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Jewish Education Losing Dependence on Philanthropy

Expenditure of $4,633,000 for Jewish education in New York City was made in 1927, according to the Jewish Education Section of the Jewish Communal Survey of Greater New York, made public by the Bureau of Jewish Social Research as a part of a city-wide study begun in 1925 to determine Jewish communal needs and resources in the five boroughs of Greater New York. The great bulk of the support for this work comes from other than philanthropic sources. The fact that the income from self-supporting sources is on the increase is one of the most hopeful factors in the development of Jewish education, the survey states.

Without the endorsement and financial support of the educational program by the parents of Jewish children, no solution can be found for the problem of Jewish education in the City of New York is the conclusion drawn by the investigators.

The education section of the survey, conducted by Ben Rosen, Director of Jewish Education of Philadelphia and a staff of research workers under the direction of Samuel A. Goldsmith, executive director of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, was made public by Ludwig Vogelstein, chairman of the Committee on Jewish Education, the members of which are Louis Marshall, Bernard Semel, Jonah J. Goldstein, Henry Szold, Israel Unterberg Judge Irving Lehman, Mrs. Joseph Leblang Adolph Held. Cyrus Sulzberger and a number of others named by a Citizens’ Committee. The Citizens’ Committee is led by Judge Otto A. Rosalsky as chairman and Dr. Lee K. Frankel as chairman of the executive committee and was organized to direct similar studies on Jewish population, health, recreation. child care and family welfare.

The survey finds that 94,000 children out of a total Jewish school-age population of 215,000 in New York City are receiving a Jewish education. Of these, 94,000 children, whose ages range from eight to thirteen years inclusive, 67,000 receive instruction in schools for Jewish education and the other 34,000 are under private tutelage.

The children attending schools were found in a total of 373 institutions of various types. Week-day schools showed an enrollment of 46,500 at 260 institutions; Sunday schools had an enrollment of 9,000 at thirty-six institutions; 3,000 were in the Sunday departments of thirty-eight week-day schools; 3,800 attended ten parochial schools and 4,250 attended sixty-seven Yiddish schools. In 1927 the most frequent size was the most of the schools organized in recent years being congregational and small in size. Striking changes noted are the almost phenomenal growth of congregational Talmud Torahs, or Hebrew Schools, the growth of the parochial schools and the appearance of the Yiddish schools. (Continued on page 4)

Attendance at Jewish schools is too short-lived, according to the study. While eighty percent of the children between the ages of eight and thirteen years receive instruction during some part of that period, the vast majority at a given time are unenrolled.

Religious education that is self-sustaining is endorsed by the survey, which recommends that subsidies by central agencies be devoted in greater amounts for supervision, guidance, improvement of textbooks and raising the standards of the curriculum.

Mr. Goldsmith further announced that following the study on Jewish education which contains twelve chapters reports also will be made by the chairmen of the various other study sections Judge William N. Cohen, child care; Felix M. Warburg, recreation; Fred M. Stein, health; Mrs. Sidney C. Borg, family welfare and Judge Otto A. Rosalsky, community organization.

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