Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Junior B’nai Brith Moves to Strengthen Religious Spirit of Jewish Youth

July 16, 1931
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Acting upon the recommendations of one thousand rabbis and Jewish lay leaders, Aleph Zadik Aleph, Junior B’nai Brith, closed its eighth international convention here last night by instituting a movement to strengthen the religious spirit of American Jewish youth. The program includes propaganda for Hebrew literature and culture departments in colleges and universities, the creation of girls’ auxiliaries to the Order, libraries of Jewish literature, the extension of camps for scouts’ religious leaders, contact with Jewish leaders, expansion of forums and study groups, and the encouragement of synagogue attendance and membership.

The Order went on record as approving the observance of Jewish dietary laws at all district and international Aleph Zadik Aleph conventions. Approval was reached after a heated debate over the expense of dietary observance as against the spiritual obligations involved.

A religious good will meeting for Protestant, Catholic and Jewish youth was recommended for better interracial understanding. It was also decided to establish chapters in England, Czecho-Slovakia and Bulgaria. The establishment of an Aleph Zadik Aleph alumni endowment fund was also approved.

Adriel Fried of San Francisco was elected president by the 400 delegates attending the convention. Milton Blumenfeld of Braddock, Pennsylvania, was chosen vice-president; Lloyd Isaacs of Des Moines, Iowa, secretary; William Fineman, Minneapolis, treasurer, and Arthur Rothman, St. Louis, sergeant-at-arms.

Philip Seman, executive director of the Jewish People’s Institute, Chicago, in addressing the convention, declared that the program of the Jewish center movement should be to develop “a Jewry which is not going to cringe and be ashamed of its Jewishness.” A discussion ensued as to whether Judaism should be a culture without regard to creed, or a religion sustained by the synagogue.

The delegates were welcomed to the city by Ernest Bruncken, secretary of the harbor commission, on behalf of Mayor Daniel W. Hoan.

Recommended from JTA