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General Assembly of Jewish Federations Opens Today in Los Angeles

Problems concerning the development of Jewish communal life in this country and Canada, as well as obligations toward helping the absorption of Jewish immigrants in Israel and aid to needy Jewish communities overseas, will be discussed in depth at the 35th General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds which starts its five-day meetings here tomorrow at the Ambassador Hotel. More than 1,000 top Jewish communal leaders from all over the United States and Canada will attend the Assembly.

The problems on the agenda deal with changes that may be ahead for Jewish federations and welfare funds in the next 10 years. The delegates will discuss the question of how the expanding government involvement in health and welfare service will affect Jewish agencies; what will assure the commitment of young people to Jewish communal life; how can the momentum of increased fund raising by central Jewish organizations be carried forward to leave the plateaus further behind, and similar other major problems.

Among the major topics also to be discussed by the community leaders are: what is central and what is peripheral to Jewish service and Jewish purpose; changing conditions in the Israeli immigration picture and Israel’s economy as well as other overseas matters; how to improve Jewish education here at home at the high school and college levels; the impact of Medicare on Jewish hospitals and homes for the aged; women’s communal service; development of leadership; and financing the many and varied services dependent on Federations and Welfare Funds.

Likewise, the General Assembly will address itself to the personnel crisis in Jewish communal service, the war on poverty, changing church-state problems, leadership development, new housing arrangements for the elderly, and federation endowment fund development. Major sessions will deal with changing overseas needs and responsibilities. Irving Kane, of Cleveland, CJFWF past president and chairman of the Council’s Overseas Services Committee, and Max M. Fisher, of Detroit, general chairman of the national United Jewish Appeal, will report on rapidly moving events in Israel and other countries.

Irving Blum, of Baltimore, chairman of the CJFWF Campaign Services Committee and campaign chairman of the Associated Jewish Charities in his community, will deliver the keynote statement in the session on “1967 Campaigns — For How Much and For What?” The statement will serve as the platform for 1967 campaigns. Dr. William Haber, nationally known dean of the University of Michigan, will deliver the annual Herbert R. Abeles Memorial Address at the Assembly.

At its meeting tomorrow, the day before the GA’s formal opening, the Large City Budgeting Conference, which represents the 23 largest welfare funds, will review the 1967 budgets of cooperating national and overseas agencies. The Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds is the coordinating body for a worldwide network of communally-supported services which annually spend more than $650,000,000.

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