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Mrs. Meir Deplores Loss of Yiddishkeit

January 13, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Golda Meir warned today that the quality known as “Yiddishkeit” may have been irretrievably lost in the decimation of East European Jewry in World War II and subsequent increasing assimilation everywhere. “A large part of Judaism–and not only six million Jews–were lost in the Nazi holocaust,” she said. It was a sad fact, she noted, that most of the younger Jewish generation today speaks neither Hebrew nor Yiddish, and Yiddishkeit cannot exist in translation.

Mrs. Meir spoke for an hour–in Yiddish–at the opening of a four-day parley of Jewish journalists from nearly two dozen non-Communist countries. Around 100 newsmen–half of them foreigners, half Israelis–are discussing problems of information, education and culture and the role of the Jewish press in solving them. Louis A. Pincus, chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, stressed the role of the Jewish press in the dissemination of Jewish news, the strengthening of Zionism and the support of Israel.

In an allusion to Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, Premier Meir said that when a wise man made a blunder it was often a big one. She made the remark in the course of endorsing emigration as the overriding need of Soviet Jewry. Mrs. Meir also observed that mixed marriages were a real and growing problem in the diaspora, but not in Jewish-majority Israel.

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