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Trained Students Become Directors of Jewish Centers in Europe

An 18-month training course in Israel and France for directors of Jewish community and youth centers in Europe ended today with ceremonies honoring the seven graduates of the course.

The ceremonies were conducted by the Commission on Jewish Centers and Vocation Camps of the Standing Conference on European Jewish Community Services which sponsored the course. The seven graduates will take up posts as directors of centers in France, Belgium and Yugoslavia.

Such centers are a comparatively new feature of the Jewish scene in Europe, the first two in Paris and Rome having been opened in 1954. Under the impetus of funds from the Conference of Jewish Claims Against Germany, supplemented and administered by the Joint Distribution Committee since 1954, the movement has increased to 82 centers.

Prof. Chaim Perelman of Brussels, president of the Commission of Jewish Centers and Vocation Camps, said the “great growth” of the community center movement was “a positive manifestation” of Jewish youth’s will to identify itself with the community. He added that the greatest danger facing the center movement in Europe was a lack of directors and other trained workers and that providing such leadership was a primary obligation of his commission.

Appreciation for the assistance contributing to the success of the course was given to the JDC, the Jewish Agency for Israel and to the Paul Baerwald School for Social Work at the Hebrew University.

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