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C.J.F.W.F. Assembly Stresses Need for More Community Leadership

Jewish communities in this country were urged to develop adequate programs for the recruitment and training of new leadership in a resolution adopted here at the concluding session of the 24th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. The resolution also suggested that the communities should simultaneously continue their efforts toward constant reactiviation and retention of veteran community leaders.

The resolution cited “growth of systematic and planned trainee programs” through which the communities are assuring themselves of the availability of able and well informed leaders. The 500 delegates urged extension of such programs into communities that do not at present have them.

The delegates also re-emphasized the conviction that the McCarran Walter Act is “anti-immigrant, and that its philosophy and administration have proven inconsistent with basic American concepts and directly injurious to American leadership in the battle for democracy and freedom.

The community leaders called for revision of the Act so as to “eliminate the discriminatory national origins quota system.” They also decried the “unnecessarily harsh and inequitable exclusionary deportation and naturalization provisions which run counter to United States manpower needs, domestic welfare and foreign policy interests.

The Assembly took note of the impact of “dramatic changes cutting across every field of Jewish health and welfare services in the communities.” These changes are based on the rapidly changing character of the Jewish population and its needs. The delegates urged service agencies to intensify studies and planning to cope with the broad changes. They also specifically urged “a thorough community-wide study” of the problem of providing adequate service to the chronically ill through “the mobilization of community agencies related currently or potentially to the problem.

Samuel Goldsmith, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Chicago, declared that future planning of the welfare and medical services must go beyond city limits and encompass huge “metropolitan areas.” He added that the movement of people to suburbs and the development of interdependent cities and towns called for cooperation among Jewish community leaders, non-sectarian groups and government welfare officials to meet these conditions. He recommended that these leaders “recast their lines of responsibility and their boundaries of service to include homes and small towns far beyond the city limits” in order to provide the most meaningful services.

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