Des Moines, Iowa (May. 10)
(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
Social harmony is possible in a community only when the various religious denominations coordinate their work under community chest leadership, Raymond Clapp, director of the Cleveland Federation, told three hundred delegates, attending the National Conference of Jewish Social Service here last night.
“Double barreled” chests that will raise money for worthy national and international relief organizations at the same time that solicitations are made for local welfare work were advocated at the afternoon session. The funding of national and international institutions has been attempted by individual local communities, declared Dr. Samuel C. Kohs of San Francisco, but its ultimate success is dependent upon national recognition. “A national body, such as the National Conference of Jewish Social Service,” said Dr. Kohs, “should measure out scientifically each community’s responsibility.”
The speaker maintained that just as the general community chest idea during the war and since was the natural outgrowth of the Jewish Federation idea for pooling local resources initated in Cincinnati in 1899, so the proposed national chest was an ineviatble development.
Sectarian agencies for social service must continue to supplement public social service, Harry J. Lurie, superintendent of the Jewish Social Service Bureau of Chicago, declared in an address at the morning session.
Private groups with a preferential interest in families of their own faith have been able to attain to more generous standards for family relief than are prevalent in the general community, according to Mr. Lurie, and have served as a spur to public agencies to improve their work. The development of mothers’ pensions and their general acceptibility to the community indicates, Mr. Lurie said, that public relief, inspired by similar work of sectarian agencies, has been made to measure the steps of constructive social work.
“It would be advisable,” Mr. Lurie said, “to interpret the scope of the separate Jewish Agency liberally and not restrict it upon narrow sectarian or cultural tests. While this will create problems, it will tend to widen the horizon of Jewish agencies as factors in the general community programs.”
At the Tuesday session, Maurice J. Karpf, director of the Training School for Jewish Social Work, outlined a program of extra-curricular training of Jewish social workers and told of the work of the school since its founding in January 1925.
In the afternoon, round tables were led by Solomon J. Cutler, director of the Budget Department of the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies of New York City, who presented a paper on the Preparation of Budgets for Federation and by Mrs. J. M. Kellerman, executive secretary of the Room Registry for Jewish Girls and Women of New York who presented a paper on the Room Registry’s Service to the Jewish Community.
Mr. Cutler urged that budgets should be so formulated that the estimate presented be regarded as a document possessing a binding character and only remotely elastic qualities, “a conception diametrically opposite to the one popular among many institutions.” He felt that the budget should be regarded primarily as an obligation to be met and not as a proposition to be argued about or bargained.
Mrs. Kellerman explained that the Room Registry work concerns itself with the independent, self-supporting girl. It includes a study of the housing problem and preventive work of a vital kind. The Room Registry organization, she also explained, must go out to seek the girl and thus forestall the dangers which confront her.
The problem of Jewish education was discussed at the Tuesday night session by Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin, director of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Chicago. “The forces favoring community educational programs.” he said, “are the Federation movement, the community tradition of east European Jews, the challenge of the unschooled and the challenge of the American environmnet, while standing in the way of communal work in Jewish education are forces more subtle and less clearly defined.” “These,” Dr. Dushkin said, “are the charity viewpoint which caters to those opposed to Jewish education; congregational ambition, which aims to conduct schools of its own without a community viewpoint instead of central schools; partisan fear which is concerned that one sect in the community will attempt to impose its views of Judaism on the others and assimilationist opposition.”