Brooklyn Contains 60 Per Cent of City’s Jewish Delinquents
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Brooklyn Contains 60 Per Cent of City’s Jewish Delinquents

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The Jewish population of Greater New York has a delinquency rate of about fifty per cent as compared with delinquency rates among other groups, but sixty per cent of the Jewish delinquency in New York City is confined to one borough.

These figures were made public Friday by Walter N. Rothschild, vice-president of the Brooklyn Federation of Jewish Charities and a member of the executive committee in charge of the Federation’s annual $100 dinner and ball to be held on November 18 at the Hotel St. George.

Rothschild is a member of the executive committee of the Jewish Board of Guardians, the Brooklyn district of which is one of the twenty-five constituent agencies of the Federation. Addressing leaders of the Jewish community whose support he seeks for the Federation’s $100-per-couple affair, Rothschild cited the figures of delinquency in discussing the problems of the Federation. The statistics he cited were part of a report made recently to the directors of the Federation by Dr. John Slawson, executive director of the Jewish Board of Guardians.


“In the last year,” he declared, “the work of the Brooklyn district of the Jewish Board of Guardians has increased enormously. On September 1, 1933, there were 103 active cases of Jewish delinquents in Brooklyn, and on September 1, 1934, the number had risen to 295—an increase of 186 per cent. That does not mean that delinquency has increased to that extent among the Jewish population of Brooklyn, but simply that we are doing more work now among delinquents than we did a year ago. This kind of work is the best kind of preventative service. The more cases of delinquency we handle, the less do we send to the juvenile courts.

“Brooklyn has a greater number of poor Jews than both Manhattan and the Bronx combined, and that is why sixty per cent of all the Jewish delinquency cases in New York City arise in this one borough. The seriousness of the situation becomes more apparent when we find that, despite the increase of 186 per cent in the number of active cases handled, we are still handling only about forty per cent of the delinquents in whose behalf application is made to our agency. We turn away sixty per cent of the delinquents—not because we do not want to handle them, but because we cannot. We do give some of these some service, but we do not give them the full service to which they are entitled.


“The Jewish population in the United States as a whole furnishes only about fifty per cent of the criminals that it might contribute on the basis of population comparisons with other groups. Twenty years ago, the Jews among the inmates of the New York House of Refuge numbered fifty-eight per cent. Today, among 350 inmates in that institution, only four or five are Jews. We know also that we have only about half of the number of prisoners in Sing Sing and other State prisons that we might have on a basis of Jewish population. But these figures mean only that work among delinquents is bearing fruit.

“To reduce such work now would be a calamity. I cite delinquency figures because that is one phase of Federation work with which I am best acquainted. In all other phases of the many activities carried on by the Federation’s twenty-five constituent agencies, the need is just as great. The proceeds from our dinner and ball must furnish a large share of the funds for the agencies to carry on for the rest of this year.”

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