Kirstein Urges Need for Health and Character Services

Sounding a note of warning to the delegates attending the national welfare and relief mobilization conference which opened here today, Louis E. Kirstein, president of the Associated Jewish Philanthropies of Boston, stressed the urgency of maintaining health and character building services. “Give up these services,” he said, “and we may as well face frankly the certainty of having on our hands, when the depression finally lifts, a mass of demoralized, discontented, sullen and perhaps pauperized wage-earners.”

The one day conference opened at the White House with President Hoover delivering the charge to the delegates on “Citizens’ Responsibility for Human Welfare.” Newton D. Baker, chairman of the national citizens’ committee for the 1932 mobilization, replied to the President’s message.

Stressing the importance not only of relief but of character, health and morale building services, Mr. Kirstein, who spoke at the afternoon session, said:

“We cannot emphasize too strongly that even if, with the help of the Federal government, we succeed in preventing stark hunger, our job will be only half done. We will still have to raise defences against the more subtle dangers that undermine the beaten and crushed human spirit after hunger has been appeased. This is by no means an easy task. All of us who have had any experience in fund-raising know how persistently subscribers inquire, ‘How much of my money actually goes to feed and clothe the poor?’ Only by dint of the hardest educational work have we been able to win grudging acceptance of services for health, character and morale-building. We cannot afford to sacrifice this hard-won victory, so permanently important to society, so specially significant for the immediate emergency.

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