Young Jewish Leaders Urged to Accept Broader Communal Respectabilities
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Young Jewish Leaders Urged to Accept Broader Communal Respectabilities

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The younger generation of Jewish leaders in this country were called upon today to accept broader leadership responsibilities in American Jewish cultural and philanthropic life at a regional Young Leadership Conference addressed by Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, and Louis Stern, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.

The conference was jointly sponsored by the UJA and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. It brought together representatives of communities throughout Ohio and from Detroit and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Indianapolis, Ind., and Louisville, Ky. Their purpose was to assess Jewish educational and philanthropic needs at home and overseas and to set plans for broadening “younger generation” leadership in meeting those needs.

“The spiritual survival of the American Jewish community and both the spiritual and physical survival of many Jewish groups from shattered communities abroad will depend in large measure on you, your contemporaries and the youths who will follow your lead, “Rabbi Friedman told the gathering. “Acceptance of such responsibilities actually means the acceptance of adulthood and the acceptance of the service tradition which is bound up in both our American and our Jewish heritage.”

“Your presence here,” he said, “demonstrates the growing success of the young leader ship movement which the UJA has been pressing for the past five years. However, there is still a tendency in some places for a ‘let our elders do it’ attitude on the part of the rising generation. But the dedicated community leaders of long standing can’t go on forever. The new generation must move much faster.”

“Our fathers,” Rabbi Friedman stressed, “have built a great edifice of Jewish cultural and social welfare services at home, have helped to rescue and rehabilitate 3,000,000 victims of war and persecution abroad and have joined with Israel’s people in providing a haven for a million and a quarter uprooted Jews, Your generation must take over the responsibility for continuing the great work of our parents.”


Mr. Stern told the gathering “we can have dignity and security as Jews in America only as long as there is security and dignity for Jews everywhere.” Urging more participation in American Jewish community affairs, he stressed that “we can meet worldwide responsibilities only as we build our communal strength here–we can give strength only from strength, and not from weakness.”

The CJTWF president also emphasized that it was the essence of Jewish ethics to be “deeply concerned with equal rights for all. No minority can be assured of security and dignity if any minority is denied these essentials. No majority can believe itself decent and civilized if it denies equality to any minority.”

Gordon Zacks, of Columbus, served as conference chairman. He is Regional vice-chairman of the national UJA Young Leadership Cabinet and vice-chairman of the national GJFWF Committee on Leadership Development. Bernard K, Yenkin, of Columbus, a member of the national UJA Young Leadership Cabinet, served as Conference coordinator. Discussion leaders were Joseph H. Kanter, of Cincinnati, chairman of the national UJA Young Leadership Cabinet, and Lawrence L. Schaen, of New York, chairman of the CJFWF National Committee on Leadership Development.

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