Increased Aid to Immigrants Reported by Jewish Social Service Agencies in U.S.
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Increased Aid to Immigrants Reported by Jewish Social Service Agencies in U.S.

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A rising volume of aid to Jewish immigrants and their children highlighted the work of Jewish social agencies in the United States in 1948, as the communities increasingly turned their attention to the planning and construction of much-needed buildings for local services, it was revealed here today in a report issued by the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.

The report, prepared by the Social Planning Department of the C.J.F.W.F., emphasized that in other fields the upward trend of service which had characterized the earlier postwar years was somewhat stabilized. The report analyzed the activities of family and child-care agencies, as well as services to immigrants, homes for the aged, and hospital clinic programs.

Figures show that the Jewish social service agencies continue to, be affected by the postwar pattern of high costs, relatively full employment, and continuation of the housing shortage, the survey noted.


Jewish family agencies reported an 11 percent increase in service to immigrant families and individuals, despite the fact that there was an overall decrease of two percent in the total number of cases served in 1948, and a general decrease of four percent in the number of applications. Financial aid to immigrants is also on the increase, according to the report, with family agencies giving almost two-thirds of the total amount of local agency assistance to recent immigrants. In 1948, the average assistance grant per month for each of these cases was $115, as compared with $49 for non-immigrant cases served by the same agencies.

Agencies explained that the differential in amounts comes from the fact that newcomers are often not eligible for public assistance funds and also because a much greater need is experienced by immigrants who must establish themselves in a completely new environment.

Child-care agencies reported an upward swing of five percent in the number of immigrant children receiving care. These agencies also noted extension of the trend toward foster home care for children. Service reports of 43 child care agencies showed that nearly 60 percent of all children under their care were in family foster homes, while less than 25 percent were in institutions, with other” children remaining with parents and relatives. The figures also showed that the great bulk of immigrant children were in foster homes.

Indications that local community needs are receiving increasingly greater attention were reported to the C.J.F.W.F. “The long-delayed need for new construction of buildings and other facilities was met in small part when communities projected $170,000,000 in capital funds campaigns,” the C.J.F.W.F. analysis said, adding that although construction of many buildings was actually begun, substantial increases in facilities were not recorded by the end of 1948. Despite plans for expansion of the number of homes for aged, the C.J.F.W.F. report indicated an increase of only two percent in the total beds available for the aged in 1948. However, many communities reported active planning for filling the needs of the ever-growing numbers of Jewish aged and the elimination of long waiting lists for admission to homes.

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