Announcement of the establishment of a $50,000 trust fund by Mrs. Bertha V. Guggenheimer of Lynchburg, Va., to establish playgrounds in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and other cities and colonies in Palestine, was made by the Zionist Organization of America. The playgrounds will be operated on a strictly non-sectarian basis so that all the children of Palestine irrespective of race or creed, may have the opportunity to play.
Already one playground is in operation in Jerusalem, established by Mrs. Guggenheimer after a visit to Palestine last summer, when she saw the need of play and recreational facilities for the children of Palestine. With the trust fund established by Mrs. Guggenheimer, together with other contributions added to her gift, sufficient revenue is now assured to begin the establishment of additional playgrounds.
In addition to providing play facilities for the children, the playgrounds are expected to prove of invaluable service in promoting good feeling between the children of different races who, mingling together in play, will break through the prejudices that now often keep them apart.
The playgrounds will be operated along the lines of American playgrounds. The American Playground Association is cooperating in the work and is now giving special training to American workers who will be in charge of the Palestine playgrounds.
Mrs. Guggenheimer has been supporting, single-handed, the playground she established last summer on the one empty lot available in the Old City. While Mrs. Guggenheimer reported that practically every Jewish child in Palestine attends school, few of them play or know how to play. In the Old City of Jerusalem, she stated, because of the poverty among the Jewish community, the children spend their free time either in their one-room sunless and airless homes or on the doorsteps or the narrow cobblestone alleys where the sunrarely appears. Because the need in the Old City was the greatest, she established the first playground there.
Over $12,000 of the $15,000 quota of Norfolk, Va., in the United Palestine Appeal was subscribed at a banquet and mass meeting launching the campaign. Dr. Schmarya Levin and Rabbi Louis J. Schwefel were the principal speakers. Dr. Alex Steinbach is chairman of the campaign. Dr. J. A. Lipnick presided at the mass meeting. The women’s division is headed by Mrs. Charles Schneer.
The Jewish community of St. Louis raised $663,000 for the Jewish Federation during last year.
The federation had the most successful year in its history, according to Julius Glaser, president of the Federation, which includes almost all the Jewish charitable activities in St. Louis.