C. J. F. W. F. Assembly Adopts Important Decisions on Basic Issues
Menu JTA Search

C. J. F. W. F. Assembly Adopts Important Decisions on Basic Issues

Download PDF for this date

The 29th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds concluded its four-day sessions here today with a number of resolutions dealing with basic issues which will be faced by central Jewish community organizations during the 1960’s, as well as with obligations which American Jewry will have to face in 1961 to meet local, national and overseas Jewish needs. A total of $135,000,000 was raised by Jewish federations and welfare funds in 1960 for these needs.

Irving Kane, who was re-elected president of the CJFWF, told the 1,000 leaders of Jewish communal organizations from the United States and Canada last night that the “changing character” and the changing mood of the American Jewish community must not be ignored when considering the Jewish communal purpose. In describing the changing character of the Jewish community, he noted that it is now an overwhelmingly native-born Jewish population.

In coming to grips with the “changing mood” of the Jewish community, Mr. Kane said: “We shall have to become accustomed to dealing with the inquiring mind and with a community which insists upon facts and upon full disclosure–with a community that must be taken into the full confidence of those who ask for funds or it will have no confidence in them.”

In outlining the goals and values in an American Jewish communal purpose, Mr. Kane urged American Jews “to live creatively as Jews, to fulfill our obligations to our fellow Jews here, in Israel and in other lands, and to our fellow men everywhere; to make our maximum contribution to North American democracy; and to maintain our religious and cultural integrity.” He also urged delegates to give greater attention to transmitting Jewish heritage to the youth, and to developing an American-centered Jewish cultural expression.

In surveying Jewish communal achievements in the light of these values, the CJFWF president pointed with satisfaction to the Jewish contributions to art, music, literature, commerce, industry, science, and social advances. “We have achieved a higher degree of integration into American life and society than was ever dreamed possible–with fully reciprocal benefits.

Mr. Kane called for deeper understanding of Jewish communal needs and aspirations, and greater dignity in fund-raising. “Let no one underestimate the importance of the recruitment and mobilization of people as well as dollars. For many thousands who have been so involved, it has been their only Jewish commitment,” he said. “Whatever the commitment of the heart, have we done enough to assure their commitment of the mind?”


A resolution adopted at today’s concluding session emphasized that “the needs at hone and abroad in 1961 will be greater than those met in 1960.” The resolution said that the communities will have to re-evaluate their campaign objectives and adopt themes which reflect the full range of values and purposes of the campaign. They will also have to institute more intensive programs of leadership development and community education.

The Assembly commended the United States Government program of economic aid to underdeveloped countries and urged its continuation and extension by the incoming Administration and Congress.” We urge further that this assistance be allocated under such policies and for such purposes as will strengthen democratic institutions in that strategic and vital area and help to achieve peace among the nations of that region, and thereby contribute also to the peace of the world,” a resolution stressed.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution stating that the major reorganization of American Jewish philanthropic aid to Israel undertaken since the last General Assembly is of prime importance to the Jewish communities of America and to the beneficiaries in Israel.

“We welcome the reorganization as an important development toward achieving the most effective use of the support provided by our Jewish community organizations. We are gratified that the final responsibility for the allocation and administration of these funds, and for the policies governing their utilization, has been placed here in America.” the resolution stated.

“We look to the earliest possible progress in defining the functions most appropriate for future American Jewish philanthropic support, in selection of priorities, preparation of long range plans as well as one-year projections and budgets, and formulation and implementation of a program for systematic debt reduction. Eligibility for direct assistance by the Jewish Agency of specific health, welfare and other philanthropic projects should be established in relation to uniform criteria and priorities,” the resolution continued.

“We urge that the further development of the structure of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. provide broader and more equitable representation on its governing board for the communities which furnish the support. Essential to this progress will be full and frequent reporting to, and thorough consideration by, this Council and its member community organizations.

“The provision of this information and service should constitute a high priority for this Council. We expect the leaders of the Council and of the Jewish Agency, Inc. to be available to participate in such local consideration. We look forward to continuing consultation and close cooperation of this Council and of the Agency, for the achievement of these purposes,” the resolution concludes.

U.S. JEWS TO BE ASKED TO RAISE $72,000,000 FOR U.J.A. IN 1961

Outlining the overseas needs in 1961, Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, told the CJFWF Assembly that American Jews will be asked to raise for the United Jewish Appeal some $72,000,000 in 1961. He emphasized that this sum represents an “irreducible minimum” which American Jews must provide to carry forward the life-saving and life-building work conducted by the Jewish Agency in Israel and by the Joint Distribution Committee in various overseas countries. The sum is approximately 15 percent greater than the $63,000,000 the UJA estimates will be raised in 1960.

The UJA leader emphasized that, for the first time in more than two decades the UJA goals presented to the American Jewish community for all of its needs, will be based entirely upon the recommendation of qualified American groups. “The budgetary requests of the Joint Distribution Committee have always been made by American boards, he pointed out, “In the instance of the United Israel Appeal, however, this year for the first time the budgetary commitment will be made by the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. the newly organized 21-man board of American Jewish leaders.”

Rabbi Friedman emphasized that the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., an American philanthropic organization, with headquarters in New York, has selected from the budget of the Jewish Agency of Jerusalem, the particular activities and programs of immigration, absorption, resettlement and education which, it feels, American Jews must and can support. These will probably total $51,000,000 in 1961 and will represent the “irreducible minimum” which the American Jewish community must provide as its share of the Jewish Agency of Jerusalem’s overall 1961 budget of more than $100,000,000.


Israel Ambassador Avraham Harman, addressing the Assembly, reaffirmed the “sacred right” of people to emigrate and emphasized that the technique of Jewish survival is migration. “The right of people to determine freely where they want to live is cardinal to human freedom,” the declared. “The symbol of the United States is the Mayflower. Man has the God-given right to move in search of the freedom for which he yearns.”

Ambassador Harman said that Israel is assuming that there is going to be a continuing flow into Israel in the next decade of Jews who need Israel and who want to go there. He estimated the number as between 40,000 and 50,000 a year. Added to this, he said, would be a natural increase of about 30,000 a year. The Ambassador declared that Israel was facing two problems in 1960: the problem of completing the absorption of a million immigrants and to prepare for the projected needs of those who would arrive in the 1960’s. To help solve these problems, Mr. Harman said, “our prayers are for a non-spectacular decade.”

Praising the achievement of the American Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds in financing the vast part of Israel’s philanthropic needs, Mr. Harman told the assembled 1,000 delegates that “the American dollar will be met by the Israeli pound. Our people understand that they have to carry a big part of the burden of immigration and are prepared to give the newcomers priority over the settled population. Through their payment of taxes, they will play a role in the absorption of the immigrants.”


Isidore Sobeloff, executive vice-president of the Detroit Jewish Welfare Federation, in an impressive address before the Assembly, analyzed effective campaign techniques which are likely to prove effective in 1961.

Mr. Sobeloff urged the delegates to reappraise their approach to fund-raising. “In many of our annual campaigns we go forth with techniques that are clothed in tradition, blunted by rote and almost sanctified by fetish,” he said. “Rather than relying on hard and fast rules, we should put our faith in change of pace, in flexibility, in discretion and in individualized and specialized approaches in soliciting gifts.”

Mr. Sobeloff emphasized that the great complex of agencies services and causes for which the Jewish welfare funds conduct their campaigns “is a mighty, united front that marshalls the organized, orderly strength of the entire Jewish community” in behalf of the major programs at home and abroad. The welfare fund campaign, he said, brings “magnitude and scope” to the overall effort and gives opportunity to the individual contributor to vote “yes” as broadly as his sense of identification moves him, for a stronger community.


The Assembly heard reports on the reorganized system of American Jewish philanthropy for Israel delivered by Dewed D. Stone, chairman of the reorganized Jewish Agency, and Sol Satinsky, vice-president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds.

Mr. Stone stressed that the task of the board of directors of the reorganized Jewish. Agency for Israel, Inc., will involve a year-round effort of studying, evaluating and interpreting the ongoing activities of the Jewish Agency in Israel in the fields of immigration, absorption, housing, agricultural settlement and youth programs.

“Because of the continued influx of new immigrants, and because of our inability to predict the exact amount of UJA funds which will be available to us in the course of the campaign year, we will have to review our allocations at regular intervals, adjusting them to newly emerging needs and available resources,” Mr. Stone emphasized. “Also. I believe that we owe it to the American Jewish community that we should keep it apprised of the progress of this great humanitarian undertaking.”

Reporting to the delegates on behalf of the CJFWF, Mr. Satinsky said: “The reorganization now provides for greater opportunities for effective joint budgeting, joint planning, and reassessment of priorities for welfare activities.” He expressed the desire of the welfare refunds that further attention be given to stabilizing and reducing the debts of the Jewish: Agency, Inc., and strengthening the administrative structure.

Mr. Satinsky also stressed the need for the fullest representation of communities on the governing board of the reorganized Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc. Max Fisher, president of the Detroit Jewish Welfare Federation, presided at the session dealing with the reorganization of the Jewish Agency.


In a resolution adopted by the Assembly, Jewish communities were urged to embark on a policy of long-range planning, beyond year-to-year planning and budgeting. At the same time, the federations and welfare funds were urged in another resolution “to continue and increase, when necessary, their efforts to reduce the number of avoidable independent campaigns, and to achieve the fullest cooperation in national fund-raising arrangements, to the end that the most urgent needs may receive the maximum support.”

The Assembly commended the leaders of 23 communities represented on the Large City Budgeting Conference, which analyzes the programs and financial needs of national and overseas agencies. “Through the LCBC joint budget review, all Jewish welfare funds, beyond the 23 LCBC member communities, are assisted in budgeting equitable amounts for national and overseas programs,” an Assembly resolution stated.

The resolution emphasized that the communities “look forward to the extension of participation in Joint budget review by the major overseas agencies and by those agencies in the community relations field which are not as yet participating.” It indicated that some communities would like the United Jewish Appeal and the Joint Defense Appeal–the fund-raising arm of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith–to participate in cooperative budget discussions with community representatives through the LCBC.


The Assembly also adopted a resolution appealing to both major political parties to translate their pledges on relaxation of the present immigration laws, during the Presidential election campaign, into specific legislation embodying the following principles:

1. That the number of quota visas available per year shall be based on the total population as shown by the most current census, not the 1920 census, thus increasing the annual quota from approximately 156,000 to approximately 250,000 with removal of the national origins system as a basis for this number.

2. That, in such allotment, due consideration should be given to: family reunions; persons with outstanding skills urgently required by the U.S.; asylum for refugees, persecutees and escapees; and finally, immigrants who have no special ties in the United States.

3. That, when quota numbers are unused in a given year, a pool shall be created for use in the following year by persons whose turn has not yet been reached.

4. That the non-quota category should be enlarged to include parents of United States citizens and legally resident aliens, and spouses and unmarried children of legally resident aliens.

5. That there be an expansion in the recent admirable trend to permit the granting of waivers of certain excludable conditions, where the interests of the United States are properly safeguarded.

6. That the punishment aspects of the deportation sections of the law be eliminated.

7. That there should be no distinctions between native-born and naturalized citizens.

8. That these benefits should be extended to all persons regardless of race or ancestry.

“These recommended revisions of our immigration and nationality law would set up a new system of allocations of visas in place of the present national origins system, would introduce further humanitarian provisions in our law to eliminate strict aspects of exclusion and deportation, would eliminate differences between the native-born and the naturalized citizen and would infuse our immigration and nationality laws with the cherished humanitarian and democratic principles of our nation,” the resolution stated.

Emphasizing that the dignity of the individual “is basic to our Judaic and our democratic heritage alike,” the Assembly adopted a resolution affirming its commitment “to seek for all Americans without discrimination the equal opportunity to be educated to the full extent of their human talents; equal opportunity to work to the fullness of their potential contribution to our society; equal access to housing and neighborhoods; and equal opportunity to participate in the body politic through the free and universal exercise of the franchise.

“We are gratified that the platforms and the Presidential candidates of both political parties have expressed support of these objectives and have pledged to use the full powers and resources of the Federal government to secure their atteinment,” the resolution stated. “We call upon both parties to unite inimplementing the pledges they have made in common so that we may move forward more expeditiously to the goal of equal justice and equal opportunity to which both parties stand committed and to which our nation is dedicated.” (More resolutions will be published in tomorrow’s issue.)

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund