Page 41 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 32

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DAVID D eNOLA
The Jewish Student Press
Pulsebeat o f the Movement
S
everal
yea r s
ago
a new trend appeared on the American
Jewish scene and developed into what many would call a mass
movement for Jewish liberation. I t called for radical reapprais­
als and ultimately vast changes in the priorities and activities
of the active Jewish establishment. T he movement grew out of
a variety of factors, including the Israel Six-Day War and the
need to answer critics of the new “left,” who used the war as
a springboard for claims against the legitimacy of Jewish na­
tionalism and Jewish peoplehood.
The Six-Day War, though, was only a catalyst for a deeper
questioning process tha t many young Jews were experiencing.
The Black Power movement, and the stress on ethnic aware­
ness characteristic of the American radical movement in general,
caused many young Jews to reexamine their place in the “great
North American reality.” For many, the conclusion was that
they were “invisible.” There was little, if any, room for them
in the American radical movement.
At about the same time tha t the movement was germinating,
it found one of its various voices in the form of the printed
word. In January, 1968, the first Jewish liberation newspaper to
address itself to a mass Jewish audience appeared on the scene.
W ithin a year more than twenty such journals spontaneously
appeared throughout the United States and Canada. T he phe­
nomenon did not go unnoticed. In February, 1969, the Ame­
rican Zionist Youth Foundation sponsored a meeting of the
journals’ editors, who spent several days talking about common
bonds and future goals. Out of that meeting developed a com­
munications network that is still very much in evidence.
Since the 1969 meeting the number of newspapers and
magazines has tripled, and the editors have met once a year
to discuss methods of enhancing the excellence of the content