CLEVELAND (Apr. 11)
A 1954 budget of $2, 232,155 was adopted here today at the concluding session of the biennial convention of the National Jewish Welfare Board. The delegates also elected Charles Aaron, Chicago attorney and communal leader, president of the JWB to succeed Irving Edison of St. Louis, who was named honorary vice-president.
The 700 delegates called upon welfare funds throughout the country and the New York United Jewish Appeal, of which the JWB is a beneficiary, to support the full needs of the JWB in 1954. They expressed confidence that American Jewry is “determined to maintain and support without interruption or minimization a program of meeting the religious and welfare needs of our youth in the armed forces.” Similar confidence was voiced that American Jewry is “determined to make a maximum contribution to the maintenance of the highest level of civilian morale through the support of Jewish community centers served by and affiliated with the JWB.”
Bringing to a close the celebration of the centennial of the Jewish community center movement, the convention reaffirmed a “statement of principles of Jewish center purposes” adopted by the 1948 convention, and formulated a supplementary credo. This credo described the center “as a striking symbol of our Jewish communal unity;” as a “common meeting place for all Jewish groups within the community”; as an agency with a “central and unique role in the Jewish community, complementing the good purposes and necessary services of many other institutions and organizations in Jewish life”; as an institution to whose program “Jewish content is fundamental”; and a force which “furthers the democratic way of life” and which through its total program “seeks to develop and enrich the human personality.”
The threatened closing of the JWB’s servicemen’s center in Heidelberg, Germany was averted, at least until December 31, 1954. The club will remain open for the balance of the year even though it means the JWB will incur a deficit of $25, 000, which is not in the JWB’s present budget.
Among the speakers at the convention this week-end was Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army, who lauded the role of the JWB in caring for the welfare and morale needs of American Jewish servicemen. Philip M. Klutznick, president of B’nai B’rith, who also addressed the delegates, called upon President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to restate the American policy of peace and security in the Middle East.