Rabbi Calls for ‘pan-american Union of Religious Jewry’ to Combat Danger of Assimilation, Intermarri

A call for the creation of a “Pan-American Union of Religious Jewry” was issued here by Rabbi Moshe Sherer, executive president of Agudath Israel of America. Delivering the keynote address at a conference attended by delegates from Agudath Israel chapters in Latin American countries, Sherer said that the accelerating rates of intermarriage and assimilation which have hit the South American Jewish communities requires the building of new bridges between North and South American religious Jewry for mutual action to combat this common plague.

Sherer, who will also address the 25th anniversary dinner at the end of the four-day conference this week, marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Torah educational institutions in Argentina by Agudath Israel, paid special tribute to the new Kollel graduate school recently opened here.

He stated that the Kollel, the only school of higher Torah research in Latin America, will Provide the “native-born yeshiva deans and teachers to expand Torah education in Latin America, similar to the revolution in yeshiva education wrought in the United States by American-born day school leaders.”

RAPS WZO PROGRAM

Sherer charged that the “South American Program” started by the World Zionist Organization with a $3:5 million appropriation over three years to halt the ebbing away of Jewish life on that continent, is “misdirected because the bulk of these funds are spent for Jewish education programs not based on traditional observance.” “A Torahless Jewish educational effort is an exercise of futility, because it simply cannot fire the soul of the Jew with the desire to continue living Jewishly in an hostile society, which is the avowed purpose of the ‘South American Program,’” Sherer said.

In addition to the problems of Torah education, intermarriage and the situation of local Jewish communities in Latin American countries, the Agudist conference is taking up the problems of Israel and Soviet Jewry.

NEXT STORY