Menu JTA Search

Jdc, Hebrew U to Train Center Workers

Establishment of the Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz training program for community center personnel at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem was announced here following an agreement reached by the University and the Joint Distribution Committee. In announcing the new program Louis Broido, JDC chairman, said the first 12-month graduate course, with an enrollment of some 20 students, would be given during the current academic year. Supervision of the program to train top echelon personnel for community centers will be under the University’s School of Education and the Paul Baerwald School.

Under the agreement, Malben, the JDC agency in Israel, will provide some $31,000 annually over the next five years to match an equal sum provided by the University to finance the program. JDC funds for this and other programs in Israel come mainly from the campaigns of the United Jewish Appeal. Broido noted that it was “fitting and proper to name the new training program for Dr. Schwartz in view of his lifetime devotion to Jewish need in Israel and throughout the world.”

PROGRAM NAMED IN HONOR OF DR. SCHWARTZ

Dr. Schwartz joined the JDC staff in 1939 and served as Director-General of its overseas operations until the end of 1950. During this period. Broido said, he helped Jewish refugees escape from Nazi Europe and after the war organized a massive program of aid to the survivors of the holocaust. After the initial emergency needs had been met he helped more than 500,000 of them make their way to Palestine, and, after 1948, Israel. He helped another 100,000 find haven in the United States, Cannads and Latin America, He served as executive vice-chairman of the United Jewish Appeal from 1951 to 1955 and headed the Israel Bond Organization for the next 15 years. Dr. Schwartz is a vice-chairman of the JDC and a member of its Administration Committee.

Broido noted that the community centers in Israel have been suffering from a severe lack of professionally trained personnel. There are 14 centers in operation and another six are scheduled to open shortly. In addition, there are plans to build another 40 centers. “All of them are urgently in need of trained directors and staff,” he said.

The centers are located mainly in low income areas in the cities and development towns. Broido continued. “Most of the residents are comparatively recent immigrants with varying levels of education,” he said. “Their general poverty and absence of neighborhood facilities keep the young people idling aimlessly on street corners. Well functioning community centers, with a broad range of social, creative and cultural events would help case their transition from the old world to the new.”

Avraham Harman, president of Hebrew University and former Israel Ambassador to the United States, welcomed the agreement as “a further expression of the Joint Distribution Committee policy to help Israel develop the professional manpower needed to implement its modern education, health and welfare programs.”

NEXT STORY