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N.Y. Conference Considers Warning System to Aid Jewish Family Unity

Formation of a DEW (Divorce Early Warning) system designed to help prevent Jewish marital and family discord, and disintegration of the Jewish family, was proposed here today at the conclusion of a two day conference on “Divorce in the Jewish Community.” The conference, sponsored by the synagogue commission of the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, was attended and addressed by rabbis, psychologists, attorneys, psychiatrists and social workers.

The conference resolved that some means be found to coordinate the helping professions involved — the law, psychiatry and psychology, social work and the rabbinate–into a concerted effort for the early detection of symptoms of emotional discord. It was suggested that a committee be formed of member agencies of the Federation, other social agencies, educators, and rabbinical representatives, to implement the recommendations.

The proposal for the development of the DEW system was made in a paper by George Rothman, executive director of the Jewish Community Services of Long Island, who pointed out: “It is far less difficult to enter a family situation at the beginning than it is after a 15 or 20-year war in which all of the persons involved bear the scars of yesterday’s battles and the behavioral consequences of chronic emotional distress.” Rabbi Isaac N. Trainin is director of the Federation’s synagogue commission.

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