Jews of San Francisco Unite to Realize Dream of Community Center

A common cause finds San Francisco Jewry united as it probably has not been united before in years. The common cause is a dream—the dream of an ideal. And its visualization is not far distant. The dream that is to come true is the proposed Jewish community center—the project that has served to unite every element of the Jewish community in organization for a campaign that opens April 28.

In that campaign organization are reform Jews and orthodox, conservative Jews and Jews who heretofore have had little or no affiliation with organized activities. But so thoroughly has the idea of the center been “sold” to local Jewry that all are united in a concerted effort to make the coming drive a tremendous, record-breaking success.

The campaign will continue to May 9 under the leadership of Harold L. Zellerbach as campaign director. Assisting him are men and women, leaders in every walk of life. The goal has been set at $650,000, which represents the cost of purchasing a site already selected, erecting an adequate building, which already has been planned, and equipping it.

A huge civic mass meeting in Scottish Rite hall on the evening of April 27 will formally launch the campaign. San Francisco has been divided into ten districts for the financial canvas and into these teams of men and women will go, seeking funds for the purpose to which they have dedicated themselves. Not only will the center represent a union gathering place for the principal Jewish recreational, cultural and educational organizations of the city, but it will bring under one roof and into a typically Jewish atmosphere, organizations made up of every shade of Jewry.

There will be such bodies as the Chevra Shaare Refooah with an entirely orthodox membership, the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Workmen’s Circle with its orthodox members and those of radical belief; and the Hadassah, whose members largely represent the reform group. In all, there will be more than 30 organizations of men and women actively participating in the center. But with the participants so representative of all groups of the community, it is seen that the institution will serve as a veritable “melting pot” that will bring about a unity of purpose in all of its constituent bodies that augurs well for a united San Francisco Jewry. An important feature of the center movement, too, is that the B’nai B’rith, with its three strong local lodges, has come under the wing of the institution and will become a part of it.

Wherever Jews gather these days the center is the only subject of conversation. It is discussed at meetings, in the homes, and at luncheon groups. And everywhere there is expressed, without dissenting voice, a unanimous desire to “put it over” so that San Francisco Jewry will record itself as united more strongly than ever in a cause that has the advancement of Jewish culture and solidarity as its keynote.

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