Dr. Kurt Peiser, Leading Jewish Social Worker, Dead; Was 72

Dr. Kurt Peiser, former executive vice-president of the Philadelphia Jewish community’s central welfare services, died here at the age of 72. Dr. Peiser, who had been in ill health recently, but apparently improved, was stricken in his car while being driven on a business trip.

Dr. Peiser, who was born in Germany and was brought to the United States at the age of 12, served as executive director of Jewish federation and welfare funds successively in Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Detroit and Philadelphia. During World War II, the Joint Distribution Committee “borrowed” Dr. Peiser from the Philadelphia community to help set up relief programs in North Africa when the American and Allied armies drove out the Axis occupation forces. After the war, the University of Pennsylvania asked the Philadelphia Jewish community to release him to take charge of its development program designed to convert a large area of West Philadelphia into a “university city. ” Several years later, Dr. Peiser answered another call, to administer the Food Fair Foundation, distributing funds for encouragement of scholarly work in institutions of higher education. He made his home in Miami Beach.

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