National Conference Decides to Act on Shortage of Jewish Teachers
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National Conference Decides to Act on Shortage of Jewish Teachers

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A plan to establish a national commission for the education and welfare of Jewish school personnel was passed today by the third national conference on Jewish education.

The action was the final move of the four-day conference which considered ways to alleviate the teacher shortage in Jewish schools. The need for long-range planning to deal with the teacher shortage problem called for the establishment of a permanent, representative national commission, according to the findings of the conference.

It is estimated that about 700 new teachers are needed every year to fill faculty vacancies in the 2,800 Jewish week-day and Sunday schools throughout the country. At present approximately 125 teachers a year are being graduated from Jewish teachers colleges. The national conference set forth recommendations to cope with teacher shortages.

The national commission will be empowered to implement the proposals, among which are the following: consolidation of small schools to better utilize available man-power; organization of a recruitment program offers of scholarships and stipends to deserving people; formulation of a code of practice for all communities to develop better working conditions for teaching personnel; enlargement of the teachers professional service to include group work and adult education; and the extension of teacher education.

Membership of the national commission will be composed of lay and professional leadership of all Jewish institutions and organizations involved in the problem of teacher education and welfare. A committee on financing was envisioned to raise funds required by the commission.

The national conference, sponsored by the American Association for Jewish Education, attracted more than 400 delegates from 60 communities in the U.S. The delegates represented a cross-section of the leadership of Jewish religious schools in this country. During the conference, Philip M. Klutznick, president of B’nai B’rith, spoke about the Middle East crisis. He emphasized that any United Nations effort to halt armed hostilities in the Middle–East would be unsuccessful unless it deals with the fundamental problem of Nasser’s ambitions for a pan Arabic empire and his refusal to recognize the existence of Israel.

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