NEW YORK (Aug. 4)
Existing buildings owned by Jewish community centers and those under construction or in the blueprint stage have nearly doubled in value in the ten years since the end of World War II, it was reported today in the National Jewish Welfare Board’s newly-published year book on the Jewish community center field. From an estimated cost of $40,000,000 in 1945, the combined cost of center buildings has climbed to $75,000,000 today, the year book reveals in a study of center work since 1945.
The JWB year book includes factual data on current trends in center membership, participation, financing, personnel, scholarships and camping. The volume also contains information on JWB services to Jewish community centers a selected bibliography of publications by centers and JWB and directories of centers and center-sponsored resident camps.
Another index of growth reported in the year book was a major increase in centers income and expenditures. Combined expenditures for centers was $7,171,000 in 1945. By 1953, the figure had reached $14,630,000. This was a gross increase of 104% and a real increase of 36%, taking into account differing dollar values. Center incomes kept pace with expenditures during this period.
During the last decade center membership went up by 26%, the year book discloses a steady increase in the number of children under 14 joining centers; a striking rise in the number of older adults over 60, participating in center programs; the widespread introduction of family memberships and family programming; and a phenomenal growth in center camping and nursery school programming.
The size of center professional staffs rose by 75% during this decade — rising from 750 full-time workers in 1945 to more than 1200 today. A higher level of professional training was also reported. The demand for additional staff remains large, with an average of 140 to 145 vacancies per month reported to JWV’s bureau of personnel and training.