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CJF Outlines 1974 Goals for Jewish Community Planning in U.S. and Canada

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Jewish community planning–which includes Jewish education, programs for college youth and faculty, and services to the Jewish aged–is the category listed for the largest single increase in the 1974 budget of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds. The 1974 budget of $1,449,746, compared with the 1973 budget of $1,325,804, was outlined in a report drawn up before the Yom Kippur War erupted and submitted this weekend to the 3000 Jewish communal leaders attending the 42nd General Assembly in New Orleans of the CJF. central agency for the nation’s 200 local Jewish fund-raising and fund-distributing member agencies. The CJF Budget and Finance Committee, in submitting its recommendations, said one of the principal concerns guiding committee members was “the requirement to concentrate on the priorities–the most important services, that most communities want most.” Another was “the responsibility of the CJF to set an example of what it professes, in stringent economy.”

The 1973 CJF budget provided $273,075 in the community planning category. The 1974 budget proposed expenditures of $336,501, an increase of $63,426. Other categories with proposed increases were personnel services–from $84,487 to $120,842; national services and administration–from $148,553 to $167,118; and campaign services–from $146,510 to $153,170. Increases were also recommended in the categories of Federation endowment fund development and women’s communal services. The tightness of the proposed 1974 budget was reflected in cuts in the categories of budget research and taxes, leadership development, public relations services and research. The report said that, to operate within the 1974 budget, not only would needed staff not be added but that “the budget cuts one and three-quarters positions from the 1973 budget while consolidating the part-time functions of several staff into one new position.” This meant, the report added, “burdening a staff stretched too thin with varieties of responsibilities” and warned that “this stretching should not be extended further.”

Discussing community planning, the report said that “the direct and deep stake of Federations and their associated agencies in the standards and financing of urban and public welfare programs has been brought home forcefully by the cutbacks in government spending for these purposes.” Such cuts, the report said, were being felt in reduced funds to Jewish institutions, suspension of funds for housing for the aged and for research and training grants. Such cutbacks cause persons in need of help “to turn to voluntary agencies,” the report said. The report said that Federations were “entering a new threshold of community planning and financing of Jewish education,” including a broadening of communal planning “to embrace informal education” and study periods in Israel, as well as “changing relationships” with synagogues in Jewish education.

Other developments cited were “the marked declines in enrollment in afternoon schools, the growing Federation financial support of Jewish education generally and markedly for all-day schools, and more active Federation responsibility for the quality of Jewish education.” At the national level, the report cited the work of the CJF Institute of Jewish Life, in cooperation with the American Association for Jewish Education. The report said more than 40 Federations had set up committees to plan and supervise local services for Jewish college students and faculty members and that Federations had boosted grants for campus services by more than 92 percent in the past three years.

Substantial non-institutional services are being developed for the aged so that they can maintain self-support as long as possible and CJF services to Federations for planning in this area have been growing for the past two years, the report said. The report added that Federations were being “projected into a greater planning role for health services as almost the entire spectrum of Federation agencies have become involved in inter-related health services.” The report disclosed that a new program for 1974 now being studied is creation by Federations and Welfare Funds of “a national pooled income fund administered by CJF.” In such a fund, Federations of all sizes could participate “from the largest Federations to cities which may be too small to set up and operate their own endowments.” Under the plan, the Federations would have the advantages of expert management and administrative cost savings. The report said it was expected that legal requirements would be cleared and carried out for a start of the pooled income fund early in 1974.

In discussing personnel services. the report said there were “critical staff shortages” in Federations, making the need for CJF personnel services a top priority. “The need will be even greater as almost one-half of the executives of large and intermediate cities, and many in the smaller cities, reach retirement age in the next five years,” the report predicted, adding that the CJF Federation Executive Recruitment and Education program “should provide seven to 12 graduates a year” to help fill such Federation vacancies. The report on overseas services declared there was an increasing Federation involvement “in the meeting of human needs in Israel through the role of CJF leaders in the reconstituted Jewish Agency’s governing bodies; relations with United Jewish Appeal, and Joint Distribution Committee, United Hias Services and others.” Also cited was “a growing interchange” by CJF leaders “with community leaders of other countries on common responsibilities.”

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