Jewish Communities in U.S. Study Structural Changes, Reorganization and Mergers

Nationwide record activity of Jewish communities in studying their structures and programs as a means of constantly improving their services was reported today in a survey published by the Committee on Community Organization of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.

The survey reveals that at least 140 communities have completed or are currently involved in major communal studies. Chief areas of interest are constitutional changes, mergers and reorganizations of central community organizations, self-studies and surveys, and structural changes. The activities embraced by the studies include scope of the central organization, functional services, and population surveys.

Functional services currently being examined include care of the aged, medical programs, child care, Jewish education, community relations, group work, family service, refugee programs, and other services. Some of the major activities being carried on in this field include:

DETROIT: Recent revision of Federation constitution. Committees of Federation and Community Council are meeting jointly to explore their relationships and functions.

HARTFORD: Amended its constitution to incorporate official representation from functional agencies on social planning committee, executive committee and finance committee of the Federation.

HOUSTON: Constitutional amendment on Community Council which allows one-half of the executive committee to be designated from the community at large, and who are elected on a rotating basis.

BUFFALO: Completed reorganization of its two central agencies into one United Jewish Federation. The new body will have a board of 70, consisting of members at large elected by the general membership, representatives of constituent agencies, and representation from every Jewish organization with a Jewish purpose and a membership of 200 or more.

INDIANAPOLIS: Merger of Federation and Welfare Fund into one central planning body, the Jewish Welfare Federation; SAN DIEGO: New by-laws accepted by organizations which will constitute the Federation; SIOUX CITY: Federation will conduct a series of three study committee meetings to examine group work, Jewish education, and Jewish community organization.

BALTIMORE: Studying a plan to combine the fund raising of the Welfare Fund and the Associated Jewish Charities into a single annual appeal. Also studying operations of the Family and Child Care Bureau: CLEVELAND: Studies by Federation and Social Agency Committee on Aged, Capital Fund projects, Budget process and control, and new projects; MILWAUKEE: Completed a medical survey under the auspices of a Social Planning Committee.

VIRGINIA: Several communities, including Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News, have for some time been jointly considering setting up a state plan for the care of the aged, utilizing the institution in Richmond; KANSAS CITY: Planning a refugee study as a joint project of the United Jewish Social Service and the Jewish Federation and Council; SEATTLE: Recommendations for broadening Federated Fund scope to take on Community Council functions now before Federated Fund Board.

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