$200, 000 in Scholarships Available for Jewish Social Work Education

The National Jewish Welfare Board today reported that Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs throughout the country have made available over $200, 000 in fellowships, scholarships and work-study plans to qualified people seeking financial aid for graduate social work education for Jewish Community Center work.

“This compares with barely $20,000 in 1955 when the JWB began its nationwide recruiting effort to crack the shortage of professionally trained Jewish Community Center personnel,” the JWB emphasized in a study of financial aid programs for social work education open to students seeking careers in Center work. It revealed that more than 100 students will be the beneficiaries of such grants from JWB regional sections and affiliated Centers and from JWB’s Presidents Club and the National Association of Jewish Center Workers beginning with the current academic year.

Last year grants went to 90 students as compared with 29 for 1955-56. There were, however, 25 qualified individuals interested in professional careers in Center work who could not be helped last year because sufficient scholarship and work-study plans were unavailable. The JWB Year Book, in which these facts are reported, also notes that for 1958-59 JWB received more than 800 inquiries from persons interested in training for Center work positions. This compares with fewer than 50 inquiries in 1955-56.

In a study of membership trends, the Year Book found that individual affiliation with Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs is rapidly being replaced by family memberships. One out of every three Centers affiliated with JWB now enrolls members on a family basis. “There is a strong trend toward making family membership mandatory for the enrollment of children under 14, a growing tendency toward requiring it for teenage enrollment and a fairly general policy of making it optional for all other age groups, including young adults and older adults,” the Year Book notes.

In four out of five Centers where adult membership is contingent upon family membership, the JWB study found that the same requirement applies for children under 14 and for teen-agers. Sixty percent of the Centers having family membership plans report that their total enrollment increased markedly in most age groups since they discontinued individual memberships. The majority of Centers, however, still have arrangements for accepting persons of every age group as individuals.

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