Philadelphia Jewish Federation Approves Plans for Branch Schools

The Federation of Jewish Agencies of Greater Philadelphia approved plans this week for establishment of Jewish branch schools in neighborhoods of concentrated Jewish population where Jewish schools are needed, the Federation Board disclosed today.

The Federation, within the limit of available funds, will back the United Hebrew Schools and Yeshivos in establishing these branches, it was stated. It was pointed out that the Federation “regards the afternoon Hebrew school program of the United Hebrew Schools and Yeshivos as a major educational arms towards the preservation of Jewish traditional values and culture.”

The branch schools will be placed with consideration of overall needs of the area and the availability of other schools. Wherever possible, they will operate in rented quarters. In explaining its decision, the board noted that “traditionally, Federation in its devotion to Judaism has always accepted the responsibility for the support of Jewish education in the interest of assuring the continuity of Jewish life.”

A report on which Federation action was based, pointed out that while congregational schools had increasingly met Jewish education needs, there were, however, in all areas of Jewish population large numbers of Jewish children receiving no Jewish education. The most complete figures available, those for 1956, showed that at any one time, about 20,000 out of a total Jewish child population of 43,000, or 46 percent, attended some Jewish school.

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