C.J.F.W.F. Expresses Concern over Treatment of Jews in Soviet Union
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C.J.F.W.F. Expresses Concern over Treatment of Jews in Soviet Union

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The four-day general assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds concluded here today with the adoption of numerous important resolutions, including one expressing the concern of the American Jewish community with the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union. (See related story on page 5).

Another resolution adopted by the 1,000 assembly delegates, representing 800 Jewish communities, called on American Jews to increase their contributions in 1962 to meet pressing domestic and overseas needs. The call emphasized that, in 1962, the Jewish communities must raise for these purposes more than $165,000,000.

In the resolution on the Soviet Union, the assembly pointed out that the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds has, in the past, expressed its concern over the deprivation by the Soviet Union of the rights of Jews to maintain their religious and cultural institutions and practices.

"Under the shock of reports of recent events regarding the treatment of Jews in the Soviet Union, this concern remains unabated," the resolution stated. It expressed the hope that the force of public opinion, "reflecting the conscience of mankind," will bring an end to Soviet attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions. The resolution also expressed the hope that Jews in Russia "will be given the same rights as other groups" to religious expression and cultural fulfillment.


The CJFWF call for the raising of upward of $165,000,000 in 1962, to meet pressing needs, declared that "the dramatic changes which have emerged in recent months pose an historic challenge to the resourcefulness, flexibility and strength of Jewish federated fund-raising in our communities." The statement continued:

"The requirements of greatly increased numbers of immigrants coming to Israel, to the United States, Canada and other countries; the recognized needs of our major national and overseas programs; the vast complex of unresolved national and local health, Jewish education and community relations problems; the new opportunities made possible by the advances of science to overcome hitherto insoluble problems–all place profound responsibility upon our federations and welfare funds to bring forth greatly increased support. Those needs can be met only by increased giving. They cannot be met merely by re-allocation of existing resources."


The general assembly, in still another resolution, commended the communities which have already made substantial progress in their cash collection results. The resolution urged "thoroughly planned and organized efforts" by all communities to achieve the maximum gains within the next few weeks, and to clear the way for higher levels of giving in 1962.

At the same time, the assembly adopted a resolution urging the development of the structure of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc., to provide "broader representation on its governing board for the communities which furnish the support" to the Jewish Agency. This resolution also called on the Jewish Agency, Inc. for "cooperative budget review" with the Large Cities Budgeting Conference of the CJFWF. The resolution emphasized that the assembly was looking to the CJFWF and the Jewish Agency "to further strengthen their consultation and cooperation."

In another resolution, the assembly reaffirmed its demand of 1960 for "effective cooperation" among all of the national and local Jewish community relations agencies "The events of the past year have added to the urgency of the need for the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith to participate with the six national and 60 local Jewish community relations agencies which already share in the cooperative processes through the National Community Relations Advisory Council," the resolution stated.


A report on national coordination of Jewish relations was presented at the assembly by Alan V. Lowenstein. He stated that discussions had been held during the past year with the American Jewish Committee and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League to

He said that, in the course of the discussions during last year, the representatives of the two organizations emphasized that certain principles are a prerequisite to their participation in any cooperative process. These are:

1. That the process should be a voluntary one, and should involve no sanctions or compulsion; 2. That it should recognize and respect the autonomy of the participating agencies; 3. That there be no implication of a central Jewish voice, or central Jewish authority, or centralized control.

Mr. Lowenstein pointed out that these are principles which govern the relationship of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds with the autonomous local member community organizations. They also govern the relationships among the agencies and communities in the NCRAC.


The assembly approved a recommendation calling for an intensive study of whether the increasing number of Jewish all-day schools should be supported by welfare funds. The recommendation was adopted after animated debate. The results of the study will be reported to the CJFWF assembly to be held next year.

The report showed that there are today 274 Jewish all-day schools, with an enrollment of 51,000 students in 80 communities.

The assembly expressed gratification over the fact that more than 50 communities had developed systematic programs for the recruitment and training of new leadership. The resolution stated: "Encouraged by the success of these efforts, we urge that other cities undertake similar programs, and that in such recruitment and training, communities should include not only the young people but men and women at an age and maturity who can then readily move to assumption of top leadership responsibilities."

In a resolution on civil rights, the assembly commended the Administration in Washington on its use of the executive power to effect significant progress in civil rights. The resolution called upon Congress to carry cut the pledges on civil rights embodied in the platforms of both major political parties to enact legislation to make equal rights and opportunities a reality.

At the same time, the resolution called on the President to continue to exercise his executive powers to bring an end to governmental operation or support of programs and practices that, in effect, perpetuate discrimination. Jewish community relations agencies were commended, in the resolution, for their efforts to help achieve equal rights for all Americans without discrimination on grounds of religion, color, race or national origin.

The assembly also adopted a resolution urging the next session of the Congress to enact legislation providing medical care for the aged through the mechanism of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Program. Congress also was urged to provide grants for the professional training of social welfare workers to help overcome the staff shortages in public welfare agencies across the country.


On the question of immigration, the assembly adopted a resolution requesting Jewish community organizations "to do everything within their power" to secure legislation on the following specific suggestions:

1. The present national origins quota system be replaced by an equitable, non-discriminatory formula for the admission of those seeking to enter the United States as immigrants. The number of quota visas available per year should be based on the total population as shown by the most current census and not by the 1920 census, thus increasing the annual quota from about 156,000 to about 250,000.

2. In such allotment, due consideration should be given to family reunions, persons with outstanding skills urgently required in the United States, asylum for refugees, persecutees and escapees, and immigrants who have no special ties in the United States except their ardent desire to live in this country.

3. 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. There should also be an expansion of the recent trend to permit the granting of waivers of certain excludable conditions where the interests of the United States are properly safeguarded.


In a major address at last night’s session, the Jewish communities in the United States were lauded by Abraham A. Ribicoff, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, for

Secretary Ribicoff told the assembly that the CJFWF was considered by the United States Government "as one of the most effective and active of our nation’s private welfare agencies." The Jewish federations and welfare funds, he said, are "partners" with the U.S. Government in helping to meet health and welfare needs. As such they are bearing as "tough responsibilities" as those of the Government of the United States in the welfare and health fields, he declared.

Mr. Ribicoff analyzed before the general assembly the Kennedy Administration’s basic program for the continuing advancement of health, welfare and education of the American people, and the measures required to assure that advancement.

In his address, Secretary Ribicoff expressed his "personal, special thanks" to Philip Bernstein, executive director of the CJFWF, and to Sanford Solender, executive vice-president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, for assisting him in a study on welfare programs.

At the concluding session today, the assembly re-elected Irving Kane, of Cleve-land, as president of the CJFWF. This will be Mr. Kane’s third term. The following were elected as vice-presidents: Sol Satinsky, of Philadelphia; Edwin Rosenberg of New York; Irving C. Hill, of Los Angeles; Edward Barkoff, of Montreal; Mrs. Elmer Moyer, of Dayton; Lewis H. Weinstein, of Boston; and Louis Stern of Newark. Carles L. Israels, of New York, was elected treasurer; and Louis Fox, of Baltimore, secretary.


At an earlier session, Sidney R. Rabb, of Boston, past campaign chairman of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, told the delegates that an estimated $120,000,000 will have been raised in the United States by the end of 1961 for all needs by Jewish community organizations. He said that even more money will be needed next year, and in the years to come, "because of the increasing complexity of our social welfare needs."

He warned, however, that there would be greater difficulties in raising such large sums because of "the growing demands on the philanthropic dollar by other causes which have captured the imagination and the support of our contributors." He urged that the delegates impress on their contributors, on potential new leaders and on their communities "the full importance of federations to the total needs of a community."

Mr. Rabb emphasized that no basic human need was foreign to the Jewish federations. He said "the needs which federation tries to meet are not one year’s needs–not one year’s purposes–not one year’s program. They are basic and continuing commitments.

Louis P. Smith, of Boston, chairman of a national mobilization effort by the CJFWF to help member communities to collect payments on outstanding pledges, reported that the effort had resulted in a perceptible increase in the collection of cash needed "for all urgent obligations of our federations and welfare funds," and will pave the way to raise the larger sums needed in 1962.

Herman M. Pekarsky, executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, New Jersey, reported on a survey of contributors’ motivation in his community. The survey revealed that there was a "baffling" discrepancy between what is read and what is retained. He ventured as possible reasons: "A subconscious rejection of morbid problems by the reader; a saturation by communication media; the rapid shifts in public attention as one stirring event succeeds another; the competition in the open market with soap and cereal, Kennedy and Khrushchev, war and peace."


Two community groups were presented last night with the William Shroder Memorial Award for pioneering advances in medical and health programming. The joint winners of the award were the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore; and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

The National Jewish Welfare Board was given honorable mention for its nationwide program of group work recruitment and scholarships. A scroll was also presented to the Dallas Jewish Welfare Federation in honor of its golden anniversary, which is being marked here.

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