PARIS (Jun. 8)
A $500,000 program of modernization of Jewish children’s homes in France neared completion with the dedication today of three new buildings at the home of the OSE, the Jewish children’s health agency, at Taverney, near Paris.
The modernization program covers 10 homes in France housing a total of nearly 700 children. It was implemented by the Fonds Sociale Juif Unifie, the central Jewish fundraising agency in France, Jointly with the Joint Distribution Committee and the OSE. Apioneer venture which introduced child care concepts still new in France, the Taverney project has received substantial aid from the French Government and a grant from the Swiss Aid for Europe, as well as from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
More then 90 percent of the children in the Jewish homes in France are from North Africa. Their situation reflects the difficulties which many North African Jewish families settling in France are facing. Only a minority of the Jewish children now are orphans, in contrast to the immediate postwar situation when many thousands of Jewish orphans were cared for in more than a hundred homes.
The majority of the children in Jewish homes now come from families who, struggling with overcrowding, inadequate housing and bad economic conditions, simply could not cope with the care of the children. Hence they have been sent to the homes.
The OSE home at Teverney is not organized along the traditional pattern of orphanages. It is so built that it provides for small groups of children to live with their own living room, dining quarters and kitchenettes, in a self-contained unit with the group monitor to create a more family-life atmosphere. George Garel, president of the OSE of France, Moses Levine of the JDC, Edgar Abramanel, FSJU secretary general, and French and Swiss Governmental officials took part in the dedication.