The Jewish college fraternity was attacked as “one of the most vicious forms of imitation of the Gentiles adopted by the Jews since the war” and Zionism was held out as the only force through which the Jew could achieve “a sense of belonging,” by Dr. Horace M. Kallen of the New School for Social Research in a lecture yesterday before a group of Jewish students from many American universities who attended the summer courses of Avukah, American student Zionist federation, at Camp Scopus.
“I would abolish all of the Jewish fraternities,” said Dr. Kallen. “It is one of the most artificial forms that has come up in the process of the assimilation of the Jews in the academic community. The fraternities are the most vicious form of Gentile imitation, and contribute nothing to the adjustment of the Jew to American life.”
In outlining the relation of the American Jew to Zionism, Dr. Kallen said that the eventual political or economic success of the Zionist program did not determine the value of the movement to the American Jew who gained a sense of “belonging” irrespective of the eventual fate of Zionist aims. Dr. Kallen declared that only when the Jew achieved the sense of belonging to something as a Jew could he become at ease as an American.
“Zionism had had a much more fundamental effect on the life of the modern Jew than has the synagogue,” he said. Dr. Kallen also urged the students to observe that, as Jews were becoming Americanized, America was also becoming, to a degree, Judaized.
The Avukah summer school, which closed yesterday, was attended by over 100 students from 16 colleges.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.