Atlantic City (Jun. 5)
George W. Rabinoff, director of field service of the Bureau of Jewish Social Research, in an address reviewing the work of the service before today’s session of the National Conference of Jewish Social Service in annual meeting at the Hotel Breakers, reported that Jewish agencies in thirty-nine cities visited within the last nine months show a variation in social work technique and in an understanding of the philosophy of communal work ranging from the archaic to the most modern.
“A complete report would stress the excellent work that is being done in many places in the child caring, recreation, medical care and other branches of social work,” declared Mr. Rabinoff, “but we are concentrating our attention on those situations which are weak, and need all the strength and energy we can give them. In many cities it is necessary to organize a Federation to coordinate the work of a group of independent organizations now competing with each other and neglecting their community problems; in other instances there exists an indifference to the needs of Jewish education, there is no provision for the coordination of national appeals for funds and the lack of appreciation of the possibilities of child placement programs is particularly striking.”
Steps have been taken to provide for the employment and training of workers in the field. Cooperation has been effected with the Jewish Welfare Board, the National Council of Jewish Education and the National Appeals Information Service, to insure mutual usefulness in behalf of communities. Contacts also have been made with a number of general organizations, so that Jewish agencies may join with non-sectarian groups for exchange of information and for cooperation looking toward improvement of standards.
At a special morning session for members of boards of trustees of institutions, the doors were barred to professional workers, the volunteers taking an hour or so to discuss what the board members expected of a social worker and what, in the opinion of the board member, the social worker expected of the board member. Mrs. Abraham N. Davis, president of the Council of Jewish Women of New York, and Mrs. Alice I. Liveright, member of the board of directors of the Federation of Jewish Charities of Philadelphia, delivered talks on the subject.
Integration of American and Jewish culture to the advantage of both is possible only if Jews understand their own background and their own contribution in the past to the learning and culture through the ages, according to Rabbi Solomon Goldman, of Cleveland, who addressed the conference on “The Adjustment of Jewish Life to the American Milieu.” Joseph C. Hyman, secretary of the American Joint Distribution Committee, speaking on “The Adjustment of Jewish Life to the European Situation,” described the progress being made in rehabilitating declassed Jews in Eastern European countries and stated that the spiritual future of American Jewry was dependent on their response to the appeals from abroad.
Morris D. Waldman, Dr. Ludwig B. Bernstein and Dr. Solomon Lowenstein addressed the session. Dr. Boris D. Bogen, executive secretary of the Independent Order of Bn’ai B’rith, traced the growth of his organization from its birth in 1843 to its present membership of more than eighty thousand in twenty-two countries. Summarizing the social service activities of individual lodges, Dr. Bogan listed employment bureaus, sponsoring of scout work, maintenance of boys’ camps, contributions to campaigns and hospital social service as some of the work done, in addition to the maintenance of orphanages in Cleveland and Erie, Pa., by district lodges. The organization also has interested itself in the problem of the Jew in Mexico and has sponsored the development of Jewish cultural life among young men at college, as well as a program to disseminate Jewish knowledge through the wider scope committees.