THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 164
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew
 
 
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164 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bpriorities first. It is time that all the nonsense be dropped, to bbe supported by whoever wishes to support it, and its place bin the Jewish budget be taken by Jewish education, Jewish bdefense, and all the other real Jewish needs. Let every Jew bthrust these demands upon his rabbi, his synagogue, and his bown conscience.”

bThe protests and the pressure were beginning to bring bresults and the Federation was clearly on the defensive balthough it was trying to retreat as little as possible and as bcheaply as it could possibly do. On November 9, 1970, the bBoard of Trustees of the New York Federation of Jewish bPhilanthropies met and, among other things, discussed the bReport of the Functional Committee on Jewish Education, bwhich dealt with the problem of needed funds for Jewish bschools. Bear in mind that the report came into being only bbecause of growing, militant protests against the refusal of bFederation patricians to give more than a pittance to mean- bingful Jewish education. The stubborn stand of the men bwho find no problems in giving away Jewish money to hospi- btals and camps that are overwhelmingly non-Jewish, was bclearly stated by a member of the board named B. J. But- btenweiser. In discussing and opposing the report, which bcalled for substantial aid to Jewish education, Buttenweiser bsaid:

b“There is endless dictum in this report which I think is balien to everything 99 and 44/100 of the people in this room band affiliated with the Federation organizations negate and bvitiate by their own life.”

bWhat Mr. Buttenweiser meant was that the report called bfor broadening Jewish life and practice, and that this went bagainst his beliefs and practices as well as those of almost all bFederation leaders. He was right. What the report—and bvast numbers of Jews—were demanding was that the kind of bnon-Jewish values that motivate the Buttenweisers of this bcountry not be allowed to destroy the Jewish future in bAmerica.

bMr. Buttenweiser went on to speak of the kind of Jewish beducation found in Israel. That is all right for Israel, he bstated, “But to try and have that kind of philosophy im- b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 164
Chapter 5: I Am a Jew