American Jewish Communities Plan to Adjust Their Services to Post-war Needs

The determination of organized Jewish communities throughout the country to fit their communal services to the changing needs of the war and post-war periods is highlighted in a survey of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds made public here.

The survey describes the steps being taken in 32 Jewish communities to plan for modified or expanded organizations and services to keep step with new conditions and requirements. These plans which are being carried out with the assistance or under the guidance of the CJEWF, deal not only with central communal organization like federations, welfare funds and community councils, but with such special fields as vocational service, Jewish education, family social services, child care, the health and medical care field, and group activities.

Newark and Canton are completing formal community surveys of their central structures and communal needs, the survey shows. Canton has established its Survey Steering Committee and Advisory Committee as a temporary central community structure to carry forward the coordination and joint planning inaugurated by the survey. Centralization of civic protective work and Jewish education are also outgrowths of the process. The CJFWF staff has conducted an extensive study of Newark’s Jewish community organization during the past few months.

The Atlanta Jewish Welfare Fund has established a committee to study the relationship of the local central services and to weigh specifically the wisdom of integration through a Jewish Community Council. In Little Rock, the Federation has a special committee working on a program to expand the scope beyond traditional philanthropies, and to serve as a community-wide representative agency in matters of general Jewish concern. The Rochester Jewish Community Council is considering a plan of reorganization which would expand its membership and broaden its scope. Oakland is considering a plan to merge the Federation, Welfare Fund and civic-protective agency.

San Francisco has just formed the Associated Jewish Organization as a result of the joint efforts of the Jewish Survey and B’nai B’rith Community Committee of the United Jewish Council. The new body will become the Council for the Jewish community.

LOCAL LEADERS DETERMINED TO BRING TOGETHER ALL ELEMENTS

“Reorganization frequently has been stimulated by the belief of local leaders that the gravity of current needs is such that a central local instrument is needed to bring together all elements and points of view and to pool all resources for meeting these needs,” the report states. “Miami has created a Planning Committee which is launching several projects, including a population survey and studies of capital needs, kashruth administration and community relations. In Milwaukee, which has no federation, the Jewish Welfare Fund has taken the initiative in forming a Council of Jewish Social Agencies. Seattle and Minneapolis likewise have formed such committees.”

In a number of cities community-wide civic-protective agencies, or committees of federations or community councils, are being established to coordinate local efforts to meet and prevent anti-Semitism, and to develop year-round programs under professional direction. Boston has established a Jewish Community Council with this objective. The Peoria Jewish Community Council, Dallas Federation, Wilmington Federation, and New Orleans Federation have formed special committees to plan and supervise community relations work. In Birmingham, a committee has been established to study the problem. The Essex County Council of Jewish Social Agencies in Newark has reorganized its special committee for this purpose. Similarly, the Jacksonville Jewish Community Council has created a special department.

This general trend toward community planning and integration is finding expression in the field of Jewish education through the establishment of a Bureau of Jewish Education in Milwaukee, plans for creating a similar Bureau in Atlanta, and studies of Jewish education needs and organization in Omaha and Duluth. Detroit likewise is launching a survey involving all types of Jewish education.

St. Louis has launched a program to coordinate its medical and social services. Detroit is raising funds for a new Jewish hospital. Cleveland has established the Jewish Convalescent Hospital as a joint project of the Federation, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Jewish Consumptives Relief Society, and Bikur Cholim. Pittsburgh has been studying the need for convalescent care, and Cincinnati the needs of the chronic sick. In consultation with the CJFWF, Kansas City is examining the possibilities of further coordination of care for the chronic sick and the aged, involving a hospital, case work agency, and home for the aged.

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