Synagogue Youth Assail Police Brutality, but Warn Against Violent Dissent
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Synagogue Youth Assail Police Brutality, but Warn Against Violent Dissent

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A resolution condemning police brutality or use of force by a government agency to suppress dissenting demonstrations anywhere in the United States was adopted yesterday by 1,600 delegates to the 18th annual convention of the United Synagogue Youth. The resolution, approved at the closing session of the Conservative youth organization, also criticized protestors deliberately seeking violent means in exercising their democratic right of dissent.

Although several speakers during floor debate deplored Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s handling of demonstrators during the Democratic national convention last August, a specific reference to the behavior of the Chicago police was deleted from the resolution. Bob Kahn, a suburban Chicago youth leader who proposed the deletion, explained that to single out Chicago would be to ignore police incidents in other cities, such as Detroit, Los Angeles and Newark.

Paul Freedman of New York, USY director, told the delegates they had the right to be revolutionaries but he warned they must not protest without offering solutions to the problems they protested. He also said he had been shocked in talks with Jewish teenagers to find “an appalling” lack of association between the Jewish tradition and the involvement of Jewish youngsters in social problems. He placed blame partly on the “gap” he said often existed between pronouncements and actions of Jewish institutions.

During the convention, delegates went into the community as social action teams to aid in old age homes, hospitals, orphanages and homes for the blind. They prepared educational materials for physically handicapped and mentally retarded children in the United States and Israel, obtained toys for poor children and made tape recordings for blind children and Passover cards for Jewish servicemen in Vietnam and elsewhere.

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