Menu JTA Search

Role of Jewish Social Workers in Community Discussed at Convention

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The contributions of Jewish social workers to the American community as well as to the Jewish community was stressed here today at the 60th anniversary meeting of the Conference of Jewish Communal Service which is being attended by more than 2,000 Jewish communal workers. Samuel A. Goldsmith, executive vice president of the Chicago Jewish Federation, was the principal speaker.

Rabbi Jacob J. Weinstein of Chicago, addressing the convention, proposed a “lend-lease” of American Jewish social service personnel to the State of Israel. “Communal service leaders here,” he said, “must be willing to share their techniques and know-how with the young new state. There must be increased willingness on the part of our agencies to lend-lease personnel to the orphanages, the old age homes, the youth centers, and the family service agencies in Israel.” Earlier, the delegates heard special greetings from the State of Israel. The message was delivered by Dr. I.S. Rosenberg, Deputy Minister in Israel’s Ministry of Social Welfare, and a member of the Israel Parliament.

Addressing the afternoon session, Louis Kraft, special consultant of the Joint Distribution Committee, reviewed the events which led to the virtual destruction of Jewish life in Europe by Nazism and war and lauded American social workers for their contributions to the rebuilding of European Jewish life, particularly in the countries of Western Europe. After the Joint Distribution Committee had provided urgently needed emergency relief to the surviving remnants of Europe’s Jews, he said, “the program quickly moved into giving guidance, leadership and the aid of specialists, for community organization, the establishment of social services and the training of social work personnel.

“I believe that in a very real sense this represents the distinctive contribution of American Jewish social work. Through this medium, American Jewish social work experience and know-how was placed at the service of Jewish communities in other lands.” He noted that as a result of these efforts, strong Jewish communities exist today in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria, and other countries of Europe. He listed the steps being taken by European Jewish communities to strengthen themselves through adequate fund-raising, sound social planning, and intensified community organization.

NEXT STORY