Newark, N. J (Feb. 21)
Discussion anent the continued critical state of affairs of the United Hebrew Schools, the largest unit for orthodox religious training in this city, continues to hold the attention of the community.
The critical condition of the institution, whose largest constituent is the thirty-five year old Morton Street Talmud Torah, was lately enhanced when the election of new officers took place. During the past two weeks, the question was often asked “Who is President?” Paul Handler, who was president during the past year, declined renomination and Isaiah Polevski was elected to the office. Mr. Polevski, for personal reasons, originally declined to serve. This gave rise to the question which, however, was amicably adjusted at a subsequent meeting of the board of directors, when Mr. Polevski reconsidered his declination.
From present indications it appears likely that the parochial school, which is one of the three constituents of the United Hebrew Schools, will have to be discontinued at the close of the current school year. Although nothing definite has yet been proposed, it is believed by many that the $15,000 annual budget required by the parochial school, is too large a drain upon the financial resources of the United Hebrew Schools. No charges have been directed against the school itself or its desirability as an educational medium, other than that it entails too great a financial burden. As is the case in other large cities, where there does not appear to be sufficient responsiveness on the part of the community in general, the situation of the local Orthodox unit for Jewish education, may be traced directly to lack of funds.
The financial situation is so bad, that busses which are retained to transport children from outlying sections-and these comprise the bulk of the student body-to the Morton Street Talmud Torah building, which also houses the parochial school, have of late been continued on a sort of hand-to-mouth basis. Voluntary subscriptions on the part of some parents enabled the busses to continue up to the present, and at the meeting of the directors money was raised to continue them an additional three weeks.
This is merely one item in a drastic policy of economy which has been employed by the officers of the institution in late months. Evidently, the policy is being made more extensive, for the directors, it is reported, have decided to take action to decrease the number of classes, by combining them, and thus possibly dispense with some teachers. The program of re-organization that is being anticipated and the stringent policy of economy have predicated the view that the parochial school will be discontinued.` (Continued on Page 4)
The annual meeting of the local Y. M.-Y. W. H. A. was productive of some interesting figures. President A. J Dimond reported that the organization last year had 4,390 members the largest in its history During the year there was a total attendance in the building of more than 380.000 in all departments of the association. More than $174,000 had been spent by the association during the 1928 fiscal year, of which the Community Chest had contributed $74,000 and the balance was obtained from membership dues and other revenue-raising activities of the association, making it about 55 per cent self-supporting. The following were elected to the board of directors for a term of three years: Louis Bamberger, Morris Cohn, Abram Feist, Rabbi Solomon Foster, Michael Hollander, Isaac Lowenstein, Bernard Miller, David Satz. Joseph Stern and Judge Joseph Siegler. A motion of deep sorrow over the death of Felix Fuld was unanimously adopted. Mr. Fuld was the president of the New Jersey Federation of Y. M. H. A.’s and Y. W. H. A.’s and treasurer of the Newark association. He willed the latter the sum of $100,000.
Beth Israel Hospital is another local institution which lately held its annual meeting. The scope of the service rendered by the new hospital to the general community has widened to an unprecedented degree, Dr. Paul Keller, superintendent, indicated in his report. Frank L. Liveright was unanimously re-elected president; Michael Hollander, Louis L. Friedman and Milton M. Adler, vice-presidents; and Louis Lippman, secretary. A resolution on the death of Felix Fuld was adopted.
Martin H. Goldsmith, son of one of the founders of the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum, now identified as the Jewish Children’s Home, has been elected president of the latter institution, succeeding Jacob Roth. Mr. Goldsmith’s father, Bertram Goldsmith, who was one of the pioneer Jewish residents of Newark, in 1860 helped found the asylum and in 1871 was chosen president.
The New Jersey Normal School for Jewish Teachers is making significant progress, according to reports rendered the board of trustees at their annual meeting, by Rabbi Solomon Foster, president, and Dr. Leon Mones, director. Arthur Lindeman was elected president of the board to succeed former Prosecutor Jacob L. Newman, who resigned.
March will be a special “propaganda month” for the Jewish National Fund in this city. Appeals in behalf of the Fund will be made to all local synagogues, Jewish organizations and special literature pertaining to the Fund’s origin and endeavor will be distributed. The “propaganda month” was decided upon by the newly organized National Fund Council of Newark, which at present is comprised of sixteen affiliated Zionist bodies and congregations. Morris J. Miller has been elected president and Gedaliah Convissor, chairman of the “propaganda month” committee. The organization meeting was addressed by P. M. Raskin, Hebrew poet, and Meyer S. Mintz, U. P. A. director.
More than a dozen communities were represented at the annual conference of the Senior Hadassah Regional Unit of Northern New Jersey, which was held in this city. Among the resolutions adopted was one endorsing the Jewish Agency. Reports were given of the progress being made by the respective chapters and a new regional constitution was adopted. It was decided to hold membership campaigns in several communities. Miss Sarah Kussy of Newark, was unanimously re-elected regional chairman.
Among other local events of interest is the announcement that the Progress Club, comprised exclusively of loyal Jewish business and professional men, has decided to raze its forty years’ old club house on West Park Street and supplant it with one on a different street, at a cost of $600,000. The club lately held its 57th anniversary dinner. Morris Scheck is the president.