Plea for Trained Social Workers Voiced by Waldman at Pittsburgh Parley
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Plea for Trained Social Workers Voiced by Waldman at Pittsburgh Parley

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A plea for trained Jewish social and communal workers to meet the changing character of Jewish social work in the United States was made tonight by Morris D. Waldman, secretary of the American Jewish Committee, delivering the Harry L. Glucksman Memorial Lecture before the National Conference on Jewish Social Welfare.

Declaring that events in Europe had shifted the perspective in Jewish life from philanthropy and social work to “the all-absorbing and harrowing interest in the problem of self-preservation,” Waldman asserted that “the problem of training manpower for this melancholy struggle warrants the most serious attention of the American Jewish community.”

“Events abroad since 1933, with their repercussions in the United States, have produced radical changes in the problems of the Jewish community of America,” Waldman said, and there is necessity for a coherent and unified effort not only in philanthropy but in religion and civic-protective work on a community-wide and nation-wide basis.

“The immediate need,” he said, “has thrust into the background the traditional problems of community philanthropy and has emphasized the need of training for administration of public relations and foreign relief, that is to say, emphasis on training for work of self-preservation and group survival as contrasted with former stress on charity.”

Emphasizing the need for highly trained social workers, Waldman deplored any recommendation to dissolve the Graduate School for Jewish Social Work.

At yesterday’s session, Samuel A. Goldsmith, director of the Chicago Jewish Charities, expressed confidence that American Jewish institutions would be able to surmount the problem of absorbing the 35,000 to 50,000 refugees into American life. He reported the results of a questionnaire showing that 33 communities expect to spend $987,000 for refugee services in 1940, as compared with $555,000 in 1939.

James Marshall, president of the New York City Board of Education, addressing the National Council for Jewish Education, which is holding its conference at the Hotel William Penn in conjunction with the social service session, warned that discrimination arose from fear among the people.

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