HEIDELBERG (Mar. 22)
The Jewish chaplains now on duty with the U.S. Forces in Europe and North Africa, as well as the Servicemen’s Council here, today registered a protest against the proposed closing, for financial reasons, of the Jewish Welfare Board Center in Heidelberg.
The center, which apart from the chaplaincy program is the only JWB operation in Europe, has been the Jewish occupation soldiers’ “home away from home” for almost nine years. It offers a variety of religious, social and cultural facilities, and also serves as headquarters for all Jewish chaplains.
The National Jewish Welfare Board has informed center director A. Grodsky that the curtailment of its budget does not permit operation of the center after April 30. This, declares a statement signed by 11 chaplains, would be “a severe blow to the morale of Jewish soldiers in Europe and will immeasurably hurt the Jewish religious and cultural work for the men of the Armed Forces. “
The Servicemen’s Council, made up of Jews stationed in this area, has decided to mobilize users and “alumni” of the center. They are urging hometown organizations and individuals to press the United Jewish Appeal for a larger allocation of funds to the JWB, so that the center can yet be preserved as a focus of Jewish life for American servicemen, many of them youngsters, assigned to Germany. (In New York, the JWB today said that lack of funds necessitates the closing of the center in Heidelberg).