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National Conference of Jewish Social Workers Discusses Trends in Communal Life

Current trends in Jewish community life were discussed today at the 50th annual meeting of the National Conference of Jewish Social Workers attended by more than 700 delegates from all parts of the country.

A message of greetings from President Truman was read to the delegates at the first general session by Samuel Levine, president of the Conference. The gathering was welcomed by Henry A. Rocker, president of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Cleveland.

Addressing the general session, Mr. Levine emphasized that the experience and knowledge accumulated by the more than 2,500 experts engaged in Jewish social work in this country could be utilized toward constructive ends in many facets of Jewish communal life. “No other professional group has access to, and experience with, a comparable wealth of material about human beings and human needs,” he said.

Dr. I, Edwin Goldwasser of New York reviewed the past 50 years of the work of the National Conference of Jewish Social Workers and its contributions to community welfare programs. The future of Jewish communal services in the United States was outlined at the session by Samuel A. Goldsmith of Chicago.

Dr. Herman Gray, former chairman of the New York State Advisory Council on Job Placement and Unemployment Insurance, told the conference yesterday that more than 50,000 Jewish DP’s who entered the American labor market since 1940 have created an equal number of new jobs for American workers. With the financial assistance of the United Service for New Americans, he said, Jewish DP immigrants in recent years established their own businesses and provided employment for American citizens.

Since 1940, approximately 100,000 displaced Jews entered the United States, Dr. Gray reported. He added that because many European Jewish children did not survive the Nazi concentration camps, almost two-thirds of this number were adults and consequently in the “employable” category.

The National Association of Jewish Center Workers meeting in conjunction with the Conference today honored members who have more than 25 years of service in the American Jewish Center movement. Among the 40 members honored were Charles S. Bernheimer, Miriam R. Ephraim, Louis Kraft and Samuel Levine.

The N.A.J.C.W. continued with its specific sessions devoted to the problems of Jewish centers. Sanford Solender of Mount Vernon, N.Y., president of the Association, addressing a session, said that it was not “an either-or choice” as to whether funds for welfare went for domestic use or overseas. “We do not ask that world Jewry ask sacrificed to the requirements of the American Jewish community,” he stated. “We ask only that a healthy balance be developed between meeting our needs at home and Jewish our responsibilities abroad.” He also declared that it was important that Jewish welfare workers “actively promote a better understanding between the Jew and the non-Jew in the community.”

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