U.S. Jewish Community Urged to Retool for Emergency Situation

Predicting that the Jewish people is going to have “seven lean years ahead” and contending that Israel and world Jewry are in a state of “national emergency,” Uri Ben-Ari, Israel’s Consul General in New York, urged a “reassessment of the situation” and a “change of policy” on the part of the American Jewish community.

Addressing a press conference at the Israel Consulate here today, Ben-Ari declared that “the Jewish community here should reassess its policy. Its organizations and means. The struggle of tomorrow requires new means and a new approach. New ways and new thinking must be explored.” Ben-Ari emphasized, adding: “A change must take place.”

Part of the required changes, Ben-Ari said, must include an attempt by American Jews and the people of Israel “to know each other better.” He noted that the Israelis have only a vague idea of the deep commitment and actual help given by American Jewry to Israel. “Israelis must be informed about it. It will give them strength and a sense of unity,” he said. On the other hand, Ben-Ari added, American Jews must be informed about the real happenings in Israel because the picture that enlarges from the media is “distorted” and does not reflect reality in Israel as it is.

NEED TO ORGANIZE ‘UNORGANIZED JEWS

Charging that “hundreds of thousands” of Jews in New York and vicinity have no involvement in

Ben-Ari grimly pointed to the fact that only eight percent of the Jewish children in the greater. New York area attend Jewish day schools. “This is a troublesome figure,” he said. Noting that the Jews in New York “are under-organized,” Ben-Ari stated: “The time has come to establish an organization to deal with the Jewish community here.” He else said that a new approach should be adopted to deal with the growing number of Israeli residents in New York.

On the national scene. Ben-Ari charged that many Jewish students on campuses across the country have not been reached and are exposed to hostile anti-Israeli propaganda and assimilation.

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