NEW YORK (Jul. 22)
Jewish Community Centers had aggregate expenditures of $32,280,000 in 1964, according to a report issued here today by the National Jewish Welfare Board, the national association of Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs. The report said that the combined memberships of these centers was 714,000 last year.
The report stresses that the JWB has, through its work with the Centers, assisted them “to become more deeply engaged in finding new ways of serving as more dynamic instruments of the Jewish community and in helping Jews of diverse backgrounds and orientations to apply Jewish values to daily living and to the problems of modern society.” Mrs. Florence G. Heller is JWB president and Sanford Solender is executive vice-president.
With respect to services for Jewish military personnel, their dependents and hospitalized veterans, JWB’s program in 1964 was broadened to include Jewish education for children and adults, preparation for active participation in Jewish life in military communities and involvement in as much normal Jewish communal activity as possible, the report states.
Jewish Community Centers, during the year under review, more than doubled the number of classes and courses they offer in a host of Jewish subjects, the report says. Through the sponsorship of exhibits, the commissioning of artists and encouragement of students, the Centers were said to have become “a kind of corporate patron of the Jewish arts.” The Centers also organized college preparatory courses in Judaism for college-bound high school seniors, initiated Sabbath study programs, formed Jewish choruses and singing societies and helped parents to under stand the Jewish needs of their youngsters.
“Jewish chaplains, recruited, ecclesiastically endorsed, supplied and assisted by JWB’s Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy, served as a vast congregation whose members are the Jewish personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces and their families,” according to the report. These “congregants” were scattered abroad in more than 40 countries and widely dispersed at stateside bases and hospitals. In 1964, the 324 Jewish chaplains who were on full or part-time duty conducted 16,197 religious services and made 83,420 visits to hospitalized veterans.
The JWB Commission on Jewish Chaplaincy last year published a “Unified Jewish Religious Education Curriculum” to promote continuity in the religious education of children whose fathers are shifted from one military installation to another. This new educational tool was described in the report as a significant addition to the many programming resources provided by JWB, because of the growing number of Jewish children of school age whose fathers are stationed at points removed from civilian synagogue and Jewish schools.
As the national association of Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHAs, JWB provided a professional field service, program materials and guidance and technical consultative services. It also trained and placed professional personnel, maintained a building bureau and supplied camping, purchasing equipment and administrative services for the 447 Center and camp units affiliated with it. In 1964 these to 83. The Centers sponsored more than 200 recreation programs for older adults.