NEW YORK (Mar. 2)
There has been an upsurge in the number of Jewish students who want to take Jewish studies courses, not only in American universities and colleges, but in all diaspora countries, Prof, Moshe Davis, founder and former chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry of the Hebrew University, said today, Prof, Davis, who is Stephen S. Wise Professor in American History and Institutions at the Institute, said an international Jewish faculty must be created to provide the teaching and research for these courses.
Speaking at a meeting of the International and American Planning Committees of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the headquarters of the American Friends of Hebrew University, Prof, Davis stressed that only a small number of the Jews on American campuses are taking Jewish studies courses and many of the courses given are weak. Yehuda Bauer, chairman of the Institute, said the Hebrew University school must not only do research and collect data on contemporary Jewish history, but must also teach the teachers of Jewish studies.
George Mosse, professor of history at the Hebrew University, said Jewish studies programs should not teach propaganda but should be grounded on factual material. He said the courses should be taught as part of existing departments in universities, Dr, Alfred Gottschalk, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, said Jewish studies programs should concentrate on contemporary history and in particular the study of the Holocaust and Israel.
HOLOCAUST COURSES AMONG THE MOST POPULAR
Courses on the Holocaust are among the most popular courses on campuses, according to Abraham J, Karp, president of the American Jewish Historical Society and a professor of history and religious studies at the University of Rochester, and Franklin H, Littell, professor of religion at Temple University, Dr, Littell said more Christian theological schools are adding courses on the Holocaust, including the Harvard Divinity School.
Prof, Bauer noted that one of the major areas the Institute is dealing with is the study of Jewish national communal organizations. He said it is presently beginning research into the background of the United Jewish Appeal, Irving Bernstein, UJA executive vice-president, said the UJA is becoming more and more involved in adult education.
The UJA and the Institute of Contemporary Jewry are co-sponsoring an “International Scholars Conference on the Holocaust — A Generation After” which begins tomorrow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.