NEW YORK (Jul. 13)
Funeral services were held today for Louis Kraft, former executive director of the National Jewish Welfare Board. He died Friday at the age of 84. In 1953, Mr. Kraft was invited by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Joint Distribution Committee to direct the planning of reconstruction and development of the surviving Jewish communities in Europe.
He first became associated with the National Jewish Welfare Board in 1917, as director of activities in military camps and communities during World War I, after having served for three years as executive director of the Bronx YM-YWHA. In 1921, he was named director of Jewish Community Center Activities, continuing in that post until 1938, when he was named to the top executive post of JWB, a position which he held until Oct. 1, 1947.
In that year, Mr. Kraft helped establish the World Federation of YMHAs and Jewish Community Centers and had been secretary of the World Federation ever since. He went to Israel in 1948 and established the Jerusalem YM-YWHA. At the request of the U.S. State Department, he helped reorganize the School of Social Work in Jerusalem in 1950. Born in Moscow, Jan, 2, 1891, Mr. Kraft was graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1912. He received the Townsend Harris Medal for notable achievement from City College Alumni Association in February, 1972, An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree was conferred on Mr. Kraft by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Western Branch, in June 1964. The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion conferred a similar honorary doctorate on him in November 1971,
In 1951, Mr. Kraft was the first recipient of the Frank L. Weil Award of the National Jewish Welfare Board for notable contributions to the Jewish Community Center field.