Jewish Welfare Board’s Convention Told First Priority is Jewish Crisis Not Urban Crisis

Delegates to the Jewish Welfare Board’s biennial convention which opened here today were told that their first priority is to solve the Jewish crisis–not the urban crisis–and if they expect to change their institutions, they must expect opposition. Dr. Judah Nadich, Rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue in New York City, said that Jewish community centers should look inward, rather than outward, for problems to solve. Dr. Herman D. Stein, Provost of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Chairman of that city’s Commission on Crisis in Welfare, cited resistance to change as one of the necessities of significant change. Dr. Stein, the keynote speaker at the convention, said that “if there is significant change being introduced in any social institution, the change will be met with significant opposition. If nobody objects, and the change is easy, the chances are that nothing very important has happened.”

Rabbi Nadich said that the “Jewish crisis” is the first priority of the Jewish community center. He said the crisis is in the drift of Jews away from Judaism, partially from intermarriage, partially from ignorance of Jewish heritage, partially from assimilation in small communities where the Jews are too few in number to set and keep their own standards, and partially from the growing hostility of young Jews who belong to the New Left and see Israel as an aggressive, capitalistic puppet. Morton L. Mandel of Cleveland was elected president of the National Jewish Welfare Board, succeeding Louis Stern of South Orange, N.J., who was named an honorary president. The delegates to the five-day convention are from all over the country.

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