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Science Making Little Impact on Jewish Education, Dr. Kallen Reports

July 29, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Jewish educational authorities and parents appear unconcerned about the impact of science on Jewish religious education, according to preliminary findings of a special World Jewish Congress commission on the role of science in Jewish education, headed by Prof. Horace M. Kallen of New York.

The inquiry began about five months ago. Dr. Kallen, who was unable to attend the present session of the World Jewish Congress executive in Geneva, submitted a written progress report to the session. In his report, Dr. Kallen stated that a preliminary analysis of responses to a questionnaire submitted by the Commission to a cross section of Jewish educators showed:

1. An almost total lack of appreciation of the nature of the problem and its urgency among those responsible for educational program and policy.

2. Jewish education, viewed as “religious” education is held by many to concern itself with an area untouched by the scientific spirit.

3. Others regard Jewish education as a sort of counterforce to the rising tide of “scientism,” that should offset the generally increasing concentration on scientific studies by means of intensified plans for religious instruction.

Dr. Kallen stated that one conclusion apparently emerging with great clarity is that Jewish education does not greatly concern itself with the problem set by the conflict because Jewish schools are predominantly elementary schools.

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