NEW YORK (Sep. 1)
An urgent call for the legal protection and landmark preservation of Jewish historical sites throughout the world was issued by the first International Conference on Jewish Art, held in Oxford, England last week. The conference, held at Oxford University, was sponsored jointly by the Oxford Center for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies and the Tarbuth Foundation for the Advancement of Hebrew Culture in New York, it was announced here today by the Tarbuth Foundation.
Addressing itself to all Jewish communities across the globe, the conference, in a resolution, urged immediate steps, wherever possible with the authorities concerned, to place sites of Jewish historical significance under governmental guardianship and to confer upon them all the prerogatives of assured permanence and safety. This pertains especially to synagogues and cemeteries that were left abandoned in the wake of the Holocaust and are now in jeopardy of total obliteration. The number of such sacred remnants of Jewish life goes into the thousands and, with them, untold Jewish artifacts and other historic memorabilia, the conference affirmed.
Another resolution of the conference projected the establishment of an international photo-archive for Jewish art, for which the Oxford Center will serve as a focal point of collection and conservation.
Scholars from Great Britain, the United States, France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany, Yugoslavia, Israel, and South Africa attended the three-day conference, at which prominent experts in the field presented a variety of papers featuring novel interpretations of outstanding Jewish art objects throughout the ages.
Dr. David Paterson of Oxford University and principal of its Center for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, organized the conference and presided over its proceedings. The Tarbuth Foundation was represented by Abraham Goodman, its president, and by Dr. Emil Lehman, executive vice-president.