Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds Meets to Prevent Break-up of U.J.A.
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Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds Meets to Prevent Break-up of U.J.A.

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Efforts to prevent a break-up of the United Jewish Appeal, threatened by disagreement between the United Palestine Appeal and the Joint Distribution Committee with regard to the proportion of funds each of these agencies is to get from the joint fund-raising campaign in 1945 were made here by the board of directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds at a meeting held during the week-end, it was announced today.

These efforts climaxed discussions carried on during the past few weeks between officers of the Council and officers of the U.P.A. and of the J.D.C. Numerous alternative proposals and a formula of agreement were discussed by a special committee of the Council’s board headed by William J. Shroder, board chairman, and including Sidney Hollander, president, Daniel Shiman of Newark and Irvin Bettmann of St. Louis, meeting with Dr. James G. Heller and Henry Montor for the United Palestine Appeal and Paul Baerwald, Isaac Levy and Joseph C. Hyman for the Joint Distribution Committee.

No final decision was reached. A special meeting of the executive committee of the United Palestine Appeal will take place in New York at which the proposals of the directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds will be discussed. (It is understood that the Joint Distribution Committee was willing to accept the proposals of the Council.)


Welfare fund leaders present at the meeting here were unanimous in stressing the importance of continuing the joint fund-raising campaign to achieve maximum funds for overseas needs and to avoid any impediment of community solidarity which might follow as a result of competitive appeals. Several expressed the view that in this year of the greatest need for bringing aid to suffering Jewry abroad and providing greater opportunities in Palestine a split would be most unfortunate. This was also reflected in telegrams and letters received by the board from member communities. If in the face of these necessities, the joint campaign is not continued, they pledge the efforts of the welfare funds to preserve the united front in their own communities.

The threatened break among the major overseas agencies was the one dark cloud in the prospects for even more generous giving by the Jews of America, according to the report on fund raising prospects for 1945 submitted by Abe Srere of Detroit, chairman of the Council’s Committee on Financing of Welfare Programs. The report indicated that if the U.J.A. situation were not disturbed the peak fund raising achieved in 1944 would be surpassed in the current year.

Both in the report and in the discussion that followed, it was the unanimous view that the increased needs abroad which have been forecast would bring a substantially increased response. Under present economic conditions, it was indicated, over-due obligations for capital improvements in the social service structure at home can be provided for. War time prosperity makes possible radical advances in giving, but the meeting was cautioned that this must be accompanied by prudent spending.


Extension of budget research service to include evaluation of programs and total funds requested by national and overseas agencies was proposed in a report submitted by Jacob Blaustein of Baltimore, chairman of the Council’s Committee on National Budget Research. The committee as such made no recommendations, but Mr. Blaustein urged that after three years experience with the limited fact finding service provided by the Council, this was the time to extend the service. With the concurrence of a number of welfare fund representatives, Mr. Blaustein, expressed the view that the present service is inadequate to enable welfare fund budget committees to allocate funds equitably and in accordance with established needs, and urged that an evaluative service was essential to accomplish sounder and more efficient budgeting by the welfare funds.

Some objection was raised to an extension of the budgeting service to include advice on quotas and evaluation of programs by some of the welfare fund and national agency representatives. Nevertheless, a substantial number of the board members present supported the proposal to extend the advisory budgeting service, in principle, and it was determined to submit the question to the entire board for an expression of opinion. It was agreed also that a subsequent meeting of the board would review the proposal and would act on the question of submitting the matter to member agencies.


Other sessions of the board meeting were devoted to discussions of civic protective work, post-war welfare planning and community interpretation and participation. The board was especially interested in the report submitted by David Sher, as president of the National Community Relations Advisory Council, on its first year of operations. The NCRAC was organized as a result of action taken at the last General Assembly of the Council held in Pittsburgh in February 1944. Mr. Sher reported that after the preliminary stages of establishing the new organization and determining plans and policies, a degree of progress had been made in coordinating some of the activities of the four major national agencies engaged in the defense field and in establishing a closer relationship between such national agencies and local community relations bodies.

An analysis of problems involved in readjustment of returning veterans and war workers was presented by Jerome N. Curtis, co-chairman of the Council’s Committee on Post-War Planning. The changing role of Jewish social service agencies, with greater emphasis being placed on personal problems rather than economic need, was discussed. Avery Carp of Granite City, Ill, and Joseph Goldstein of Rochester reviewed developments in local Jewish communities throughout the country.

Sidney Hollander was reelected president. The vice presidents elected were Stanley C. Myers, Miami; William Rosenwald, Greenwich; Samuel Schneierson, New York; David M. Watchmaker, Boston. Ira M. Younker of New York was reelected treasurer and Elias Mayor of Chicago secretary. This action was taken at a specially constituted Assembly session of the Board at which favorable action was also taken on an amendment enlarging the board membership from 40 to 60. Mr. Shroder was reelected chairman of the board.

Awards for excellence of educational and publicity materials were made to the St. Louis Jewish Federation, New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropics, the Combined Jewish Appeal of Boston, Rochester United Jewish Appeal, Dallas Jewish Federation, Jacksonville Jewish Community Council and Chattanooga Jewish Federation.

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