J. W. B. Issues Report on Jewish Centers; Stresses Cultural Expansion

Total membership in the Jewish community centers, YMHA’S and YWHA’s in the country reached the peak figure of 687,000 in 1962, according to a report issued here today by the National Jewish Welfare Board. Participants in Center activities totaled 26,620,000, the report showed, and local expenditures for Center operations aggregated $28,725,000.

The data showed a new record high of 61 percent in self-support of Centers from membership dues, activities, fees and other sources. Jewish welfare funds provided 23 percent of the income of the Centers, while United Funds and Community Chests provided 16 percent.

The reports from around the country showed that more than a third of the Centers now conduct lecture series entirely Jewish in character, while the number of classes on Jewish subjects has more than doubled. A study by Dr. Samuel D. Freeman, consultant for the JWB adult program, showed that there is “a greater awareness of the Center as an instrument or the total Jewish community in sponsoring Jewish cultural programs.” He reported that “the number of Centers participating in community-wide projects of adult Jewish programming has doubled.”

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