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Fisher Calls for Improvement in Quality of Jewish Education

December 3, 1971
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A national Jewish leader declared here last night that survival is “today’s fundamental concern in the American Jewish community” and suggested that one way to insure it was to improve the quality of Jewish education. Max M. Fisher, chairman of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, proposed measures that could be taken to reach that goal, among them increased support for Jewish day schools.

Fisher delivered the Walter S. Hilborn Lecture before 600 community leaders at the Federation-Council of Greater Los Angeles annual dinner. He called on communities to re-examine their obligations to Jewish day schools which, he said, “hold one of the best answers to furthering Jewish continuity.”

Fisher said, “There is no question that the Jewish day schools have earned the right to our most careful consideration of what can be done to help.” Other proposals he made for improving and expanding Jewish education was the use of Jewish summer camps for educational pursuits, sponsorship of extended stays in Israel for older students and enlargement of the study of Hebrew and related subjects in high schools and colleges. Fisher added that there was also a great need for intensified Jewish education for adults.

He said the concern for Jewish survival in American was “not physical survival itself–which the people of Israel seek to insure–but survival in terms of our Jewish heritage, our sense of mission and those special values which make the Jewish approach to live a rich and meaningful one.” The Walter Hillborn Lecture was established three years ago to honor a prominent Jewish community leader on the occasion of his 90th birthday. At tonight’s dinner, the JFC’s Judge Harry A. Holtzer Memorial Award for outstanding service in the field of human relations was presented to Martin Gang, an attorney and Jewish community leader of Los Angeles.

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