “has enormous resources as a community,” is well organized and “by and large we can be proud of it.” he said. (By Yitzhak Rabi)