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U.S. Jewish Youth Urged to Convene World Jewish Youth Congress

September 5, 1951
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The convening of a World Jewish Youth Congress was proposed today at the fourth annual assembly of the National Jewish Youth Conference, which is being held at camp Wel-Met near here. The conference, which is sponsored by the National Jewish Welfare Board, represents 300 local, regional and national youth organizations whose combined membership totals more than 300,000 young men and women between the ages of 16 and 30.

The proposal was made by M. David Weiss of Munhall, Pa., Conference chairman, as part of his annual report. Mr. Weiss said that the World Jewish Youth congress should be composed of youth representatives from all of the free nations of the world and would have its headquarters in Jerusalem. One of the aims of the Congress would be to achieve emigration for Jewish countries “where they are still denied their basic rights.” He made it clear that he was referring to Iron Curtain countries.

Mr. Weiss called upon local communities to provide funds for scholarships to enable American youth leaders to study in Israel and to enable field workers (shelichim) from Israel to work and study in America. He asked the National Jewish Youth Conference to seek, in cooperation with the National Jewish Welfare Board, a broader sponsorship which would include all adult youth-serving agencies. He disclosed that the Conference has grown to include most major national Jewish youth organizations and virtually all local and regional youth and young adult councils.

Speaking to the delegates today, Dr. Israel Knox, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at New York University, predicted that for the next 20 or 30 years, “America will be a cultural reservoir” for Israel. “Israel’s most important concern at the moment,” Prof. Knox said, “is building of a new country. It has to provide food, shelter and jobs for thousands of immigrants. It has to develop its resources and its fortifications. It has very little time to develop and expand its culture.”

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