Jewish Community Center Membership Estimated at 650,000 J. W. B.

The average annual growth of 13,600 in membership of Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs recorded since 1948 was exceeded in 1958 when the gain was 14,000, bringing the total to 608,000, according to a report published today by the National Jewish Welfare Board. The 1960 membership was estimated at nearly 650,000.

The continued membership growth was attributed to the opening of new Center buildings resulting in membership gains in those Centers, and to improved Center programs and services and greater participation in Center activities. Another contributing factor was the trend toward family membership and away from individual membership. One out of every three Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs affiliated with the JWB now enrolls members only on a family basis because Centers are rapidly becoming family-oriented and providing more programming for the family unit and for every age group in the family.

An increase in the proportion of self-support over community support was a significant change between 1957-1958, the JWB report declares. Center revenue from membership dues and service fees rose by 10.5 percent between 1957 and 1958 while receipts from Jewish Welfare Funds and Federations and Community Chests and United Funds rose by 7.5 percent. In 1958 Centers secured an average of 57 percent of their income from internal sources compared with 55.7 percent in 1957 and 45.9 percent in 1956.

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