Institute for Jewish Life Gets Under Way; Prof, Jick Named Director
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Institute for Jewish Life Gets Under Way; Prof, Jick Named Director

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Prof. Leon A. Jick, of Brandeis University, has been named the first director of the Institute for Jewish Life which was established by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds at its General Assembly in Pittsburgh last Nov. Dr. Jick’s appointment was announced by Irving Blum of Baltimore, chairman of the three committees charged with organizing the Institute, at the CJF’s board of directors meeting which ended here today.

The Institute was created to seek and develop programs that will “strengthen and enhance the quality of Jewish life” and will be a division of the CJF. Dr. Jick, who is on leave from his duties at Brandeis, is a graduate of Washington University and holds degrees from Hebrew Union College with graduate and doctoral studies at Harvard and Columbia universities. He is the author of “In Search of a Way,” a collection of lectures and a study, “The Relationship of the German Industrialists to the Nazi Extermination Policy.”

Prof. Jick is currently director of the Lown Graduate Center for Contemporary Jewish Studies at Brandeis and associate professor there of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. He is a founder and first president of the Association of Jewish Studies, a national body of university faculty members in fields of Judaica.


The Institute for Jewish Life will open national headquarters in Boston on May 13. Prof. Jick will work with a national board of distinguished men and women including rabbis of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches of Judaism. The establishment of the Institute developed from the work of a task force assigned at the CJF’s 38th General Assembly in Boston in 1969. Its creation was described by the CJF as an initial step in answering the deep concern over the effectiveness and relevance of various elements in Jewish life.

Charged with developing innovative projects to strengthen the quality of Jewish life and given approval of a $2.25 million “risk capital fund” to carry out this charge, the Institute will focus on the total fabric of Jewish life.

Among the areas of concern for which projects will be initiated are the erosion of family life, and Jewish education, including the relation of Jewish teaching and values to current issues and problems such as war and peace, poverty, sex, drug abuse, nationalism and internationalism. Given an initial three-year life-span with follow-up review, the Institute for Jewish Life will be financed by the more than 230 local Federations and Welfare Funds of the CJF.

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