General Assembly of Jewish Federations Opens Tomorrow in Philadelphia
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General Assembly of Jewish Federations Opens Tomorrow in Philadelphia

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More than 1,000 delegates, representing over 5,000,000 Jews in 800 communities of all sizes in the United States and Canada, will convene for the four day 31st General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds at the Hotel Sheraton, starting Thursday.

The Large City Budgeting Conference, a Joint budget review process set up by the 23 largest organized Jewish communities except New York, will precede the Assembly’s official opening with a series of meetings tomorrow to consider the 1963 budgets submitted by the cooperating national and overseas agencies which seek allocations from the welfare funds.

The extensive program of the Assembly will be concerned with charting future courses of Jewish welfare, health, cultural and education services; examining new overseas responsibilities of American Jews; and mobilizing local federations and welfare funds for the 1963 fund-raising campaign. The delegates represent Jewish federations that together raise well over $125,000,000 each year.

Top national and local leaders will deliver major addresses on significant domestic and international issues, problems and programs confronting American and Canadian Jewish communities, it was announced by Irving Kane of Cleveland, CJFWF president.

Dr. Eli Ginzberg, chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Manpower Development and Training, and director of Columbia University’s Conservation of Human Resources Project, will be the principal speaker at the opening luncheon on Thursday. His topic will be, “Human Resources and the General Welfare.” Dr. Isador Lubin, Consultant for the Jewish Agency for Israel, Inc.; Charles H. Jordan, European director of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; and Joseph Meyerhoff, general chairman of the national United Jewish Appeal will report on “Overseas Aid–1963” at the evening session.


In the course of the Assembly, the delegates will participate in more than 50 workships, clinics, committee meetings, consultations and general sessions which will review the events and programs of the past year and make decisions and formulate policies to deal with the most comprehensive programs, needs and problems for which American and Canadian Jewish communities have assumed responsibility.

The major annual convocation of the leaders of the member federations, welfare funds and community councils which together make up the Council, the General Assembly will focus on inter and intra-community planning, financing of essential services, the raising and distribution of funds, recruiting and developing leadership, and the improvement of expansion of health, welfare, education and other services to meet the mounting needs of the Jewish people here and abroad.

In a series of key sessions, the Assembly will examine the essential nature of the federation commitment in a changing world, philanthropic developments overseas in the past 12 months, the lessons of the 1962 fund-raising campaigns in preparation for the 1963 effort, and the outlook for American Jewish culture.

The unique problems and requirements of the smaller Jewish federations and welfare funds will receive more intensive consideration than ever before at the Assembly, Mr, Kane stated. “For the first time,” he said, “there will be ‘built into’ the overall Assembly program an institute of four separate sessions, specially designed for leaders of communities with small Jewish populations. The inclusion of these special sessions points up the growing importance of the smaller city in the Jewish life of the country.

“Though the size of the Jewish population in a single small city may be only several thousand, it is well to remember, “Mr. Kane pointed out, “that together there are as many Jews in American small communities as there are in all of Western Europe today.”

The special Assembly meetings will attempt to help local leaders from smaller cities attack such basic questions as “how to utilize the special assets of the smaller city,” “how to raise more money in 1963,” and “how to build new leadership.”

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