N. Y. Federation Allots Only $250,000 of $5,000,000 Budget for Education
Jewish education in the United States, for which American Jews spend annually between four and five million dollars, suffers from the lack of co-ordination and from insufficient support, was the statement of Louis Marshall, President of the American Jewish Committee, who was the principal speaker at the annual dinner and Chanukah celebration of the Jewish Education Association held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, Sunday night.
A distinguished gathering of New York Jews attended the dinner which was presided over by Lieutenant-Governor-elect Col. Herbert H. Lehman. It was an impressive demonstration for Jewish education. Max W. Hollander introduced Col. Lehman as the toastmaster. A feature of the occasion was the showing of a moving picture depicting the various activities of the Association, ranging from propaganda work to assisting the construction of new school buildings.
An illuminated resolution of thanks to Jacob Wener, chairman of the Committee of One Hundred, to whom the dinner was given, was presented by Jonah J. Goldstein, Chairman of Finance Committee of the Association. The Committee of One Hundred has for its purpose the securing of $250,000 through annual subscriptions as the Association’s budget.
The Committee was commended for its work by Israel Unterberg, President of the Association. The celebration of Chanukah, the lighting of the candles and appropriate Hebrew songs gave a distinctive atmosphere to the occasion.
Mr. Marshall described his deep interest in the problem of Jewish education stating that the outbreak of the World War and the problems of relief which it brought in its train had interfered with a plan which he had been considering for a nation wide movement for Jewish education. He paid tribute to the men who refused to wait until after the War but organized the Jewish Education Association and proceeded to work in Greater New York. Of the 350,000 Jewish children of school age among the 1,800,000 Jews of the city, less than one-half, he stated, were receiving any kind of Jewish education. Mr. Marshall then pointed out that only $250,000 was spent by the Federation for Jewish education out of a total income of $5,000,000. There was a lack of proportion in that sum, he declared. Mr. Marshall praised the work of Dr. S. Benderly, director of the Bureau of Jewish Education as a pioneer in the field.
The $4,000,000 to $5,000,000 spent by Jewish parents for the Jewish education of their children were not bringing adequate results owing to the lack of correlation and coordination, Mr. Marshall stated. The mother, he declared, must be interested in the education of her child, the fathers unfortunately being too busy making money. A Jewish community as prosperous as that of New York, he said, was spending a pitiful sum for the Jewish education of its children. In conclusion, Mr. Marshall referring to the Chanukah Festival declared that while our Temple in this country has not been desecrated, it has been neglected. He called on the guests to support more generously the work of the Jewish Education Association.
Among the speakers were Mrs. Joseph Leblang, Chairman of Ivriah, the Women’s Division of the Association, and Mrs. Gabriel Hamburger, associate chairman.